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I got curious as to how many are still using old browsers. From google I pulled up this: https://www.netmarketshare.com/browser-market-share.aspx?qprid=2&qpcustomd=0

which says that a total of 21% of people are still on IE8 and 9. That was rather shocking since from looking at the statistics of the sites I manage, those versions make up <1% of the visitors. Then again, maybe they don't come to my site because its layout is almost entirely flex based? But how would they know that prior to visiting...

I tried looking for other statistics but didn't really find anything solid, I found claims from 1% to 20% all over...

Are there any sources of reliable statistics on this? I don't want to develop for ie 8/9, nor am I going to but this keeps bugging me.

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Simply said: different people have different habits and knowledge about internet and tech. Don't be surprised if your audience seems tech savvier than average (anyway, you should check if there's some sort of incompatibility in your analytics software and older IE version, even if it's unlikely).

Here for example, IE 8 and 9 have together 10% market share http://gs.statcounter.com/#desktop-browser_version_partially_combined-ww-monthly-201408-201508 Here even less http://clicky.com/marketshare/global/web-browsers/internet-explorer/

That's because each website has different calculations and ways to gain data.

I suggest to stick with your analytics data. Just think about your audience, not the "average" audience. Average is just a starting point if you are planning to start a new project.

For new projects, go for "graceful degradation" approach for very old browsers, so you can limit your expense of time and still provide a complete (not broken) experience for all users. JS scripts like html5shim and modernizr, libraries like jQuery combined with HTML conditionals can help you achieve that.

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