UTF-8 vs UTF-16 or UTF-32

Good day,

I was looking at HTML meta tags and noticed that MDN says that UTF-16 and UTF-32 are “discouraged”, which got me to wondering why we generally use UTF-8 versus UTF-16 or UTF-32 for web sites. If it’s mostly a concern for the amount of memory or processor attention that a web site or application requires, do you see UTF-16 or UTF-32 coming into greater use in the future as memory becomes more available and inexpensive? Are there neat things that we can do with UTF-16 and UTF-32 that we can’t do with UTF-8? Is there anything on the horizon beyond any of the UTFs that might render them obsolete?

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Hi, I really got interested in your question, so I decided to search for any information in the Internet.

Look at the image 6C0C6

As you see, the only difference between these encodings is bits.

Now I will answer your questions one by one:

In my opinion, UTF-8 is a global standard for now. I think it understands more applications and operations, unlike UTF-16 and UTF-32. The last two things is new and it will take a while for them to become global standard.

Yes. I think it’s logically right, cos’ technologies doesn’t stay at one place. CPUs will soon be 1nm and less. Everyday, more and more possibilities of converting datatypes and encodings and etc. Everything’s moving. But maybe humanity will use UTF-8, but simply upgrade it and rename just to ‘UTF’.

All this encodings are used to encode texts, transfer data and so on. So, you can’t tell what is better or worse, if you haven’t worked with it. I sorted the characteristics of UTF-8, -16 and -32 encodings for you from Wikipedia:


  • Bits or Main advantage: UTF-8 requires 8, 16, 24 or 32 bits (one to four octets (bytes) to encode a Unicode character).
  • Domination: Since 2009, UTF-8 has been the dominant encoding (of any kind, not just of Unicode encodings) for the World Wide Web (and declared mandatory “for all things” by WHATWG[5]) and as of December 2019 accounts for 94.5% of all web pages (some of which are simply ASCII, as it is a subset of UTF-8) and 96% of the top 1,000 highest ranked[6] web pages.



  • Bits: UTF-32 always requires 32 bits to encode a character.
  • Usage: internal APIs where the data is single code points or glyphs, rather than strings of characters.
  • Size: This makes UTF-32 close to twice the size of UTF-16. It can be up to four times the size of UTF-8 depending on how many of the characters are in the ASCII subset
  • Advantage: the Unicode code points are directly indexed.
  • Disadvantage: it is space-inefficient, using four bytes per code point, including 11 bits that are always zero.

I think absolutely no. Humanity will definitely remain with UTF-8 encoding as it was, is and will be the global standard for the whole world. Programmers can just rename it in ‘UTF’ and continue to upgrade it.

In conclusion, I must say that every thing in the world needs a particular approach. Feel free to reply to this post, I will be very glad.

If you found any mistakes in this article, just notify me. Any feedback is appreciated)))

Thank you for reading this whole… article:rofl: :rofl: :joy: :joy:

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That was a very thoughtful reply, and I appreciate the research that you’ve done. :slight_smile: I was especially interested to read that one of the reasons that UTF-16 is discouraged in web pages is for security reasons, because I’m taking a security course next semester. Thank you again!

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Thank you for the feedback :muscle:t5:!

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