This month marks a big milestone for YouTube, as it celebrates it’s sixth birthday.

The site was launched in May 2005 and people around the world have been ‘broadcasting themselves’ ever since.

To mark the occasion, the Google owned company has shared some interesting stats on it’s blog as well as a rather fetching infographic.

YouTube’s rate of growth is astonishing. The company claims that today, more than 48 hours of video content is uploaded to the site every minute! Quite a hefty rise when you look back only to November 2010 when the site was receiving 35 hours of content per minute.

In reference to this growth, the company pointed to three major contributing factors:

  • faster upload times
  • longer videos – in the early days users were restricted to just 10 minutes
  • live event streaming. Most recently, the royal wedding, which smashed previous online-streaming records

It’s not just the amount of content that’s growing, viewing is on the rise too.

The company reports that last weekend it passed the 3 billion views a day mark – up 50% on last year. That equates to almost half the world’s population watching a YouTube video each day.

It’s not hard to see why YouTube has established itself as the top online video content property, it’s become a part of daily life for many of us and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.

Happy Birthday, YouTube!

Now, here’s that infographic (courtesy of YouTube), enjoy.

youtube statistics 2011 infographic