I've read in various places on the internet that the average vocabulary of a Chinese person is around 5,000 words.
How about highly educated Chinese people? E.g. those with PhD's or holding top positions in the government or corporations.
Estimating vocabulary size accurately is really difficult as far as I know. The average English speaker's vocabulary is estimated to be in the range of 10,000 to 30,000 words, but highly educated English speaker may possess a vocabulary of twice that. Of course estimates are highly variable depending on where you look and depending on what you count as a word.
So does a highly educated Chinese person know around 10,000 words?
Any references are appreciated.
Note that I don't mean to compare vocabulary size between English and Chinese here. Personally I think Chinese is likely a more efficient language on one hand as it may be that more information can often be compressed into fewer words. That would explain why an English speaker needs to know more words.