It isn’t. Ubuntu is much more popular.
Yes, Distrowatch says Mint is more popular, and that even Debian is more popular than Ubuntu. Obviously they are both not true.
Most Ubuntu users are beginners in Linux, and they don’t go vote on Distrowatch. Debian (and to a lesser extent Mint) users tend to be much more experienced Linux users, and would know about things like Distrowatch.
“DistroWatch is a website which provides news, popularity rankings, and other general information about various Linux distributions as well as other free software/open source Unix-like operating systems such as OpenSolaris, MINIX and BSD. It now contains information on several hundred distributions.”
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