Blog owners can see how many people are subscribed to their blog from the Blog Stats page: See> http://en.support.wordpress.com/blog-subscriptions/#subscription-statistics See also Subscription management http://en.support.wordpress.com/subscriptions/
raincoasret's reaply is spot on. "It's easier to answer questions like this if you specify exactly what you mean by "Followers" because WP.com doesn't have anything purely analogous to the Blogspot "Followers" thing."
justjennifer is spot on too. She has supplied the information above that the numbers those who use a feedreader to read our blogs, as I do, are unknown to us.
Who is a follower?
What are they following?
What contribution do followers who never comment make to a blog?
What value does a "followers" widget provide to a blog or blogger?
My focus is on my commenters and my actual relationship with them. Those who choose to read my blog in a feed reader and never comment are not people have have any relationship with. I like knowing they are out there but wish they would make a contribution to discussion of post content on my blog.
"Followers Widgets have become ubiquitous sidebar decorations in blogs as more blogging platforms and social networks are providing them. Followers Widgets dynamically display the visits to the blog by the people behind icons (avatars, gravatars). Bloggers display them to demonstrate connections other bloggers that range from mere acquaintanceship to friendship with subscribers who regularly read the blog and comment. Let's investigate the claims and uncover what Followers Widgets do and don't do for your blog."
My opinion of the usefulness and value of sidebar distractions such as followers widgets displaying avatars like notches on a gun is found here. > http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2010/07/07/wordpress-com-followers-widget-no-thanks/ and here