• External Contributor

Rise Of The Machines: The Countries With The Highest Density Of Robot Workers [Infographic]

The rise of the machines has well and truly started. Last week, the International Federation of Robotics presented new data showing that 2.7 million industrial robots were operating in factories around the world in 2019, the highest level in history. Despite sales of new robots declining 12% on 2018, 373,000 units were shipped globally last year, representing the third highest sales volume ever recorded. Asia is the strongest market for industrial robots with China's operational stock climbing 21%. Demand is particularly strong in India where the number of units has doubled in five years and it now has the third highest volume on the continent after China and Japan. When it comes to robot density, there are now 113 units per 10,000 workers globally.


In many countries, that figure is far higher, particularly in economies renowned for their strong automotive and manufacturing industries. In South Korea, for example, there were 855 industrial robots per 10,000 employees in 2019, one of the highest density rates on the planet thanks to the presence of global powerhouses such as Samsung, Hyundai and Kia. The situation is similar in Japan where a long list of major companies including the likes of Toyota and Mitsubishi have led to consistent demand for industrial robots for years. Japan is also one of the biggest players in the global industrial robotics market, accounting for over half the global supply. As of 2019, Japan had 364 industrial robots per 10,000 workers.


In Germany, the realm of Volkswagen, Daimler , BMW, Bosch and Siemens, there are 346 industrial robots per 10,000 employees, the highest density level in Europe. In the United States the pace of automation slackened last year with the number of new installations down 17% on 2018. Nevertheless, the 33,300 shipped units still represents robust sales and the second highest result of all time. The data shows that the U.S. had 228 industrial robots per 10,000 of its workers in 2019. Globally, 73% of all new industrial robot installations in 2019 occurred in just five countries: China, Japan, the United States, South Korea and Germany.

THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON FORBES BY NIALL MCCARTHY ON SEPTEMBER 28, 2020.