Robot density nearly doubled globally

16 December 2021

The International Federation of Robotics says that the use of industrial robots in factories around the world is accelerating at a high rate. 126 robots per 10,000 employees is the new average of global robot density in the manufacturing industries – nearly double the number five years ago, according to the 2021 World Robot Report.

By regions, the average robot density in Asia/Australia is 134 units, in Europe 123 units and in the Americas 111 units. The top five most automated countries in the world are  South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Germany, and Sweden. 

“Robot density is the barometer to track the degree of automation adoption in the manufacturing industry around the world,” said Milton Guerry, president of the International Federation of Robotics.

Europe´s most automated country is Germany – ranking 4th worldwide with 371 units. The annual supply had a share of 33% of total robot sales in Europe 2020 - 38% of Europe’s operational stock is in Germany. 

France has a robot density of 194 units (ranking 16th in the world), which is well above the global average of 126 robots and relatively similar compared to other EU countries like Spain (203 units), Austria (205 units) or The Netherlands (209 units). EU members like Sweden (289 units), Denmark (246 units) or Italy (224 units), have a significantly higher degree of automation in the manufacturing segment.

As the only G7 country – the UK has a robot density below the world average of 126 units with 101 units, ranking 24th. Five years ago, the UK´s robot density was 71 units. The exodus of foreign labour after Brexit increased the demand for robots in 2020. This situation is expected to prevail in near future, the modernisation of the UK manufacturing industry will also be boosted by tax incentives. From April 2021 until March 2023 companies can claim 130% of capital allowances as a tax relief for plant and machinery investments.

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