Global Robot Density Rose to 74 Robots per 10,000 Workers in 2016

The International Federation of Robotics has released its 2017 World Robot Statistics and revealed that robot proliferation is quickly escalating worldwide.
Loukia Papadopoulos

Robots are increasingly becoming more present showing up in everything from elderly care to human resources. The development has resulted in both marvel at these bots' abilities but also worry from people everywhere who see these machines as potential employment competition.

Average robot density

Now, the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), a professional non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the robotics industry, has put a number to that concern by calculating average robot density worldwide in the automation of production. And the body says this density is clearly accelerating globally.

According to the IFR's 2017 World Robot Statistics, 2016 saw 74 robot units per 10,000 employees as the new global robot density average in the manufacturing industries, significantly higher than the 66 units reported in 2015. “Robot density is an excellent standard for comparison in order to take into account the differences in the automation degree of the manufacturing industry in various countries,” said Junji Tsuda, President of the IFR in a statement.

Regional densities

The organization also released average densities per regions, finding  Europe had 99 units, the Americas 84 and Asia 63. In Europe, the most automated country was Germany. In fact, the country ranked 3rd worldwide with an impressive 309 units as well as an estimation of an additional 5 percent growth per year from 2018 to 2020.


In the Americas, the United States saw an important increase to 189 robots in 2016 that ranked the country seventh in the world. Meanwhile, robot density in Canada reached 145 units in 2016.

However, in terms of growth, it was Asia that took the biggest leap. “As a result of the high volume of robot installations in Asia in recent years, the region has the highest growth rate. Between 2010 and 2016, the average annual growth rate of robot density in Asia was 9 percent, in the Americas 7 percent and in Europe 5 percent," added Tsuda.

China recorded the most dramatic development seeing its density rate rise from just a mere 25 units in 2013 to 68 units in 2016, bringing the nation 23rd worldwide. And that is likely just a start as the government has plans to make China one of the world’s top 10 most intensively automated countries by 2020. 

To do this, the nation will have to beat some hefty competition. According to the IFR, as of 2016, the top 10 most automated countries in the world are, in descending order, South Korea, Singapore, Germany, Japan, Sweden, Denmark, USA, Italy, Belgium, and Taiwan. 

The Republic of Korea not only has dominated the top spot since 2010, but its robot density is also exorbitantly superior to the rest of the nations on the list. The country’s average exceeds the global one by at least 631 units. 


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