China surpasses United States in robot density

China has surpassed the United States — for the first time — in terms of robot density, says International Federation of Robotics (IFR).
robot density IFR report
The number of operational industrial robots relative to the number of workers hit 322 units per 10,000 employees in the manufacturing industry. Today, China ranks in fifth place.

The world’s top 5 most automated countries in manufacturing 2021 are: South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Germany and China, according to World Robotics 2022 report presented by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR).

“The average of robot density in the manufacturing industry surged to 141 robots per 10,000 employees – more than double the number six years ago. China’s growth shows the power of its investment so far, but it still has much opportunity to automate,” Marina Bill, President of the International Federation of Robotics, said.

Asia’s average robot density surged by 18 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) since 2016 to 156 units per 10,000 employees in 2021. The European robot density had been growing by 8 percent (CAGR) in the same period of time reaching 129 units. In the Americas it was 117 robots – plus 8 percent (CAGR).
China robotics marketThe Republic of Korea hit an all-time high of 1,000 industrial robots per 10,000 employees in 2021. This is more than three times the number reached in China and makes the country number one worldwide.

Singapore takes second place with a rate of 670 robots per 10,000 employees in 2021.

There is a remarkable gap to Japan (399 robots per 10,000 employees) which ranks third. Japan’s robot density had grown by 6 percent on average each year since 2016. Germany in fourth place (397 units) is the largest robot market in Europe.

China is the fastest growing robot market. China has the highest number of annual installations, and since 2016 it has each year had the largest operational stock of robots.

Robot density in the United States rose from 255 units in 2020 to 274 units in 2021. The country ranks ninth in the world, down from seventh.

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