T-Index 2014: the rankings for online markets

T-Index

Which markets offer the greatest potential for online sales?


T-Index is a statistical index showing the online market share per country, by combining the number of Internet users with their estimated GDP per capita.

The aim of this study is to guide companies in their selection of languages for a project of website translation.

The study was conducted by TRANSLATED – the leading professional online translation agency – in order to assist clients to get the best possible return on investment (ROI) from internationalization.

The underlying criteria for the study are described below.

2014 data

How to interpret the data

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Trend* Languages T-Index
2014
Projection
2018
Country Internet population Internet
penetration rate
GDP p.c. of Int. pop.**
Download data in CSV format
(!) Restricted Internet access
(*) In the absence of reliable existing data, this figure has been estimated by our agency.
* The arrows and dash indicate the country's projected performance in the 2018 rankings
** GDP per capita of the Internet population
(!) The majority of the population has limited access to the Internet (*) In the absence of reliable existing data, this figure has been estimated by our agency.
1
English 31.3% 25.1% 60 816,133,742 37.2% $33,280
2
Chinese (!) 15.4% 22.0% 2 643,597,398 47.4% $20,803
3
Spanish 7.1% 8.1% 21 225,275,127 52.3% $27,219
Translating your website into these 3 languages gives you access to 50% of the worldwide online sales potential.
4
Japanese 5.2% 3.8% 1 109,626,672 86.2% $41,145
5
German 4.9% 4.1% 5 84,455,968 88.5% $50,527
6
Arabic (!) 4.5% 5.1% 17 132,028,185 43.1% $29,694
7
French 4.1% 4.1% 27 100,662,061 24.4% $35,104
8
Russian 4.0% 4.6% 6 114,080,463 55.8% $30,359
9
Portuguese 3.6% 4.3% 7 122,852,197 47.3% $25,615
Translating your website into these 9 languages gives you access to 80% of the worldwide online sales potential.
10
Italian 2.1% 1.2% 4 36,590,499 58.7% $49,190
11
Korean 1.9% 1.8% 2 45,364,248 61.4% $36,995
12
Indonesian 1.7% 1.7% 1 71,190,000 28.1% $20,670
13
Chinese 1.6% 1.5% 3 24,826,146 79.9% $57,098
14
Turkish 1.5% 1.7% 1 46,282,850 56.7% $28,045
15
Farsi (!) 1.3% 1.8% 2 48,677,548 43.2% $23,167
Translating your website into these 15 languages gives you access to 90% of the worldwide online sales potential.
16
Dutch 1.2% 1.0% 3 22,022,967 92.8% $47,719
17
Polish 0.93% 1.2% 1 25,666,238 66.9% $31,540
18
Thai 0.64% 0.75% 1 20,100,000 29.7% $27,596
19
Malay 0.57% 0.54% 2 14,416,988 67.1% $34,295
20
Hindi 0.53% 0.57% 1 36,450,000 19.7% $12,530
21
Swedish 0.50% 0.41% 1 9,216,226 94.8% $47,316
22
Vietnamese (!) 0.41% 0.49% 1 41,012,186 43.9% $8,772
23
Norwegian 0.39% 0.30% 1 4,895,885 95.1% $68,902
24
Romanian 0.36% 0.34% 2 12,927,122 51.1% $24,063
25
Czech 0.33% 0.30% 1 8,322,168 78.3% $34,189
26
Catalan 0.32% 0.31% 2 6,750,675 75.0% $41,190
27
Bengali 0.30% 0.21% 1 40,800,000 24.5% $6,356
28
Greek 0.30% 0.25% 2 7,255,632 60.7% $35,532
29
Danish 0.28% 0.20% 1 5,419,113 97.3% $45,011
30
Hebrew 0.27% 0.29% 1 5,928,772 75.8% $40,275
31
Hungarian 0.25% 0.26% 1 7,388,776 74.5% $29,465
32
Finnish 0.24% 0.21% 1 5,117,660 97.1% $41,032
33
Afrikaans 0.21% 0.22% 1 7,846,604 51.5% $22,808
34
Slovak 0.16% 0.19% 1 4,507,849 82.8% $31,475
35
Azerbaijani (!) 0.16% 0.21% 1 5,737,223 59.2% $23,587
36
Uzbek (!) 0.12% 0.16% 1 11,914,665 41.2% $9,071
37
Sinhala (!) 0.12% 0.15% 1 4,788,751 21.9% $22,068
38
Bulgarian 0.11% 0.094% 1 4,083,950 59.0% $24,235
39
Kazakh 0.11% 0.22% 1 2,955,037 54.9% $31,939
40
Ukrainian 0.11% 0.20% 1 7,405,524 41.8% $12,391
41
Serbian 0.099% 0.13% 2 5,074,361 64.6% $16,967
42
Lithuanian 0.093% 0.095% 1 2,399,678 68.5% $33,832
43
Croatian 0.093% 0.096% 1 3,167,838 70.9% $25,461
44
Filipino/tagalog 0.062% 0.23% 1 4,420,054 41.1% $12,147
45
Slovenian 0.059% 0.051% 1 1,501,039 75.5% $34,173
46
Latvian 0.054% 0.042% 1 1,628,854 75.2% $28,617
47
Swahili 0.053% 0.058% 1 7,590,794 15.3% $6,093
48
Albanian 0.047% 0.076% 2 3,239,295 66.4% $12,486
49
Bosnian 0.037% 0.053% 1 2,628,846 67.9% $12,333
50
Estonian 0.037% 0.028% 1 1,047,772 83.3% $30,432
51
Zulu 0.033% 0.020% 1 1,245,493 51.5% $22,808
52
Georgian 0.032% 0.045% 1 2,188,311 44.3% $12,531
53
Urdu 0.031% 0.061% 1 2,912,897 14.8% $9,354
54
Macedonian 0.028% 0.034% 1 1,280,132 61.2% $18,853
55
Nepali 0.023% 0.027% 1 4,121,268 13.3% $4,929
56
Xhosa 0.023% 0.014% 1 871,845 51.5% $22,808
57
Armenian 0.020% 0.030% 1 1,800,000 58.8% $9,690
58
Turkmen (!) 0.019% 0.020% 1 496,507 9.6% $33,621
59
Mongolian 0.018% 0.019% 1 635,999 21.5% $25,212
60
Icelandic 0.016% 0.012% 1 321,475 101.3% $43,389
61
Maltese 0.014% 0.013% 1 284,361 68.9% $42,277
62
Lao (!) 0.011% 0.014% 1 850,425 12.5% $11,046
63
Burmese 0.0085% 0.0069% 1 668,955 1.2% $10,987
64
Khmer 0.0072% 0.0099% 1 927,500 6.0% $6,721
65
Amharic 0.0070% 0.0084% 1 1,836,035 1.9% $3,329
66
Irish Gaelic 0.0050% 0.0044% 1 76,350 79.0% $57,143
67
Maldivian 0.0046% 0.0059% 1 173,575 44.1% $22,869
68
Belarusian 0.0043% 0.0028% 1 156,141 54.2% $23,948
69
Inuktitut Greenlandic 0.0025% 0.0030% 1 52,000 90.1% $41,290
70
Faroese 0.0017% 0.0016% 1 44,952 90.0% $32,815
71
Somali (!) 0.00092% 0.0012% 2 243,563 2.2% $3,279

T-Index Map 2014

T-Index is a percentage value that indicates the Internet market share held by each country.
The higher the T-Index, the higher the online sales potential of a country.

Internet Freedom Map

In certain countries, translating your website content may not be enough to transform local Internet users into potential customers. The map above shows the countries that currently impose restrictions on Internet access.
Source : Reporters Without Borders http://en.rsf.org

Learn more about T-Index


T-Index has been developed to help companies aiming at international expansion to select their target markets and to decide on the target languages for the translation of their website(s).

The United States, with a T-Index value of 19.4%, is the market with the highest potential for online sales in 2014, with more than 277 million Internet users, each with an average GDP per capita of $60,878.

It is important to fully understand the local market and country before localizing your website for the United States. Is this market genuinely accessible for your company?

Have you considered the following?

Example

A UK-based company specializing in the sale of winter sports merchandise has a website in English and wishes to translate it into another European language, to reach new customers online. After conducting market research, the marketing manager concludes that their products would be highly likely to be successful in Germany, Sweden and Norway. By accessing T-Index, it quickly becomes clear that Germany, with a 4.1% market share, is the market with the greatest potential for online sales, given its 71,727,551 Internet users with an average GDP per capita of $49,357.
T-Index has therefore acted as a deciding factor in the choice of German as a new language for the site.

Variations 2005-2018


News & Forecasts


The 2014 ranking shows that the gap between the United States, ranked first with a T-Index of 19.4%, and China, ranked second with 15.3%, is continually shrinking: only 4.1 points now separate the leaders of the rankings, versus 7.2 points in 2013. According to the T-Index projection, China should overthrow the United States for the top spot in 2016, with a market share equal to 18.9% versus 16.3% for the United States.

In order to calculate a projection for the time leading up to 2018, we have extrapolated a line between the 2005 and 2014 data points, using simple linear regression*. The projection assumes a linear growth trend for all countries.

Japan has maintained its traditional third-place ranking (since 2008) but lost a percentage point, falling from 6.2% in 2013 to 5.2% in 2014.

India displayed surprising performance, jumping from ninth to fifth place in just a year with a market share equal to 3.5%, versus 2.5% in 2013. By 2015, however, India should drop back down to eighth place, upstaged by Brazil, who would then steal fifth place. With an estimated rise in market share of 26.1%, Brazil, who entered the top 10 in 2007, could even steal third place starting in 2018 and end up well ahead of Germany and Japan.

Russia and Brazil, in sixth and seventh place respectively, have moved ahead of France and the UK in 2014, themselves ranked eighth and ninth. Italy has regained its spot in the top 10 despite a decrease in absolute value of 0.2 points of market share between 2013 and 2014. Indonesia experienced strong growth (+91%) and moved from twenty-second to fifteenth place between 2013 and 2014.

Among the emerging countries to show the strongest growth in market share between 2014 and 2018 are China (up 43.0%), Argentina (up 30.2%), Brazil (up 26.1%), Poland (up 24.3%) and Russia (up 15.0%).

*See Wikipedia for further information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simple_linear_regression

The Study

Assumptions & Method

T-Index has been developed to help companies aiming at international expansion to select their target markets and to decide on the target languages for the translation of their website(s).

Each country has been classified according to the language most commonly used by the local population to browse and make purchases on the Web. For reasons of statistical significance, the coexistence of multiple languages ​​within the same country was only taken into account where the T-index value of the country exceeded 0.1%. In the latter case, only languages ​​used on a daily basis on the Internet by more than 15% of the population were considered, except in cases where the minority languages ​​in question (used on the Internet by less than 15% of the population) are also national official languages. For example, Switzerland, with a T-Index of 0.52%, has been evaluated in three different language markets: German, French and Italian. All three of these languages are actually used on a daily basis by the Swiss people to browse and make purchases on the Web. While French and German are both used by more than 15% of the population, Italian is used by only 7% of Internet users. However, Italian is a nationally recognized official language in Switzerland, hence its inclusion in T-Index.

The T-Index study only includes languages used for browsing the Web. A number of languages ​​are either not at all or very scarcely represented on the Internet today. Indeed, in many countries, the language ​​spoken in daily life by the majority of the population cannot be found online, as with Kinyarwanda in Rwanda. This is often due to a low Internet penetration rate, which does not enable local people to access the Web to create content in their native language. In Rwanda, the 9.0% of the total population who have Internet access browse the Web in English, given that little or no content has been created by and for Rwandans in their national language. This is why T-Index includes Rwanda in the English language market.

Languages with international variants have been grouped into their respective standard language. For example, UK and US English have both been classified as English.

Dependent territories (e.g. Puerto Rico) have been evaluated according to their respective governing state, provided they share the same language. If they do not share the same language, as is the case with Puerto Rico and the United States, they are included as separate entries based on the language market to which they belong.

The T-Index study does not cover all countries. The countries included in the study are those for which it was possible to find data on the number of Internet users and GDP per capita. Without this data, the evaluation would have been impossible.

In order to determine the GDP per capita of the Internet population, we assumed that the Internet users in each country belong to the richest segment of the country’s population. We did so because T-Index is aimed at identifying the Internet users with the technical and financial means to browse and make purchases on the Web.

Firstly, we gathered information about the number of Internet users and the total population, from which we determined the Internet penetration rate* for each country. We then analyzed each country's GDP per capita and income distribution, to determine the proportion of GDP theoretically earned by Internet users, the "GDP per capita of the Internet population". Finally, we established a value for each country based on this information.

For countries where income distribution data was not available, we calculated the average income distribution for all countries and used this estimate.

Notes

T-Index is a tool to support decision-making for companies faced with a choice of markets and languages ​​when localizing their website(s). It gives an overview of the potential of each online market. Nevertheless, factors other than the absolute size of each market alone must be taken into account when making internationalization decisions. For example, localizing your website for the Chinese market does not make sense if your company does not have the logistics capacity to distribute your products in China. Moreover, translation is the first step towards attracting new customers, although other key aspects, such as the quality of your products/services or the user-friendliness of your website, must also be optimized, to transform your visitors into potential buyers.

Example

In Japan, the number of Internet users is 109,626,672, out of a total population of 127,103,388. The Internet penetration rate is therefore 86.2%. In 2014, the GDP per capita of Japan was estimated at $37,389. According to income distribution by quintiles, we estimate that 86.2% of the richest people in Japan own 94.91% of the country's wealth. To obtain the GDP per capita of the Internet population, we then made a simple calculation:

(total population x GDP per capita x % of wealth owned by Internet users) / number of Internet users

Applied to Japan: (127,103,388 x 37,389 x 94.91%) / 109,626,672
The estimated GDP per capita of the Internet population in Japan is thus $41,145.

To obtain the T-Index value, we multiply the number of Internet users by the average GDP per capita of the Internet population. For Japan: 109,626,672 x $41,145. Finally, to obtain a percentage value for each country, we divided each country's T-Index value by the sum of the T-Index values of all countries. This explains how we obtain a T-Index for Japan of 5.2%.

*The Internet penetration rate is the percentage of Internet users in a given country.

Sources

The statistics used in the T-Index study are taken from the following reliable Web-based sources.

The number of Internet users for each country is taken from the Internet World Stats website, which provides up-to-date statistics on worldwide Internet usage. The statistics were up-to-date as at June 30, 2014.

To assign each country to a language market, we studied the languages ​​most commonly used for navigation and shopping on the Web in each country. Our worldwide network of freelance translators has also contributed to the project, helping to make it a reliable tool that reflects the reality of each country.

The total population of each country is taken from the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) World Factbook. The statistics are estimates from the US Census Bureau as at July 2014. For countries whose total population is not specified in the CIA World Factbook, the data is taken from the official statistical sources of each country in question.

Data on GDP (Gross Domestic Product) per capita is taken from the International Monetary Fund World Economic Outlook Database. The data represent estimates for 2014, in international dollars. For countries or territories whose GDP per capita is not indicated in the IMF World Economic Outlook Database, the data is taken from the CIA World Factbook.

To determine whether Internet access is restricted in a given country, we looked at the ranking provided by the international non-governmental organization Reporters Without Borders, available on its official website: http://index.rsf.org/#!/.

The distribution of income by quintiles is taken from the statistical data of the Development Research Group at the World Bank: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SI.DST.05TH.20. Not all the data refer to the same year (the World Bank data ranges from 1992 to 2013).

This ranking may only be freely reused and shared if a link back to this page is provided and it is made clear to users that the data comes from the T-Index study. Please copy and paste the following statement:

T-Index Study 2014, by TRANSLATED. TRANSLATED is the leading professional online translation agency providing language services to over 60,000 international customers for more than 15 years:
www.translated.net/en/languages-that-matter

Credits

Many thanks to all the people who provided us with useful data or tips (in alphabetical order):

Contacts

For further information, please contact: aurore@translated.net

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