T-Index 2012, the markets that matter on the web

T-Index

Which markets offer the most potential for your website?


T-Index is a statistical index that shows online market share per country. It combines the Internet population and its estimated GDP per capita.

T-Index assists companies in identifying their target markets and in selecting the right languages to translate their websites. This helps ensure online success and increase localization-derived revenue.

The study was conducted by Translated, a language service provider that has offered professional translation services for over 10 years, helping its customers achieve the best ROI from their website translation investments.

The underlying criteria for the study are described below.

2012 Data summary

T-Index for beginners

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Trend* Languages T-Index
2012
Projection
2016
Countries Internet population Internet
penetration
GDP p.c. of Int. pop.**
Download CSV
(!) Restricted access to internet
(*) As reliable data do not exist, this amount has been estimated by our agency.
(**) India has been included in the English language market as English is widely used in general business and on the web.
* The arrows and the dash indicate the country's performance in the 2016 ranking.
** GDP per capita of the Internet population (!) Internet access is limited for most of the population (*) As reliable data do not exist, this amount has been estimated by our agency. India has been included in the English language market as English is widely used in general business and on the web.
1
English 32.3% 24.5% 57 550,294,270 29.6% $37,613
2
Chinese (!) 13.7% 20.2% 2 539,204,536 40.1% $16,269
3
Spanish 7.3% 8.4% 21 187,097,576 44.7% $25,031
Translating a website into these 3 languages gives you access to 50% of the worldwide online sales potential.
4
Japanese 6.3% 4.6% 1 101,228,736 79.5% $39,863
5
German 5.4% 4.6% 4 78,651,011 82.7% $44,353
6
French 4.4% 4.1% 22 73,954,525 21.7% $37,764
7
Portuguese 3.5% 4.5% 7 98,681,001 38.8% $22,612
8
Russian (!) 3.3% 4.2% 5 83,510,872 45.6% $25,478
9
Arabic (!) 3.3% 4.2% 19 104,701,902 29.8% $20,031
10
Italian 2.4% 1.3% 4 36,284,479 58.7% $41,913
Translating a website into these 10 languages gives you access to 80% of the worldwide online sales potential.
11
Korean 2.4% 2.1% 2 40,379,660 55.0% $37,626
12
Chinese 1.9% 1.6% 3 23,225,882 75.0% $51,791
13
Dutch 1.4% 1.3% 3 20,822,978 88.4% $44,563
14
Turkish 1.3% 1.7% 1 36,455,000 45.7% $23,524
15
Farsi (!) 1.2% 1.8% 2 43,520,996 39.8% $17,777
Translating a website into these 15 languages gives you access to 90% of the worldwide online sales potential.
16
Polish 1.0% 1.3% 1 24,940,902 64.9% $26,889
17
Indonesian 0.86% 1.0% 1 55,000,000 22.1% $10,078
18
Malay 0.67% 0.69% 2 18,041,900 61.0% $23,975
19
Thai 0.62% 0.78% 1 20,100,000 30.0% $19,701
20
Swedish 0.58% 0.44% 1 8,441,718 92.7% $44,308
21
Tagalog 0.43% 0.64% 1 33,600,000 32.4% $8,279
22
Norwegian 0.40% 0.32% 1 4,560,572 96.9% $55,572
23
Greek 0.39% 0.31% 2 6,363,387 53.4% $39,167
24
Catalan 0.37% 0.35% 2 5,973,377 67.3% $39,666
25
Czech 0.36% 0.33% 1 7,426,376 73.0% $30,921
26
Hebrew 0.33% 0.35% 1 5,313,530 70.0% $40,412
27
Danish 0.32% 0.23% 1 4,989,108 90.0% $41,106
28
Romanian 0.30% 0.32% 2 11,281,846 44.2% $17,042
29
Vietnamese (!) 0.30% 0.43% 1 31,034,900 33.9% $6,152
30
Finnish 0.29% 0.25% 1 4,703,480 89.4% $40,093
31
Ukrainian 0.28% 0.40% 1 15,300,000 34.1% $11,704
32
Hindi 0.27% 0.34% 1 20,550,000 11.4% $8,411
33
Punjabi 0.26% 0.32% 1 29,128,970 15.3% $5,736
34
Hungarian 0.26% 0.28% 1 6,516,627 65.4% $25,409
35
Slovak 0.19% 0.22% 1 4,337,868 79.1% $27,513
36
Afrikaans 0.18% 0.15% 1 2,975,000 17.4% $38,716
37
Azerbaijani 0.12% 0.17% 1 4,746,800 50.0% $15,763
38
Croatian 0.11% 0.11% 1 3,167,838 70.7% $23,013
39
Bulgarian 0.11% 0.10% 1 3,589,347 51.0% $19,387
40
Serbian 0.10% 0.15% 2 4,435,375 55.9% $14,714
41
Lithuanian 0.092% 0.099% 1 2,293,508 65.1% $25,795
42
Uzbek (!) 0.086% 0.13% 1 8,575,042 30.2% $6,426
43
Slovenian 0.081% 0.069% 1 1,440,066 72.1% $36,163
44
Sinhala 0.072% 0.092% 1 3,222,200 15.0% $14,328
45
Luxembourgish 0.066% 0.053% 1 462,697 90.9% $91,669
46
Latvian 0.049% 0.041% 1 1,570,925 71.7% $19,942
47
Bengali 0.047% 0.041% 1 8,054,190 5.0% $3,716
48
Bosnian 0.042% 0.058% 1 2,327,578 60.0% $11,644
49
Estonian 0.039% 0.030% 1 993,785 78.0% $25,054
50
Albanian 0.036% 0.066% 2 1,848,400 38.2% $12,430
51
Swahili 0.031% 0.026% 1 5,629,532 12.0% $3,549
52
Macedonian 0.029% 0.036% 1 1,180,704 56.7% $15,881
53
Georgian 0.023% 0.038% 1 1,300,000 28.4% $11,531
54
Armenian 0.021% 0.025% 1 1,800,000 60.6% $7,321
55
Icelandic 0.019% 0.013% 1 304,129 97.1% $39,848
56
Maltese 0.015% 0.013% 1 282,648 69.0% $33,672
57
Nepali 0.012% 0.014% 1 2,690,162 9.0% $2,860
58
Mongolian 0.011% 0.011% 1 635,999 20.0% $11,058
59
Turkmen (!) 0.0075% 0.0073% 1 252,741 5.0% $19,031
60
Lao 0.0059% 0.0095% 1 592,764 9.0% $6,411
61
Khmer 0.0058% 0.0063% 1 662,840 4.4% $5,591
62
Amharic 0.0034% 0.0040% 1 960,331 1.1% $2,242
63
Inuktitut Greenlandic 0.0033% 0.0031% 1 52,000 90.1% $40,205
64
Maldivian 0.0032% 0.0048% 1 134,860 34.2% $15,414
65
Burmese (!) 0.0027% 0.0021% 1 534,930 1.0% $3,267
66
Faroese 0.0022% 0.0023% 1 39,948 80.7% $35,482
67
Somali 0.00089% 0.0010% 2 187,390 1.7% $3,039

2016 T-Index Projection | NEW!


The markets with the highest potential for online sales

T-Index Map - 2012

T-Index is a percentage value that indicates the online market share of each country on the Internet by combining the Internet population and its estimated GDP per capita. The higher the T-Index, the higher the online sales potential in a country.

Internet Freedom Map

In certain countries, translating your website content may not be enough to transform local Internet users into potential customers. Above is a map of countries currently imposing restrictions on Internet access. | Source: Reporters without Borders http://en.rsf.org

T-Index for beginners


T-Index was developed to help companies identify their target markets and select the appropriate languages for translating their websites.

Choosing among different potential markets is not easy. T-Index helps identify the market-language combination most appropriate for your investment with regards to customer base and online sales potential.

With a T-Index of 22,5%, the Unites States is the market with the highest potential for online sales. As such, it comprises 245 million internet users worldwide with an average GDP per capita of $ 58,751.

Before localizing a website for any country, we recommend you fully understand the local market and country, to ascertain whether the market is accessible.

Have you considered the following?

Example 1

An England-based company, specializing in the sale of winter sports merchandise has a website in English and would like to translate it into another European language. After conducting market research, the marketing manager concludes that their products would certainly be successful in Germany, Sweden and Norway. By accessing the T-Index, it quickly becomes clear that Germany, with a 4.6% market share is the market with the greatest potential for online sales because it covers 67,483,860 Internet users with an average $ 43,476 per-capita GDP. The T-Index has been decisive in choosing German as a language for the new site.

Example 2

A Canada-based company has a website in English and French and would like to translate into another language. By accessing the T-Index ranked by language, the marketing manager realizes quickly that Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Japanese and German are, in 2012, the languages with the highest online potential. By clicking on the sign on the data summary table for a complete overview of the countries covered by these four linguistic markets, the manager thinks about the fact that the Chinese language market includes two countries, while those that speak Spanish, Japanese and German respectively comprise twenty-one, one and four countries. After studying the markets in question, he realizes that his company would have access only to the following markets: Singapore, Mexico, Spain, Japan and Germany for various considerations related to logistics, financial, competitive and cultural aspects. This gives the following real values for the four languages considered:

For the Canadian company, Japanese demonstrates having a market share larger than all the others. Therefore, the company choses to translate its website into Japanese to develop their online business.

2016 Projection


To calculate the projection through 2016, we have extrapolated a line between the 2005 and 2012 data points using Simple Linear Regression*. The projection assumes a linear growth trend for all countries.

According to the T-Index projection, China could overtake the United States and take first place in 2015, with a market share of 18.5% compared to 13.5% in 2012. Actually, the United States on line purchasing power would change from 22.5% in 2012 to 17.3% in 2015. In 2016, China would retain the top spot and is widening the gap with the United States showing a 20.1% market share compared to 15.6% for the United States.

Japan would maintain its third place until 2016, despite a drop of -26.9% in its market share compared to 2012.

With a change in its market share estimated at + 16.1%, Brazil could win fifth place in 2013 and go pass the UK and France. In 2016, it could even climb to fourth place, also leaving Germany behind, which would suffer a 15.2% drop compared to 2012.

Russia would change from eighth to seventh place in 2013, and down to sixth place in 2014 with a 17.2% variation compared to 2012.

France would lose one place in 2014 with a -2.9% change compared to 2012.

The United Kingdom would go from fifth to eighth place in 2013, with a change in its market share equal to -5.9% compared to 2012.

South Korea would hold ninth place until 2016 despite a 12.5% variation ​​compared to 2012.

The surprise comes from Mexico which would enter the top 10 as of 2013, taking the Italy's place which would undergo a -17.4% drop between 2012 and 2013.

All emerging countries including China, Brazil, Poland, Russia, India/English, Nigeria and Vietnam see growth in the 2016 projection. The top emerging countries by growth would be Nigeria (+55,6%), China (+48,8%), Vietnam (+43,3%), Brazil (+35,4%) and Poland (+30%).

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

The study

Assumptions and method

T-Index was developed to help companies choose their target markets and the right languages for translating their websites.

Each country has been assessed according to a single language, except where the T-index value of the country is in excess of 0.1%, in which case we have assessed the country within several language markets. For example, Switzerland, which has a T-index of 0.51%, has been assessed in three different language markets (German, French, and Italian). As country language, we have considered that used for business, written communication, and the Internet.

A lot of languages in use today are not yet represented on the Internet. In many African and Caribbean countries, for example, English is the official language and often the unifying language, widely used in government, public administration, education, business and online. Local languages are often spoken as everyday informal languages by the majority of the population. The T-Index study only considered languages that are used for business, written communication, and the Internet.

Languages that have international variations depending on the country have been grouped together into their respective standard language. As an example, UK English and US English have been classified under the English language.

Dependent territories have been evaluated according to the governing state, if 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 they belong to.

The T-Index study includes every country for which we were able to find data concerning the number of Internet users and GDP per capita. Without such data, it would have been impossible to make an evaluation.

Furthermore, in order to determine the GDP per capita of the Internet population, we made the assumption that Internet users in each country belong to the richest segment of the country’s population. We did this because T-Index is meant to gauge commercial opportunity and is aimed at identifying people who have the financial means and tools to surf and buy 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 which is theoretically earned by Internet users, the average Internet user GDP per capita. Finally, from this information, we were able to establish a value for each country.

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

The T-Index is a useful tool for companies making website translation decisions. But other factors, not just the absolute sizes of each market, need to be considered when choosing languages for translation (factors like local market demand, competition, etc.). Website translation is a necessary step towards attracting new customers, but other key factors, such as the quality of the products and services or the user-friendliness of the interface, are essential in attracting new customers and ensuring they make a buying decision.

Example

In Japan, the number of Internet users is 101.228.736 out of a total population of 127.368.088. The Internet penetration rate is 79.5%. The estimated GDP per capita of Japan for 2012 is $35.578,219. According to income distribution by quintiles, we estimated that 79.5% of the richest Japanese earn 89.05% of Japan’s wealth. To obtain the GDP per capita of the Internet population, we made a simple calculation:

(total population x GDP per capita x part of wealth earned by Internet users) / number of Internet users

of Japan: (127.368.088 x 35.578,219 x 89.05%) / 101.228.736
The estimated GDP per capita of the Internet population in Japan is $39.863.

To obtain the T-Index value, we multiplied the number of Internet users by the average GDP per capita of the Internet population. For Japan this is: 101.228.736 x $39.863. Finally, to obtain a percentage value for each country, we divided each country's T-Index value by the sum of T-Index values of all countries. This explains how we obtained a share potential of 6.3% for Japan.

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

Sources

Statistics used in the T-Index study were taken from the following reliable Internet based sources.

The number of Internet users for each country was taken from the Internet World Stats website which provides up-to-date world Internet statistics. The statistics were up-to-date as of June 30, 2012.

In order to assign each country to a language market, we looked at the most commonly used languages in business, and online, in each country in question. 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 was taken from the Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook. The statistics were estimates from the US Census Bureau, July, 2012. For countries whose total population was not specified in the CIA World Factbook, data were extracted from official statistical sources in each country.

GDP (Gross Domestic Product) per capita data were taken from the International Monetary Fund World Economic Outlook Database. The data refer to 2012 and is presented in current international dollars. For the countries or territories for which the GDP per capita was not indicated in the International Monetary Fund World Economic Outlook Database, the data were taken from the Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook.

To determine if a country has restricted access to online information, we looked at the ranking given by the international non-governmental organization Reporters without Borders, available on its official website: http://en.rsf.org/internet.html.

The percentage shares of income indicated by quintiles were taken from the online statistical data of the World Bank's Development Research Group: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SI.DST.05TH.20. Not all the data refer to the same year (the World Bank data are from 1992 to 2011).

This material can be freely reused and shared only if a link back to this page is provided and it is made clear to the user that the data came from the T-Index study. Copy and paste the following statement:

The T-Index Study www.translated.net/en/languages-that-matter was carried out by Translated, a language service provider founded in 1999 that manages 68.000 translators in over 110 countries for 26.000 customers. In 2008, Translated was selected by Eurispes as representative of Italy's Excellence. Worldwide, Translated ranks amongst the most innovative LSPs in the development of productive processes to help translators in their daily endeavours.

Credits

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

Contacts

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