T-Index: a ranking of the top countries for online sales

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Which countries offer the greatest potential for online sales?

T-Index is a statistical index ranking countries according to their potential for online sales. It estimates the market share of each country in relation to global e-commerce by combining the number of Internet users per country with the estimated expenditure per capita.

The study was carried out by TRANSLATED, a leading online translation agency, to guide business clients in their selection of markets and languages for internationalization projects and to help them get the best possible return on investment (ROI).

The results of the study are illustrated in the table below, while the underlying criteria for the study are described in the sections titled "Assumptions & Method" and "Sources".

2017 data | NEW!

How to interpret the data

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Trend* Countries T-Index
2017
Projection
2021
Languages Internet users Internet
penetration rate
Expenditure p.c. (Internet users)**
Download data in CSV format
(!) Restricted Internet access
* The arrows and dash indicate the country's projected performance in the 2021 rankings
** Estimated annual expenditure of each Internet user
*** The United Kingdom consists of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (!) The majority of the population has limited access to the Internet
1
USA 30.9% 22.1% 1 239,296,311 74.4% US$47,239
2
China (!) 9.1% 13.7% 1 689,723,660 50.3% US$4,818
3
Japan 6.6% 5.3% 1 115,605,881 91.1% US$20,740
4
UK *** 4.9% 2.9% 1 59,918,552 92.0% US$30,044
Localizing your website for these 4 markets gives you access to 50% of the worldwide online sales potential.
5
Germany 4.7% 3.3% 1 71,543,310 87.6% US$24,045
6
France 3.4% 3.3% 1 56,351,363 84.7% US$22,232
7
Brazil 2.8% 4.6% 1 122,796,320 59.1% US$8,242
8
Italy 2.6% 2.3% 1 39,822,014 65.6% US$23,690
9
Canada 2.3% 2.3% 2 31,715,265 88.5% US$27,040
10
Australia 2.0% 2.4% 1 20,116,738 84.6% US$35,815
11
Mexico 1.8% 2.0% 1 72,947,317 57.4% US$9,172
12
South Korea 1.8% 1.3% 1 45,377,488 89.6% US$14,519
13
Spain 1.8% 1.3% 2 36,546,779 78.7% US$17,728
14
Russia 1.7% 3.4% 1 101,010,813 70.1% US$6,306
15
India 1.7% 2.5% 8 340,873,138 26.0% US$1,775
16
Turkey 1.1% 1.5% 1 42,275,017 53.7% US$9,259
17
Argentina 0.94% 1.4% 1 30,131,628 69.4% US$11,445
Localizing your website for these 17 markets gives you access to 80% of the worldwide online sales potential.
18
Switzerland 0.94% 0.93% 3 7,244,595 87.5% US$47,399
19
Netherlands 0.89% 0.51% 1 15,770,475 93.1% US$20,574
20
Nigeria 0.79% 1.3% 1 86,441,257 47.4% US$3,333
21
Indonesia 0.67% 0.94% 1 56,612,527 22.0% US$4,294
22
Poland 0.65% 0.74% 1 25,830,760 68.0% US$9,128
23
Saudi Arabia (!) 0.63% 0.87% 1 21,958,407 69.6% US$10,550
24
Belgium 0.60% 0.58% 2 9,567,958 85.1% US$22,790
25
Sweden 0.59% 0.51% 1 8,879,042 90.6% US$24,130
26
Hong Kong 0.53% 0.51% 1 6,206,192 84.9% US$31,420
27
Venezuela 0.51% 0.84% 1 19,246,571 61.9% US$9,704
28
Austria 0.51% 0.44% 1 7,249,861 83.9% US$25,680
29
Egypt (!) 0.49% 0.61% 1 34,608,357 37.8% US$5,129
30
South Africa 0.46% 0.84% 4 28,562,219 51.9% US$5,943
31
Norway 0.45% 0.44% 1 5,024,686 96.8% US$32,615
32
United Arab Emirates 0.44% 0.49% 1 8,355,125 91.2% US$19,426
33
Colombia 0.44% 0.77% 1 26,962,244 55.9% US$5,977
34
Israel 0.42% 0.56% 1 6,482,182 77.4% US$23,777
Localizing your website for these 34 markets gives you access to 90% of the worldwide online sales potential.
35
Philippines 0.42% 0.70% 2 40,984,653 40.7% US$3,756
36
Malaysia 0.40% 0.53% 2 21,553,214 71.1% US$6,811
37
Iran (!) 0.40% 0.66% 1 35,864,169 45.3% US$4,054
38
Denmark 0.38% 0.26% 1 5,474,899 96.3% US$25,546
39
Chile 0.38% 0.53% 1 11,538,860 64.3% US$11,959
40
Thailand 0.37% 0.47% 1 26,721,620 39.3% US$5,066
41
Finland 0.34% 0.29% 1 5,076,785 92.6% US$24,411
42
Greece 0.32% 0.29% 1 7,232,678 66.8% US$16,343
43
Portugal 0.31% 0.26% 1 7,108,748 68.6% US$15,927
44
Singapore 0.28% 0.34% 2 4,544,237 82.1% US$22,246
45
Vietnam (!) 0.28% 0.38% 1 48,351,252 52.7% US$2,083
46
Ireland 0.24% 0.18% 2 3,720,564 80.1% US$24,007
47
Peru 0.24% 0.35% 1 12,833,058 40.9% US$6,908
48
New Zealand 0.24% 0.26% 1 4,054,459 88.2% US$21,850
49
Kazakhstan 0.23% 0.40% 2 12,426,493 70.8% US$6,620
50
Romania 0.22% 0.27% 1 11,049,016 55.8% US$7,283
51
Czech Republic 0.22% 0.26% 1 8,573,798 81.3% US$9,240
52
Pakistan 0.22% 0.23% 2 34,006,478 18.0% US$2,312
53
Puerto Rico 0.16% 0.19% 1 2,760,932 79.5% US$20,958
54
Hungary 0.14% 0.12% 1 7,168,677 72.8% US$7,324
55
Iraq 0.14% 0.17% 1 6,272,109 17.2% US$8,308
56
Ecuador 0.13% 0.20% 1 7,901,051 48.9% US$6,116
57
Morocco 0.13% 0.19% 2 19,622,684 57.1% US$2,395
58
Algeria 0.12% 0.14% 2 15,152,610 38.2% US$2,949
59
Kuwait 0.12% 0.14% 1 3,194,614 82.1% US$13,890
60
Slovakia 0.12% 0.12% 1 4,210,752 77.6% US$10,204
61
Bangladesh 0.12% 0.13% 1 23,183,372 14.4% US$1,820
62
Ukraine 0.11% 0.28% 2 22,071,290 48.9% US$1,787
63
Dominican Rep 0.11% 0.15% 1 5,708,494 54.2% US$6,903
64
Kenya 0.11% 0.17% 1 21,009,437 45.6% US$1,854
65
Sudan (!) 0.099% 0.14% 1 10,706,502 26.6% US$3,385
66
Qatar 0.097% 0.13% 1 2,076,198 92.9% US$17,020
67
Guatemala 0.090% 0.12% 1 4,428,925 27.1% US$7,468
68
Sri Lanka 0.088% 0.15% 1 6,287,439 30.0% US$5,134
69
Cuba (!) 0.086% 0.10% 1 4,248,887 37.3% US$7,393
70
Uruguay 0.085% 0.13% 1 2,216,785 64.6% US$13,979
71
Costa Rica 0.083% 0.10% 1 2,873,171 59.8% US$10,571
72
Lebanon 0.077% 0.14% 1 4,329,550 74.0% US$6,535
73
Azerbaijan (!) 0.073% 0.12% 1 7,429,993 77.0% US$3,574
74
Croatia 0.069% 0.070% 1 2,934,116 69.8% US$8,533
75
Panama 0.068% 0.091% 1 2,011,933 51.2% US$12,441
76
Bulgaria 0.068% 0.088% 1 4,066,784 56.7% US$6,088
77
Uzbekistan (!) 0.065% 0.086% 1 13,395,929 42.8% US$1,775
78
Syria (!) 0.065% 0.11% 1 5,547,023 30.0% US$4,256
79
Jordan 0.064% 0.084% 1 4,055,488 53.4% US$5,791
80
Angola 0.064% 0.11% 1 3,102,725 12.4% US$7,547
81
Lithuania 0.063% 0.071% 1 2,073,467 71.4% US$11,129
82
Serbia 0.062% 0.074% 1 4,634,704 65.3% US$4,887
83
Tunisia 0.061% 0.092% 2 5,460,224 48.5% US$4,061
84
Myanmar 0.060% 0.042% 1 11,749,580 21.8% US$1,859
85
Belarus 0.059% 0.10% 2 5,905,423 62.2% US$3,680
86
Oman 0.057% 0.097% 1 3,330,821 74.2% US$6,267
87
Slovenia 0.052% 0.051% 1 1,508,414 73.1% US$12,647
88
Yemen (!) 0.052% 0.072% 1 6,734,886 25.1% US$2,820
89
Bolivia 0.048% 0.071% 1 4,836,842 45.1% US$3,665
90
Luxembourg 0.047% 0.041% 1 554,419 97.3% US$31,115
91
Bahrain 0.045% 0.057% 1 1,287,418 93.5% US$12,674
92
Latvia 0.042% 0.041% 1 1,566,213 79.2% US$9,806
93
Paraguay 0.042% 0.068% 1 3,215,991 48.4% US$4,722
94
Trinidad & Tobago 0.041% 0.057% 1 941,160 69.2% US$16,064
95
Ghana 0.036% 0.051% 1 6,435,843 23.5% US$2,048
96
El Salvador 0.035% 0.057% 1 1,649,276 26.9% US$7,867
97
Cyprus 0.032% 0.037% 1 835,705 71.7% US$14,149
98
Cameroon 0.032% 0.032% 1 4,827,576 20.7% US$2,411
99
Estonia 0.031% 0.028% 1 1,162,200 88.4% US$9,699
100
Macau 0.030% 0.036% 1 455,983 77.6% US$23,994
101
Ethiopia 0.028% 0.022% 1 11,529,327 11.6% US$893
102
Cote D'Ivoire 0.027% 0.031% 1 4,767,327 21.0% US$2,062
103
Bosnia-Herzegovina 0.027% 0.036% 1 2,479,266 65.1% US$3,961
104
Uganda 0.027% 0.041% 1 7,502,024 19.2% US$1,294
105
West Bank And Gaza 0.025% 0.036% 1 2,538,310 57.4% US$3,640
106
Libya (!) 0.025% 0.036% 1 1,193,913 19.0% US$7,615
107
Honduras 0.024% 0.036% 1 1,644,082 20.4% US$5,369
108
Turkmenistan (!) 0.024% 0.033% 1 806,025 15.0% US$10,928
109
Jamaica 0.023% 0.028% 1 1,179,380 42.2% US$7,201
110
Iceland 0.023% 0.000001% 1 324,860 98.2% US$25,476
111
Georgia 0.020% 0.038% 1 1,768,224 47.6% US$4,185
112
Albania 0.020% 0.034% 1 1,827,483 63.3% US$3,963
113
Zambia 0.018% 0.037% 1 3,404,471 21.0% US$1,950
114
Mauritius 0.017% 0.024% 1 633,062 50.1% US$10,083
115
Armenia 0.017% 0.031% 1 1,757,797 58.2% US$3,621
116
Macedonia 0.017% 0.020% 1 1,462,819 70.4% US$4,203
117
Nepal 0.017% 0.025% 1 5,013,170 17.6% US$1,210
118
Bahamas 0.015% 0.016% 1 302,655 78.0% US$17,675
119
Cambodia 0.014% 0.014% 1 2,959,801 19.0% US$1,789
120
Nicaragua 0.014% 0.020% 1 1,198,421 19.7% US$4,343
121
Senegal 0.014% 0.018% 1 3,281,539 21.7% US$1,552
122
Zimbabwe 0.014% 0.023% 1 2,552,610 16.4% US$1,982
123
Namibia 0.014% 0.020% 1 548,565 22.3% US$9,017
124
Botswana 0.013% 0.019% 1 622,183 27.5% US$7,793
125
Malta 0.013% 0.013% 1 329,019 76.2% US$14,342
126
Moldova 0.011% 0.019% 1 1,771,259 49.8% US$2,215
127
Laos (!) 0.0096% 0.013% 1 1,237,968 18.2% US$2,844
128
Tanzania 0.0094% 0.015% 1 2,866,015 5.4% US$1,201
129
Barbados 0.0088% 0.0063% 1 216,316 76.1% US$14,938
130
Rwanda 0.0087% 0.010% 1 2,089,740 18.0% US$1,514
131
Haiti 0.0083% 0.0084% 1 1,306,750 12.2% US$2,324
132
Afghanistan 0.0081% 0.012% 1 2,686,694 8.3% US$1,100
133
Mongolia 0.0079% 0.014% 1 634,321 21.4% US$4,549
134
Gabon 0.0078% 0.0075% 1 405,444 23.5% US$7,027
135
Kyrgyzstan 0.0077% 0.012% 1 1,801,786 30.2% US$1,554
136
Montenegro 0.0072% 0.0097% 1 423,812 68.1% US$6,236
137
Equatorial Guinea (!) 0.0069% 0.0078% 1 180,167 21.3% US$13,926
138
Dem Rep Of The Congo 0.0066% 0.0080% 1 2,936,139 3.8% US$825
139
Tajikistan 0.0066% 0.013% 1 1,609,856 19.0% US$1,497
140
Mozambique 0.0063% 0.0088% 1 2,518,008 9.0% US$917
141
Brunei Darussalem 0.0062% 0.0071% 1 301,310 71.2% US$7,531
142
Mali 0.0056% 0.0055% 1 1,819,267 10.3% US$1,130
143
Fiji 0.0052% 0.0086% 1 413,331 46.3% US$4,564
144
Monaco 0.0049% 0.0036% 1 35,227 93.4% US$50,666
145
Guyana 0.0048% 0.0079% 1 293,026 38.2% US$5,979
146
Liechtenstein 0.0047% 0.0044% 1 36,270 96.6% US$47,588
147
Burkina Faso 0.0045% 0.0066% 1 2,061,798 11.4% US$792
148
Swaziland 0.0043% 0.0096% 1 390,981 30.4% US$4,030
149
Maldives 0.0042% 0.0062% 1 222,838 54.5% US$6,927
150
Andorra 0.0036% 0.0025% 1 68,295 96.9% US$19,133
151
Malawi 0.0035% 0.0035% 1 1,600,698 9.3% US$792
152
Suriname 0.0033% 0.0084% 1 232,176 42.8% US$5,155
153
Congo 0.0033% 0.0047% 1 352,069 7.6% US$3,387
154
Faroe Islands 0.0032% 0.0023% 1 45,403 94.2% US$25,631
155
Papua New Guinea 0.0029% 0.0074% 1 601,926 7.9% US$1,772
156
Benin 0.0027% 0.0038% 1 738,740 6.8% US$1,326
157
Belize 0.0026% 0.0026% 1 149,427 41.6% US$6,393
158
Madagascar 0.0024% 0.0034% 1 1,011,578 4.2% US$853
159
Greenland 0.0023% 0.00047% 1 37,933 67.6% US$22,451
160
Lesotho 0.0023% 0.0022% 1 343,134 16.1% US$2,399
161
Cape Verde 0.0021% 0.0040% 1 223,920 43.0% US$3,491
162
Mauritania 0.0021% 0.0029% 1 618,234 15.2% US$1,264
163
Saint Lucia 0.0021% 0.0022% 1 96,847 52.4% US$8,008
164
Bhutan 0.0021% 0.0030% 1 308,382 39.8% US$2,482
165
Grenada 0.0018% 0.0016% 1 57,483 53.8% US$11,665
166
Antigua & Barbuda 0.0018% 0.0018% 1 59,865 65.2% US$11,145
167
Togo 0.0017% 0.0022% 1 520,086 7.1% US$1,206
168
San Marino 0.0017% 0.00098% 1 16,717 52.6% US$36,199
169
Seychelles 0.0016% 0.0016% 1 54,295 58.1% US$11,056
170
Guinea 0.0016% 0.0015% 1 592,604 4.7% US$990
171
Chad 0.0014% 0.0024% 1 379,012 2.7% US$1,395
172
St Kitts & Nevis 0.0013% 0.0014% 1 42,068 75.7% US$11,683
173
St Vincent & Grenadines 0.0012% 0.0020% 1 56,668 51.8% US$7,783
174
Djibouti (!) 0.0011% 0.0015% 1 105,833 11.9% US$3,834
175
Gambia 0.0011% 0.0013% 1 340,846 17.1% US$1,133
176
Dominica 0.00093% 0.00084% 1 49,132 67.6% US$6,923
177
Somalia (!) 0.00087% 0.00098% 1 189,853 1.8% US$1,680
178
Liberia 0.00087% 0.0012% 1 265,877 5.9% US$1,189
179
East Timor 0.00085% 0.00059% 1 158,759 13.4% US$1,949
180
Samoa 0.00083% 0.0012% 1 49,099 25.4% US$6,166
181
Burundi (!) 0.00076% 0.00060% 1 543,991 4.9% US$512
182
Vanuatu 0.00068% 0.00080% 1 59,150 22.4% US$4,194
183
Sierra Leone 0.00063% 0.00078% 1 161,330 2.5% US$1,417
184
Niger 0.00061% 0.00093% 1 441,793 2.2% US$506
185
Solomon Islands 0.00061% 0.00093% 1 58,359 10.0% US$3,793
186
Central African Rep 0.00060% 0.00098% 1 223,452 4.6% US$987
187
Tonga 0.00056% 0.0011% 1 47,776 45.0% US$4,313
188
Micronesia 0.00036% 0.00041% 1 32,905 31.5% US$4,037
189
Sao Tome And Principe 0.00029% 0.00035% 1 49,147 25.8% US$2,182
190
Comoros 0.00028% 0.00050% 1 58,814 7.5% US$1,733
191
Guinea Bissau 0.00024% 0.00029% 1 65,289 3.5% US$1,347
192
Marshall Islands 0.00017% 0.00021% 1 10,218 19.3% US$6,115
193
Eritrea (!) 0.00016% 0.00048% 1 63,395 1.1% US$930
194
Kiribati 0.00010% 0.00013% 1 14,612 13.0% US$2,519
195
Tuvalu 0.000036% 0.000018% 1 4,234 42.7% US$3,142

T-Index Map 2017


The T-Index is a percentage value that estimates the market share of each country in relation to global e-commerce. The higher the T-Index, the higher the online sales potential of a given 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 below shows the countries that currently impose restrictions on Internet access.
Source : Reporters Without Borders




Projection of the top countries leading up to 2021 | NEW!



How to interpret the study


T-Index was developed to help companies aiming to expand internationally to select their target markets and decide on the most suitable target languages when translating their website(s).

Let's take an 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 in order to reach new customers online. After conducting market research, the company’s marketing manager concludes that their products would be highly likely to succeed in Germany, Sweden and Norway. By accessing T-Index, it quickly becomes clear that Germany, with a 4.7% market share, is the market with the greatest potential for online sales, given its 71,543,310 Internet users, each with an average annual expenditure of US$24,045. T-Index has therefore acted as a decisive factor in the choice of German as a new language for the site.

News & Forecasts


The United States, with a T-Index value of 30.9%, is the country with the highest potential for online sales in 2017, with more than 239 million Internet users with an average annual expenditure of US$47,239 per capita.

The United States is currently a long way ahead of China, which ranks second with 9.1%. The 21.8-point gap between the ranking leaders can be explained by the huge difference in average expenditure between North American Internet users (US$47,239) and Chinese Internet users (US$4,818), although China has nearly three times more Internet users than the USA, making it the world leader in terms of Web users.

According to the T-Index projection leading up to 2021, China will quickly gain ground on the United States, with a market share of 13.7% in 2021 versus 22.1% for the United States.

In order to calculate a projection for the period leading up to 2021, we extrapolated a line from the 2005 and 2015 data points using simple linear regression*. The projection assumes a linear growth trend for all countries.

Japan ranks third with a market share of 6.6%, followed by the leading European nations: the United Kingdom, Germany and France, in 4th, 5th and 6th place respectively. While the UK maintains its market share of 4.9% compared with last year, Germany sees an almost 10% decrease in its market share (4.7% in 2017 versus 5.2% in 2016) and subsequently drops to 5th place, behind the UK. This can be explained by the decrease in the annual per capita expenditure of its Internet users, which fell from US$28,551 to US$24,045, according to our calculations.

Brazil ranks 7th with a market share of 2.8%. It is 10 places ahead of the second South American country in the ranking: Argentina, which comes in 17th with a T-Index value of 0.94%. Argentina has leapfrogged Switzerland and the Netherlands in the ranking since last year, and is expected to increase its market share by 50% by 2021 (0.94% now versus 1.4% in 2021) and thus take 15th place. As for Brazil, it is expected to surge to 4th place by 2021 with an estimated market share of 4.6%, overtaking Germany, France and the UK.

Italy, Canada and Australia round out the top 10 for 2017 with T-Index values of 2.6%, 2.3% and 2% respectively. Australia takes 10th place from Russia, which drops to 14th with a market share of 1.7% compared to 2.3% in last year’s ranking. According to our projection based on simple linear regression, Canada and Italy will drop out of the top 10 in the 2021 ranking, while Australia should maintain its 10th place. Russia is expected to perform extremely well, jumping from 14th to 5th place with a market share of 3.4% in 2021 (versus 1.7% in 2017).

Top 10 countries for e-commerce, projection up to 2021


India, the world’s second most populous country, ranks 15th in 2017 with a T-Index of 1.7%. According to our projections, it should enter the top 10 in 2021, taking 9th place ahead of Australia, Canada and Italy. As the Internet penetration rate climbs (predicted to reach 52% by 2021**), more and more Indian people are browsing online in their native language. The number of Indian people browsing the Internet in English is falling, and we predict that by 2021 it will be exceeded by the combined number of people browsing the Internet in Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil and Telugu.

The countries expected to show the strongest growth in their market share between 2017 and 2021 are China (+4.6 percentage points), Brazil (+1.8 p.p.), Russia (+1.7 p.p.), India (+0.8 p.p.) and Nigeria (+0.5 p.p.), while the countries expected to show the biggest decrease are the USA (-8.9 p.p.), the UK (-2 p.p.), Germany (-1.4 p.p.), Japan (-1.2 p.p.) and South Korea (-0.5 p.p.).

Fastest-rising countries between 2017 and 2021


If we sort the ranking by language, it becomes clear that the study predicts greater linguistic diversity in the future and the rapid decline of English by 2021, with the rise of what are presently considered minority languages. In 2017, just 2 languages are needed to reach 50% of the world’s online purchasing power, while in 2021 3 will be necessary (English 34.7%, Chinese 13.9%, and Spanish 8.4%). Portuguese should pass German and French with a 5% market share and thus become the 5th most important language for online sales by 2021, just behind Japanese.

*See Wikipedia for further information.

** Google and KPMG report ‘Indian languages – Defining India’s Internet’, April 2017

Assumptions & Method


T-Index is a tool designed to support decision-making for companies faced with a choice of markets and languages when localizing their website(s). It gives an overview of each country’s online sales potential.

T-Index 2017 uses the latest statistical data provided by the World Bank database, i.e. data for 2015.

The T-Index value is calculated by multiplying the total number of Internet users by their estimated annual expenditure per capita.

In order to estimate the annual per capita expenditure of each Internet user, we used the HFCE (household final consumption expenditure) indicator from the World Bank expressed in current US dollars. The HFCE is the market value of all the goods and services purchased by households in each country. Please note that the calculation method used for previous versions of T-Index prior to 2016 was based on GDP instead of HFCE. We changed our calculation method in 2016 to give a more realistic overview of the real spending potential of Internet users in each country. You can find the details of our calculation method below.

Each country was 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 online on a daily basis by more than 15% of the population were considered, except in cases where the minority languages in question (used online by less than 15% of the population) are also official national languages. For example, Switzerland, with a T-Index of 0.94%, was evaluated for three different language markets: German, French and Italian. All three of these languages are 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 the country’s Internet users. However, Italian is a nationally-recognized official language of Switzerland, hence its inclusion in the T-Index.

The T-Index study only includes languages used for browsing the Web. A number of languages are currently very scarcely represented online, with some not being used at all. In many countries, the language spoken on a daily basis by the majority of the population cannot be found online, such as Kinyarwanda in Rwanda. This is often due to a low Internet penetration rate, which prevents local people from accessing the Web to create content in their native language. In Rwanda, the 18% of the total population that has Internet access browses 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 together. 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. Without this data, the evaluation would have been impossible.

Calculation method


Firstly, we gathered information about each country’s total number of Internet users, HFCE and total population, from which we determined both the Internet penetration rate* and the HFCE per capita for each country. We then analyzed each country's Internet penetration rate and income distribution to determine the proportion of the HFCE theoretically spent by Internet users. Finally, in order to obtain the "HFCE per capita of Internet users", i.e. an estimation of their annual expenditure, we made the following calculation: (country's total population x country's HFCE per capita x percentage of HFCE theoretically spent by Internet users)/number of Internet users.

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

In order to determine the proportion of HFCE theoretically spent by Internet users, we assumed that the Internet users in each country belong to the richest segment of the country’s population. We made this assumption bearing in mind that a certain income level is necessary in most countries to purchase an Internet subscription and take part in e-commerce activities.

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

Example


In Japan, the number of Internet users is 115,605,881 out of a total population of 126,958,472. The Internet penetration rate is therefore 91.06%. In 2015, Japan’s HFCE per capita was $19,526. Using the country’s income distribution by quintiles, we estimated that 91.06% of the richest people in Japan spend 96.7% of the total expenditure of Japanese households. To obtain the "HFCE per capita of Internet users", we then made a simple calculation:

(total population x HFCE per capita x % of expenditure spent by Internet users) / number of Internet users

Applied to Japan: (126,958,472 x 19,526 x 96.7%) / 115,605,881
The estimated HFCE per capita of Internet users in Japan is thus US$20,740.

To obtain the T-Index value, we multiplied the number of Internet users by the HFCE per capita of its Internet users. For Japan: 115,605,881 x US$20,740. 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 the countries. This explains how we obtained a T-Index of 6.6% for Japan.

Sources


The number of Internet users in each country is taken from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) report "Percentage of individuals using the Internet". ITU is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies. The statistics were estimates for 2015. To change the percentage figures into whole figures, we combined the figures from this report with the ones from the total population report produced by the World Bank.

The total population of each country is taken from the World Bank. The statistics were up-to-date as of 2015.

Data on HFCE (household final consumption expenditure) is taken from the World Bank. Data was up-to-date as of 2015 and is given in current US dollars. Please note that currency exchange rate fluctuations (national currencies versus US dollars) have an impact on the HFCE values expressed in current US dollars, and consequently on the current and estimated T-Index values. We chose to use HFCE values expressed in current US dollars instead of HFCE values expressed in current international dollars using purchasing power parity (PPP) rates because our study focuses on global e-commerce opportunities, and these are assessed in part on the basis of currency exchange rate fluctuations between countries. For countries or territories whose HFCE was not indicated in the aforementioned World Bank report, the data was estimated by our agency. The HFCE figures of the following 39 countries were estimated by our agency: Andorra, Bahrain, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cape Verde, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Micronesia, Monaco, Myanmar, New Zealand, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Puerto Rico, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome And Principe, Solomon Islands, Swaziland, Syria, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Venezuela.

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.

The distribution of income by quintiles is taken from the statistical data of the Development Research Group of the World Bank. The data refers to various years (the World Bank data ranges from 1992 to 2014).


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T-Index Study 2017, by TRANSLATED. TRANSLATED is the leading professional online translation agency providing language services to over 100,000 international customers for more than 15 years:
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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 Claverie at: aurore@translated.net

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