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How Does UK Manufacturing Compare to The Rest of The World?


How Does UK Manufacturing Compare to The Rest of The World?

Businesses across the world are dependent on manufacturing to achieve success. UK manufacturing alone contributes £6.7 trillion to the global economy — impressive stats for a country that is dwarfed in size by other nations — but how does it compare to the rest of the world?

This article, courtesy of manufacturing software provider Datawright, examines how the UK compares on a global stage.

UK manufacturing

When analysing the latest manufacturing data included in a House of Commons briefing paper, the UK occupied position nine in a rundown of global manufacturing outputs. While ranking 9th out of 237 countries is still a strong position to be in, it shows a decrease from previous years. Between 1970 and 2004, the UK’s rank generally stayed around 5th and 6th position.

Worth $247 billion in 2014, the UK’s manufacturing output when broken down per person equals $3,800 per person. However, the per-head figure does not provide an accurate point of comparison due to populations varying between countries.

11% the UK’s national economic output came from manufacturing, making up 3% of global manufacturing.

Chinese manufacturing

The highest output of all countries, China’s manufacturing industry was worth a total of $1.9 trillion in 2014. Eclipsing the UK’s humble 11%, manufacturing makes up 28% of the country’s entire national output. On a global scale, this contributes 19% — almost one fifth — to world manufacturing.

China’s 1.37 billion (approx.) population skews the manufacturing per head figure. At $1,400 per head, it’s significantly lower than the UK’s $3,800 per person, given their smaller population.

American manufacturing

Falling slightly short of China’s $1.9 trillion total, the United States is in second place with $1.8 trillion. However, despite the similarities between these totals, the United States output-per-head breakdown is significantly higher at $5,700 — a result of America’s smaller population size.

Both countries occupy 19% of the world manufacturing output, yet the USA’s national output is just 12%. Whereas China’s output was more than double at 28%, this stark difference shows how manufacturing is less of a priority to the United States’ economy.

Japanese manufacturing

With just over $1 trillion in manufacturing output, Japan has secured the third spot. Per head, this equates to $7,900. In total, Japan’s manufacturing efforts make up 19% of the country’s national output, and 10% of the worldwide output.

German manufacturing

In fourth is Germany. Despite being significantly ahead of fifth place company South Korea, Germany is considerably behind Japan in terms of manufacturing output. Compared to Japan’s $1 trillion, Germany’s manufacturing output is more than $300 billion less, at $680 billion.

Germany’s per-head total works out at $8,400. Overall, manufacturing makes up 23% of Germany’s national output and 7% of the global total.

How do smaller countries compare?

Despite the dominance of larger countries, manufacturing is the lifeblood of smaller countries. For example, Turkmenistan and Nauru national outputs stand at 38% and 37% respectively, illustrating how dependent developing economies are on manufacturing.


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