Record 310,700 Robots in United States' Factories – IFR reports

FRANKFURT, Germany, Oct. 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The new World Robotics 2021 Industrial Robots report presented by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) shows a record of about 310,700 industrial robots operating in factories of the United States – an increase of 6%. Sales of new robots slowed down by 8% in 2020. This was the second year of decline following eight years of growth. 

“The USA is the largest industrial robot user in North America, with a share of 84% of the region´s total installations,” says Milton Guerry, President of the International Federation of Robotics. “Installations in the electrical and electronics industry grew by 7% to 3,700 units in 2020, while the automotive industry demanded substantially fewer robots with 10,500 units and minus 19%.”

After a contraction by 3.5% of GDP in 2020, the US economy is expected to grow by 6.7% in 2021 and by 4.4% in 2022, thus exceeding the pre-crisis level in 2021. Order intake in the robotics industry has been growing since the second half of 2020 and turnover has been following suit since the first half of 2021.

The disruptions to international supply chains make “reshoring” of formerly offshored supply chains an option. This requires building up new production capacity, using modern technology, including robots. Additional stimulus will be gained if the new US government finds a diplomatic solution to the existing trade conflicts with China and the EU.

The North American countries United States, Canada, and Mexico represent the second largest operational stock of industrial robots in the world after China. Following the US with 310,700 units in 2020, Mexico´s operational stock comes second with about 42,600 units, which is a plus of 6% and Canada – ranking third – with about 29,400 units – plus 3%. Most of the robots in the USA are imported from Japan, Korea, and Europe. Although there are not many North American robot manufacturers, there are numerous important robot system integrators.


The “boom after crisis” is expected to fade slightly in 2022 on a global scale. From 2021 to 2024, average annual growth rates in the medium single-digit range are expected. Minor contractions may occur as a statistical effect, ‘catch-up’ occurs in 2022 or 2023. If this anomaly takes place, it will not break the overall growth trend. The notable mark of 500,000 units installed per year worldwide is expected to be reached in 2024.

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SOURCE International Federation of Robotics

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