Aug 15, 2017

Where the robots are

Robots are coming, but, at least in the United States, they're landing in clusters. Most are in Michigan and Ohio, the base of the U.S. auto industry, and the home of one of every five robots in the U.S. In all, the auto industry accounts for nearly half of all industrial robots in use in the country, with Detroit alone having almost five times the number of any other major U.S. city (see the enormous red circle), per a new Brookings study.

Data: Brookings Institution; Graphic: Chris Canipe / Axios
Data: Brookings Institution; Graphic: Chris Canipe / Axios

Mark Muro, a senior fellow at Brookings, tells Axios that the data for this map came from the International Federation for Robotics. The resulting pattern is dense concentration in the industrial upper Midwest, Northeast and Upper South, along with the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas; vast parts of the country have none, while a few secondary cities, like Kokomo (auto parts) and Elkhart-Goshen (RVs) in Indiana, have 35 robots for every 1,000 people (even Detroit has just 8.5).

"They aren't everywhere," Muro said. "They are in industrial parts of the country associated with heightened social and labor market anxiety."

Go deeper