35 construction industry stats and facts

Written by LetsBuild

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The fact that the construction industry represents 14% of the worldwide GDP is quite unsettling. Undoubtedly it is one most profitable important sectors in the world. However, in the last decades, some of the world powers have faced financial crisis, slowing down economic growth and experiencing setbacks in the development of the industry.

Unprecedented challenges are foreseen in the close future. Eco-friendly materials, management software, efficient heavy machinery and change from fossil fuels are only a handful of currently disruptive areas. Let alone free-trade and globalization, both pushing companies to embrace better practices.

Due to the complexity of the construction industry, it is tricky to follow up trends around the world to identify which would be convenient and more profitable to adopt. And yet, it is the sophistication and interdependence of branches in the sector that makes it an interesting challenge to undertake.

Related article: Exciting construction tech to look out for in 2020 and beyond

A bullet-proof way to stay safe in the relatively unstable construction industry is by looking at evidence of behavior in the past years. While some developing countries are beating world powers in green infrastructure (32) – turning them into an ideal place to invest – cities in developed countries are leading the real state market (29).

Interesting construction facts

Companies and investors planning to make a move this 2019 should be aware of the ups-and-downs in the industry in order to get an educated guess on the behavior in the coming years.  We have gathered information from reports and put together 35 interesting insights about the development, safety, software, work gender, materials, and heavy machinery trends in the sector:

  1. Construction rates in Europe have been fluctuating in the past 10 years. Although the financial crisis faced in the past years, the construction industry in 2019 is expected to grow, interest rates will remain low and unemployment will decrease. (Euroconstruct)
  2. The UK government committed to boosting the Housing Infrastructure Fund by £500m. Norway is the country in Europe where construction generate more jobs, while Germany is the least. (Europa)
  3. The United States spent $1.6 trillion in construction only in 2022. (Statista)
  4. By 2016, Spain and Italy were the countries in Europe with more number of enterprises and employees, while Malta was the least. (Europa)
  5. China is the country with more skyscrapers, followed by the United States and Japan. (The Skyscraper Center)
  6. Construction wise, Singapour is the fastest growing country in South East Asia region. They are also the country planning to invest more in this industry. On the other hand, Indonesia is lacking good management process (Business Insider)
  7. There is a global increase in the use of environmental-friendly techniques in the construction sector. (ILO)
  8. Latin American countries spent $4.31 billion on heavy equipment or construction in 2016. (Allied Market Research)
  9. Despite the conflicts with the US, México keeps leading the construction market in Latin America. (Market Watch)
  10. Lack of construction labour in the US could lead to an increase in profitability for construction workers. (Business Insider)
  11. Ireland is facing a shortage of experienced construction workers to face housing shortages. (The Journal)
  12. In 2014, North America had the biggest market for heavy construction machinery. (Statista)
  13. IDC forecasts that smart cities will spend $158 billion in connected infrastructure by 2022. (IDC)
  14. Asia and the Pacific Region will account for 42% of global spending in 2018 in smart infrastructure. (IDC)
  15. Data and analytics are one of the most predominant trends in the construction industry as they enable companies to become more efficient and reach business goals. (Deloitte)
  16. In the US, women only comprise 9.9% of construction workers. More than 86% of these positions are in the office. (Bigrentz)
  17. The number of women in the construction industry is expected to double in the US by 2020. (Bigrentz)
  18. The UK has the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals in Europe. Only 11% of the engineering workforce are women. (The Guardian)
  19. Buildings and construction account for 39% of the total greenhouse emissions worldwide, and 36% of the energy use. Improving the performance of the equipment may cause a significant decrease in greenhouse emissions. (Worldgbc)
  20. Only in the US, there were 4,674 fatal accidents in the construction industry. This is approximately 21% of all work deads. The major cases were falls, struck by object and electrocution. (OSHA)
  21. Scaffolding, Hazzard Communication, and Fall Protection are three of the most overlooked standards by construction workers. (OSHA)
  22. In the course of a 45-year career, a construction worker has a 75 % chance of experiencing life-threatening and disabling injuring. (safetyandhealthmagazine)
  23. 75% of all non-fatal work injuries in the European Union were in the construction sector. (Europa)
  24. The US reported around 150,000 accidents on the construction site. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  25. Forecasts show by 2060 there will be required 167 Gigatonnes of raw materials for construction purposes. Sand, gravel and crushed rock are lead the list of most wanted materials, followed by metals and coal. The extraction and manufacture process, alongside with energy supply (fossil burning) will bring serious environmental consequences. (OECD)
  26. China remains by far as the country with more production of cement, with 2370 million metric tons. Followed by India with 290 and the US with 88,5 million metric tons. Turkey is the only country in Europe producing large amounts of cement. (Statista)
  27. 69% of crude steel is produced in Asia (1,164,070tons) followed by the European Union and North America. China, Japan, and India are flagship producers. (Worldsteel)
  28. By 2100 and once the population reaches approximately 11,2 billion people, the world will need to build more than 2 billion new homes. (The Conversation)
  29. Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal are the trendiest spots for real state investment in Canada. In Europe, Dublin, Madrid, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Helsinki, and Munich are on top of the list. Ho Chi Minh City, Melbourne, Singapore, Sydney, Tokio, and Osaka are booming the real state industry in the Asia Pacific. (PWC)
  30. China, the US, India, Indonesia, and Japan are predicted to be the countries investing more in construction by 2030. (PBCtoday)
  31. Client demands, environmental regulations, and healthier buildings are the top 3 triggers for construction companies to engage with green building activities. On the other hand, the top social reasons to start with these practices are promoting improved occupants’ health and well-being, encouraging sustainable business practices, increase worker productivity, creates a sense of community and supports domestic economy. (World GBC)
  32. Australia is the country reported with the majority of green projects, followed by Brazil, Canada, China (Hong Kong), China (Mainland), Colombia and Germany. (World GBC)
  33. Technology trends are taking over the construction industry. Managers in the market for software look for future such as project tracking, job costing, project estimating, improved accuracy and process standardization. User-friendliness and functionality are two of the clinchers to make a purchase. (Project Manager)
  34. Based on sales, Vinci (France) was the largest construction company in 2017 with 40.25 billion euros in 2017. ACS (Spain), Voyage (France), Skanska (Sweeden) and Eiffage followed with 34,9, 32,9, 16,39 and 15,26 billion euro. (Statista)
  35. In 2018, around 11 million people were employed by the construction industry in the United States. This is around 3 times less than the number of people working in Education and Health Services. (Statista)