UK internet economy 'biggest in G20'

Generic shot of a computer screen close up.
We spend more money online than any other major G20 country. Credit: REUTERS/Catherine Benson

The internet contributes 8.3% of the UK economy, according to new research by the Boston Consulting Group.

Their research showed the UK's web economy was worth £121 billion in 2010; more than £2,000 per person, and more than any other major G20 economy.

Lots of people inside a computer room.
A staggering 17% of Brits would give up showering for a year to maintain their internet connection, according to researchers. Credit: REUTERS

In 2010 more than 13.5% of all purchases were made online in the UK; far more than any other major economy. By 2016 researchers predict this figure will rise to 23%.

Overall the UK is the most internet-based of all of the major economies, and our love of the web is set to continue to grow.

The study asked people what they would be willing to give up for a year to maintain their internet connection:

  • 65% would give up alcohol
  • 76% would give up chocolate
  • 78% would give up coffee
  • 25% would give up sex
  • 17% would give up showering
Man holds an IPAD
The growth of the UK web economy is particularly good news for small and medium size businesses. Credit: REUTERS/Kimberly Whit

For the next four years the web economy in the UK is set to expand at a rate of 11%, meaning that by 2016 it will be worth a massive £221 billion.

Overall, the study predicts that by 2016 the total size of the web economy within all of the G20 countries will be $4.2 trillion, equivalent to 5.3% of GDP.