The Connected Kingdom

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 | 4:45 PM

At Google we’ve always believed that the Internet is an engine of economic growth, but until now no one has ever quantified who, how, why, where and what was behind this growth. So we asked The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a well-respected adviser on business strategy, to conduct an analysis of the impact of the Internet on the UK economy.

And we were surprised by the results:

  • In 2009, the Internet contributed £100 billion to the UK economy. That represents 7.2% of GDP.
  • The UK is the number one country in the world for e-commerce and is a net exporter of e-commerce goods and services, exporting £2.80 for every £1 imported.
  • The Internet economy is expected to grow by 10% per year.

The Connected Kingdom video

BCG researched the impact that being online has had on overall businesses sales, and the results were again startling. In recent years, businesses that embraced the Internet have seen four times the growth in sales than businesses that haven’t.

UK Tights small business success story

Understanding the importance of the Internet on the UK economy was useful, but BCG wanted to dig deeper and compare how the UK ranks against other countries. So they devised what they’ve called an “e-intensity index” which looks at three main factors: the ease of access to the Internet, the amount spent on the Internet, and the level of engagement people have with the Internet. Whilst the UK led on the amount of money spent online, the overall leader was Denmark, with the UK in 6th, and Germany, USA, and France in 9th, 11th and14th place, respectively.

To view a full version of the report, get involved in the debate and have your say in what the UK government should do to help grow the UK Internet economy, we encourage you to visit

Posted by Richard Keelty, Product Marketing Manager, Google UK