STUDY: United States Ranked Least Risky Country for Data Centers in the World

The United States has been identified as the least risky country in the world for data centers according to the most recent global data center risk index released by Cushman & Wakefield and Hurleypalmerflatt.

The study ranks countries based upon a number of key risk factors associated with strategic data center location considerations.

Tier Considerations and Weighting
The study ranks and considers factors ranging from infrastructure to political climate to economic indicators, filtering various considerations into three different tiers for weighting purposes.

  • Tier I – The highest weighted factors include Energy Cost, International Internal Bandwidth, and the Ease of Doing Business
  • Tier II – This level includes factors such as the Corporate Tax Climate, Natural Disaster Risk Factors, and Population Education Level among other considerations
  • Tier III – The lowest weighted level includes factors like GDP Per Capita, Inflation, and Water Infrastructure & Availability

Two new risk factors were added to the study from 2011’s evaluation. Energy security includes factors such as vulnerability to power disruptions and price fluctuations, among other considerations. The second new risk factor is the Population Education Level, which evaluates the percentage of the population that has completed a certain level of education and has the educational requirements desirable for data center relevant jobs.

The Top Five
The study ranks 30 countries throughout the world. The United States comes in as the highest ranked country in the world, which means the United States is the least risky country in the world for data centers. The top five countries, and their overall index scores, are as follows:

  1. United States – 100
  2. UK – 91
  3. Germany – 83
  4. Iceland – 81
  5. Canada – 80

It should also be noted that Qatar and Hong Kong both have an index score of 80, but come just short of Canada overall, falling to 6th and 7th place respectively on the list.

The Bottom Three
The three riskiest countries for data centers, and their overall index scores, are as follows:

  • 28.  Indonesia – 31
  • 29.  India – 31
  • 30.  Brazil – 26

Risk factors currently hurting these countries at the bottom of the list include power costs and availability, natural disaster risks, economic climate, and education levels.

Each year we see changes in the rankings, as countries are quick to react and respond to deficiencies, so these rankings and evaluations are something to keep an eye on in the coming years.

Macro vs Micro
It is important to note that, while this study evaluates and ranks countries around the world, these rankings are compiled on a macro level. As the study points out, “Countries scoring poorly on the Index might be able to offer the ideal environment for a data center at a micro/local level and should not be discounted.”

Additionally, while these macro-level evaluations may reflect large-scale, general deficiencies, these can be overcome on a case by case basis. While this study serves as a comparative tool to aid companies in their global data center location search, it is not meant to serve as a determinative factor in each search scenario.

The entire study is available online here.


About Five 9s Digital, LLC

Five 9s Digital is a data center real estate company offering data center development, investment sales, real estate advisory, and colocation and wholesale data center selection and procurement services. Five 9s Digital has been involved in the development and ownership of multiple mission critical facilities from single user build-to-suit facilities to multi-tenant data centers. Five 9s Digital brings a wealth of experience, background and expertise in providing solutions to the data center arena. Due to the specific and yet evolving requirements of mission critical end users in today’s world, Five 9s Digital is able to offer real solutions, real facilities, and real choices due its extensive and up-to-date knowledge base. Five 9s Digital is a Best Data Sites Certification Alliance™ member.
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