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Census Bureau Releases New Annual Capital Expenditures for Robotic Equipment

Release Number CB22-TPS.29

MARCH 30, 2022 — U.S. capital expenditures for robotic equipment totaled $9,853 million and accounted for 1.0% of total equipment expenditures in 2020, according to new Annual Capital Expenditures Survey (ACES) estimates released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. ACES estimates by kind of business add detail to national-level estimates of investment in machinery and equipment.

The new ACES data tables provide national-level estimates of robotic equipment capital expenditures based on the 2017 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), at the two-digit and select three- and four-digit NAICS levels.

Other highlights:

  • In 2020, three sectors (Manufacturing, Retail Trade and Health Care and Social Assistance) accounted for 89.7% of total robotic equipment expenditures.
  • The Manufacturing sector was the largest investor, accounting for 50.2% of all robotic equipment expenditures.
  • The Retail Trade sector was the second-largest investor, accounting for 34.3% of all robotic equipment expenditures.
  • General medical and surgical hospitals invested $424 million in robotic equipment and accounted for 82.7% of overall spending for robotic equipment in the Health Care and Social Assistance sector.

Capital expenditures for both industrial and service robotic equipment were collected for the first time in the 2018 ACES. Growing interest and high demand by researchers, congressional members and other groups led to measuring robotic expenditures to provide insight into robotic adoption intensity and its impact on employment and productivity. In prior years, robotic equipment expenditures were associated with companies’ primary business activity. The 2020 estimates reflect a different way of collecting the data. Specifically, data were requested for the NAICS industries in which the robotic investment was made.

No news release associated with this report. Tip sheet only.



Leslie Malone
Public Information Office
301-763-3030 or
877-861-2010 (U.S. and Canada only)


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