The Transatlantic Digital Economy 2017

The digital economy is transforming how we live, work, play, travel, interact, and do everything in between. It evokes the image of a seamless global marketplace.


Reality is different. The digital revolution may be global in its reach, but it is uneven in its effects. In the digital world, connections matter. Some countries and continents are connecting more than others, and Europe and the United States are connecting most of all.


Cross-border data flows between the U.S. and Europe are the highest in the world. Digital transformation is becoming the single most important means by which both sides of the Atlantic can reinforce their bonds and position themselves for a world of more diffuse power and intensified competition.


The Transatlantic Digital Economy 2017 is the first study of its kind to measure the digital connections that bind Europe and the United States. It breaks new ground by offering ten metrics by which we can better understand how and why digitalization and digital links across the Atlantic are becoming so critical to both U.S. and European economic health.


Whether through digitally-enabled services, e-commerce, the growing app and bot economy, data flows, social media, or submarine cables criss-crossing the Atlantic, the transatlantic digital economy has quickly become a major force in global commerce. Yet digitization’s not only faces barriers in both Europe and the United States, it also confronts societies on each side of the Atlantic with a host of legal, economic, societal and normative questions.


In the context of today’s debates about jobs, skills, digital divides, privacy, security, competitiveness, and changing economic fortunes, The Transatlantic Digital Economy 2017 provides key facts and figures about the United States and Europe in the digital world, with often counter-intuitive connections with important implications for policymakers, business leaders, and local officials.


See media coverage of the release event here.


Read the full text or specific sections here:


Full Text


Executive Summary: The Digital Top Ten


Executive Brief: Challenges and Opportunities

Section 1: The United States, Europe and the Digital Frontier


Section 2: Transatlantic Digital Connections


Section 3: Transatlantic Digital Comparisons

Section 4: Challenges


Section 5: Opportunities


Originally published at the Center for Transatlantic Relations.

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© 2015 The Foreign Policy Institute

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
The Johns Hopkins University