A new study by Merchant Machine takes an in-depth look at the financial losses of an internet shutdown to reveal which nation’s economy would suffer the most as well as how much online companies could expect to lose.

When our key social apps go down, like Facebook or Twitter, the frustration is felt worldwide. Many of us would be lost in the face of a worldwide internet outage and the monetary loss for many could be huge!

But where in the world would an internet blackout have the biggest economic impact?

Interested to find out, Merchant Machine has taken an in-depth look at the potential financial loss of an internet blackout around the world to find the nation that will suffer the biggest hit to their economy.

Our research found that just one hour without the internet would have a detrimental effect. 60 minutes without connection to cyberspace would result in the world’s economy suffering a $2.1 billion loss. This figure increases to $21 billion after 10-hours and to $51 billion after 24-hours.

The 10 countries facing the biggest financial loss due to an internet outage

CountryNumber of internet users1-hour without the internet 10-hours without the internet24-hours without the internet
United States312,320,000 $303,609,046 $3,036,090,462 $7,286,617,109
China904,080,566 $244,837,829 $2,448,378,295 $5,876,107,907
United Kingdom65,001,016 $94,287,877 $942,878,767 $2,262,909,041
Japan116,505,120 $79,111,046 $791,110,456 $1,898,665,094
Spain42,400,756 $64,335,427 $643,354,270 $1,544,050,247
India755,820,000$42,176,615 $421,766,145 $1,012,238,748
Switzerland7,942,864$36,894,461 $368,944,608 $885,467,060
South Korea49,421,084 $35,507,830$355,078,296  $852,187,911

With over 310 million internet users, the United States comes in first place as the country at risk of facing the biggest financial loss due to an internet shutdown. Home to Silicon Valley, which is where many start-ups and global technology companies reside, a 24-hour shutdown would cost America over $7 billion.

In second place is China with a $5 billion loss for a 24-hour internet outage and the United Kingdom rounds up the top three with a $2 billion loss for every day without the internet.

At the other end of the scale, we have Tuvalu. Located between Hawaii and Australia, Tuvalu has only 5,520 people online and their economy would only suffer a $25,000 loss for a whole day without the internet.

CompanyRevenue (year)Revenue loss per dayRevenue loss per an hourRevenue loss per a minute
Amazon $386,000,000,000 $1,057,534,247 $44,063,927$734,399 
Alphabet$182,500,000,000  $500,000,000 $20,833,333 $347,222$114,300,000,000  $313,150,685 $13,047,945 $217,466
Facebook $85,960,000,000 $235,506,849 $9,812,785 $163,546
Alibaba $56,152,000,000 $153,841,096 $6,410,046 $106,834

A 24-hour worldwide internet shutdown would cost Instagram close to a billion pounds

Created in 2010, the world-renowned app Instagram has over one billion users actively sharing and liking content. When the app is down for even a second, the impact is experienced worldwide. For every second the app is down, the financial loss that is felt is tremendous – one hour without connection would result in a $53 million loss. And a 24-hour internet outage would add up to $1.2 billion.

Ian Wright, founder of Merchant Machine comments:

“Our dependence on the internet increases every day – without a connection to the web many individuals such as business and government bodies would be unable to carry out their daily activities. 

This study highlights the huge impact an internet outage would have on the economy of many of the world’s leading nations and businesses. 

As we continue to make new ventures on the web, it’s important for us to understand and realise the magnitude effect the internet plays into the world’s economy and the domino effect that would be felt without it.”