Where Are Most Data Centers Located? Exploring the World’s Data Center Markets

Posted by Robert Faulkner on February 22, 2024

| Categories: Data Center

We’ve recently identified the criteria for choosing a data center location. Power cost, reliability, availability, connectivity options, disaster risk, network latency, and economic factors all influence data center location. With those factors in mind, let’s examine established and emerging data center hubs across the globe.

One-third of the world’s 8,000 data centers are in the U.S., with half of those concentrated in the primary markets of Northern Virginia, Dallas, and Silicon Valley. By contrast, the second-largest market — Germany — has just 6 percent of the world’s data centers. However, growing demand is driving data center development worldwide. Here’s a look at key data center statistics across continents.

North America

North America is home to three of the top 11 countries in terms of the number of data centers, representing 40 percent of the global market. Technavio predicts that 35 percent of data center growth will focus on North America through 2026.

Northern Virginia is by far the largest data center market in terms of power. According to CBRE’s Global Data Center Trends 2023 report, Northern Virginia has over 2.1 GW of total capacity in wholesale colocation facilities alone. That’s almost one-fourth of the total capacity in the U.S.

According to Cushman and Wakefield, data center development in the U.S. increased almost 140 percent between 2018 and 2023, from 3.6 GW to at least 8.6 GW. Nearly three-fourths of that growth was concentrated in six key markets. Even with this level of development, many data center markets are at more than 90 percent capacity. According to Cushman and Wakefield, Northern Virginia has less than 2 percent vacancy.

Canada has the fifth largest number of data centers and is seeing 8.21 percent growth, according to Arizton. Mexico has the 11th largest number and is seeing 9.37 percent growth.

South America

Mordor Intelligence expects data center construction in South America to expand 7.52 percent through 2028. Brazil is the largest market in the region, and CBRE finds that its supply increased by 127 percent from 2020 to 2022. Chile, Colombia, Argentina, and Peru fill out the second through fifth slots in terms of the number of data centers, according to Cloudscene.


The European data center market is focused on the “FLAPD” region — Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam, Paris and Dublin. However, Dublin is facing power capacity issues that prompted EirGrid to impose a moratorium on new data center applications through 2028. Amsterdam and Frankfurt have also restricted new data center development. As a result, MMR finds that European data center power capacity will grow fastest in the Nordic region, at 11 percent.

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The availability of high-capacity undersea cables is also driving growth in Europe’s secondary markets. Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, Vienna, Warsaw, and Zurich have seen dramatic increases in data center development over the past year. Cushman and Wakefield find that Madrid had the largest gains, moving up from 34th to 19th place in the world rankings.


Some of the world’s largest markets are concentrated in Asia. Singapore and Silicon Valley are tied for second globally — a remarkable statistic given that they both lack land available for development. Singapore has also placed restrictions on new data center development. However, Singapore enjoys consistent demand and excellent connectivity. CBRE finds that Singapore has less than 2 percent vacancy and just 4 MW of available power capacity.

Hong Kong is Asia's second-largest data center market and ranks sixth overall in the world. It made Cushman and Wakefield’s Top 10 data center list for the first time in 2022. Despite recent political turmoil, Hong Kong remains a world financial capital with a robust data center market. It also has excellent connectivity and a number of new data centers in development.

India’s data center market is seeing strong demand. According to JLL, growing technology adoption will lead to an additional 678 MW of capacity through 2025, with 9.1 million square feet in demand.


Arizton expects Australia’s data center market to see a compound annual growth rate of more than 7 percent through 2028 due to increased cloud adoption and digital transformation. Sydney is the eighth-largest data center market in the world. CBRE finds that Sydney’s data center inventory increased 30 percent over the past year.


There is a need to bring more data centers to the developing world. According to the Africa CEO Forum, Africa accounts for less than 1 percent of world data center capacity. notes that Africa has just 93 colocation providers. By comparison, California has 239. South Africa dominates the African data center market, with about 45 colocation providers. However, Turner & Townsend expects Africa’s data center market to see a compound annual growth rate of more than 12 percent through 2025.

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Posted by Robert Faulkner on February 22, 2024

Robert Faulkner is the Vice President of Engineering and Operations at Enconnex. He comes from a strong background in product management with over 20 years in the IT industry. He currently holds an MSME and CDCD certification. He earned his MS degree in Mechanical Engineering at University of Nevada, Reno.

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