100+ facts about the Forex market in 2024

100+ facts about the Forex market Research

Forex is a dynamic and rapidly evolving financial market that often receives negative attention. However, investing in Forex can be a profitable endeavor, provided that the investor is armed with proper information.

The currency market is the largest and most liquid market in the world. TradingWebsite has compiled a list of relevant statistical data about trading in the Forex market to help traders understand what they are getting into when deciding to trade Forex.

Forex statistics have been sourced from reliable and authoritative sources such as international surveys, central banks, and other financial institutions. Here are examples of sources from which we gathered information:

  • Bank for International Settlements (BIS)
  • Euromoney FX Survey on currency markets
  • Federal Reserve Bank of New York
  • Bank of England
  • Australian Foreign Exchange Committee
  • Bank of Japan
  • and others.

Despite the fact that the international financial market experienced a series of unexpected negative consequences from the COVID-19 pandemic during the 2019-2022 period, the Forex market remained relatively unharmed. At least, for now. In fact, trading volume in the currency market even increased (due to the volatility caused by the pandemic).

It is impossible to predict how COVID-19 will further impact the currency market, but so far, the increased volatility in the global economy has presented significant opportunities for Forex traders, especially in the short term.

Forex Market Size

  • According to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the daily trading volume in the currency markets reached $6.6 trillion in April 2019.
  • The total value of the global Forex market is estimated to be around $2.4 quadrillion, approximately $2,409 trillion.
  • The global GDP in 2019 was approximately $142 trillion, meaning the annual turnover of the Forex market is nearly 17 times larger.
  • The Forex market surpasses even the largest stock exchanges in the world. For example, the average daily trading volume on Nasdaq is around $200 billion.
  • More than 170 currencies are traded in the global Forex market.
  • Despite its massive size, the Forex market has not slowed down in the 2020s. According to forecasts, such as those by the IMARC Group, the market is expected to have an average annual growth rate of 6% in the next five years.
  • The Forex market is the largest and most liquid asset market on Earth.
  • Retail trading in the Forex market, conducted by individual traders, accounts for only 5.5% of the entire Forex market.
  • According to Euromoney FX data, the largest market share (40%) in Forex is held by five international companies: JPMorgan — 9.81%, Deutsche Bank — 8.41%, Citi — 7.87%, XTX Markets — 7.22%, and UBS — 6.63%.

The average duration of time traders trade in FOREX

Data source: BIS, Allfxbrokers, Euromoney.  

Demographics and Statistics of Forex Traders

  • Forex traders are younger than expected, with 27% of Forex market traders falling within the 18-34 age group.
  • 28% of Forex market traders are between the ages of 35 and 44, while 21% are between 45 and 54. 24% of traders are over 55, and only 9% are over 65.
  • The majority of Forex traders are men in the 30-40 age range. Men constitute 89.1% of Forex traders, while women make up only 10.9%.
  • Only 15% of traders in the Forex market are profitable.
  • 66% of traders use daily charts for trading.
  • 41% of Forex traders make an average of 9 to 20 trades per month.
  • 45% of traders spend 1-2 hours a day on trading, while only 14% spend more than 6 hours a day.
  • 31% of traders have been trading Forex for less than a year, while 39% have been trading for 1-3 years. Traders with 4-9 years of experience account for 23%, and those trading for more than ten years make up only 7% of the total number of traders.
  • The majority of Forex traders have less than 3 years of trading experience.
  • The most popular trading platform remains the classic MT4 (MetaTrader), used by 85% of traders. The second most popular platform is MT5, used by approximately 6% of traders.
  • 70% of Forex traders open real accounts, while the remaining 30% use demo accounts.
  • 72% of Forex traders have no trading experience in other markets.
  • In 2023, there are approximately 10 million Forex traders worldwide, with 3.2 million traders in Asia and 1.5 million in both Europe and North America.
  • Africa has 1.3 million Forex traders, the Middle East has nearly one million, and South America has 600,000 traders. Central America has around 335,000 traders, and Oceania has 190,000.
  • The United Kingdom leads in Forex trading, with over 280,000 online traders.

FOREX Statistics Currency Trading Facts

Data source: Forex School Online, Compare Forex Brokers, BrokerNotes

Forex Broker Statistics

  • The largest global Forex broker is IC Markets, an Australian company, with an average daily trading volume of $18.9 billion.
  • The second-largest global broker is XM Group, with an average daily trading volume of $13.4 billion.
  • Saxo Bank ranks third in the global Forex market, with an average daily trading volume of $12.3 billion.
  • The largest U.S. broker is Forex.com, owned by GAIN Capital Holdings Inc., with an average daily trading volume of $15.5 billion.
  • Oanda, the second-largest broker in the U.S., has an average daily trading volume of $10.7 billion.
  • Pepperstone, the second-largest broker in Australia, has an average daily trading volume of $6.7 billion.

Data source: Wealth&Value

Currencies in Forex

  • The U.S. dollar is the most popular currency for trading in the Forex market, accounting for 88.3% of global transactions.
  • The euro is the second most popular currency in the Forex market, representing 32.3% of transactions.
  • The Japanese yen holds the third position in popularity, accounting for 16.8% of all transactions. However, its share has decreased by 5% over the past three years.
  • Countries with developing market economies account for 24.5% of all currency transactions in Forex.
  • In 2019, the British pound accounted for approximately 12.8% of all Forex market transactions.
  • The Australian dollar maintains a stable share of 6.8% in global Forex trading.
  • In 2019, the Canadian dollar and the Swiss franc each accounted for about 5% of all Forex market transactions.
  • The Chinese yuan accounts for 4.3% of all Forex trades.
  • Over the past three years, the Hong Kong dollar has demonstrated significant growth, increasing its trading volume on Forex from 1.7% in 2016 to 3.5% in 2019.
  • The trading volume of the New Zealand dollar on Forex remained at 2.1% from 2016 to 2019.

The average age of traders in FOREX

Data source: BIS

Forex Currency Pairs

Currency pairs that have high demand in the Forex market are referred to as majors. Although there is no strict definition, the term is commonly used to denote the seven most popular currency pairs, all of which include the U.S. dollar either as the base or quote currency.

  • Major currency pairs account for 67.4% of the daily Forex market turnover. The major currency pairs include EUR/USD, USD/JPY, USD/GBP, AUD/USD, USD/CAD, USD/CNY, and USD/CHF.
  • The EUR/USD pair, also known as «fiber,» is the most traded currency pair in the Forex market, representing 24% of transactions in 2019. This is an increase from 23.1% in 2016.
  • In 2019, the USD/JPY pair accounted for 13.2% of Forex market transactions. This pair is commonly referred to as the «Gopher,» «Yen,» or «Ninja.» In 2016, it accounted for 17.8% of transactions.
  • The trading volume of the GBP/USD pair in the Forex market was 9.6% in 2019. The share of GBP/USD has remained relatively stable compared to 9.3% in 2016.
  • The AUD/USD currency pair represents 5.4% of all Forex transactions.
  • The USD/CAD pair accounted for 4.4% of transactions in the United States in 2019 (the share has remained relatively stable over the past three years).
  • The USD/CNY pair, which sets the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the Chinese yuan, accounted for 4.1% of daily transactions last year. This represents a slight increase compared to 3.8% in 2016.
  • The USD/CHF pair, often referred to as the «Swissie,» accounted for 3.6% of Forex market transactions in 2019.
  • Although not considered a major pair, the eighth most popular currency pair is USD/HKD, where the U.S. dollar is paired with the Hong Kong dollar. Its trading volume on Forex increased significantly from 1.5% in 2016 to 3.3% in 2019.
  • Currency pairs that do not include the U.S. dollar are known as minors or cross-currency pairs. Some popular minor currency pairs include EUR/GBP, GBP/AUD, GBP/JPY, CAD/JPY, and EUR/NZD.
  • Forex currency pairs consisting of major currencies and currencies from developing or emerging economies are known as exotic currency pairs.

FOREX Statistics Dollar Trading Facts

Data source: BIS

Forex Market by Country

  • Traders from the United Kingdom, the United States, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan account for 79% of Forex market trading.
  • Over the past three years, trading activity in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and mainland China has grown faster than the global average.
  • The majority of Forex transactions (approximately 43.1%) take place in the United Kingdom. The United States ranks second (16.5%), followed by Singapore and Hong Kong (both at 7.6%), and Japan (4.5%).
  • The Forex market is an electronic trading platform with no central governing body.
  • Forex trading is conducted around the clock worldwide, but trading within a single day is segmented based on the regional trading hours of major exchanges. The three main trading sessions, often referred to as sessions, represent periods of peak activity. In descending order, they are the Tokyo session, London session, and New York session.

Data source: BIS

Forex Market in the United States

  • The majority of transactions in the U.S. Forex market involve the U.S. dollar, accounting for 89% of trades. The euro ranks second in popularity, representing 36% of transactions.
  • The EUR/USD currency pair accounts for 27% of the average daily Forex market turnover.
  • The GBP/USD pair accounts for 12% of market turnover.
  • The USD/JPY pair, where the U.S. dollar is pitted against the Japanese yen, represents 11% of trades (a decrease from 19% in 2016).
  • The USD/CAD pair accounts for 7.5% of trades in the United States.

Data source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Forex Market in the United Kingdom

  • The United Kingdom is a leader in Forex trading, accounting for 43% of total global market transactions. In 2016, the UK’s share in the Forex market was 37%.
  • The average turnover of the UK Forex market is $3.576 trillion or, in other words, $3.576 quadrillion.
  • The U.S. dollar is the most traded currency on the British Forex market, with 90% of all transactions involving the U.S. dollar.
  • The euro is the second most popular currency in the UK market, representing 36% of all transactions. The British pound, the UK’s domestic currency, holds the third position, accounting for 17% of transactions.
  • The Japanese yen accounts for 15% of the trading volume on the British Forex market.
  • The Australian dollar and Swiss franc account for 6% and 5% of transactions, respectively.
  • The EUR/USD pair represents 28% of the average daily turnover in the UK (approximately $1.009 trillion per day).
  • The second most common currency pair in the UK market, representing 23% of market turnover, consists of the U.S. dollar and a currency other than EUR, JPY, GBP, or AUD (approximately $822 billion per day).
  • The USD/JPY pair accounts for 13% of market turnover in the UK.
  • The GBP/USD pair represents 13% of the average daily turnover in the UK. Its percentage has remained relatively unchanged compared to 2016, with a fluctuation of less than 1% over the past 10 years.
  • The AUD/USD pair accounts for 5% of the average daily turnover in the UK (unchanged since 2016).

FOREX Statistics Yen Trading Facts

Data source: Bank of England.

Forex Market in Australia

  • The most traded currency in the Australian Forex market is the U.S. dollar, accounting for 93% of Forex trades.
  • The Australian dollar is the second most popular currency in Australia, representing 52% of Forex trades. The euro ranks third at 13%.
  • 42% of trades in the Australian Forex market involve currencies other than the U.S. dollar, Australian dollar, and euro.
  • The USD/AUD currency pair (Aussie) is the most popular currency pair in the Australian market, accounting for 47% of the average daily turnover (approximately $66.088 billion per day).
  • The USD/EUR pair is the second most popular currency pair in Australia, representing 11% of turnover, with an average daily turnover of $15.039 billion.
  • The USD/JPY pair accounts for 10% of turnover in the Australian market (approximately $14.174 billion).
  • The USD/NZD pair accounts for 10% of market turnover, with an average trading volume of $13.546 billion.
  • Currency pairs involving the U.S. dollar and secondary Asian currencies account for 6% of the turnover in the Australian Forex market, with an average daily turnover of $8.985 billion.
  • The GBP/USD pair represents 5% of trading volume, with an average daily turnover of $6.322 billion.

Data source: AFXC

Forex Market in Japan

  • The Japanese yen is the most traded currency in the Japanese Forex market, accounting for 38.9% of transactions, with a daily average turnover of $292.3 billion.
  • The U.S. dollar is on par with the yen, accounting for 38% of trades, with a daily average turnover of $285.6 billion.
  • The euro is the third most common currency in the Japanese Forex market, participating in 9.9% of trades, with a daily turnover of $74.6 billion.
  • The British pound sterling is involved in 3.4% of transactions in the Japanese Forex market, with a turnover of $25.9 billion per day.
  • Other currencies account for 9.7% of trading volume, with a total turnover of $72.6 billion.
  • The most popular currency pair in the Japanese Forex market is USD/JPY. In April 2019, it accounted for 55.8% of the daily average market turnover. In 2016, it represented 62.3% of market turnover. As of April 2019, the daily average turnover for this currency pair reached $209.6 billion.
  • The EUR/JPY currency pair is involved in 9.6% of trading operations in the Japanese Forex market, with a daily average turnover of $36.2 billion.
  • USD/EUR is the third most popular currency pair in the Japanese market, accounting for 9.2% of all transactions, with a daily average turnover of $34.7 billion. Three years ago, it accounted for 8.6% of trades.
  • All other currency pairs, both major and minor, account for 25.3% of the daily average turnover in the Japanese market, amounting to $95 billion.

Data source: BOJ.

Forex and Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies have already had an impact on the Forex market. Over the next five to ten years, cryptocurrency trading is unlikely to become part of mainstream investing, at least until the international financial market develops new technologies and becomes more regulated.

  • Currently, more than 5,000 cryptocurrencies are traded on financial markets, with a total market capitalization of $201 billion.
  • The largest and most well-known cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, has a market capitalization of $128 billion.
  • The second most popular cryptocurrency, Ethereum, has a market capitalization of $19.4 billion.
  • Ripple or XRP is the third most popular cryptocurrency with a market capitalization of $8.22 billion.
  • There are approximately 43 million cryptocurrency traders worldwide.
  • The United States has around 15.3 million cryptocurrency traders, while Europe has approximately 11.3 million.
  • The trading volume on spot and futures cryptocurrency markets in the first quarter of 2020 reached $8.8 trillion.
  • Approximately 99% of cryptocurrency trades take place on centralized exchanges.
  • The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange is Binance, with an average daily trading volume of over $2.8 billion in 2019 (currently serving more than 15 million users).
  • The most popular cryptocurrency pairs are BTC/USD, ETH/USD, XRP/USD, and LTC/USD.
  • Cryptocurrency CFDs allow speculation on cryptocurrency price movements without the need for a crypto wallet.

Data source: Yahoo Finance, Chappuis Halder, Bitcoin.com, CoinCasso, Binance

History of Trading in the Forex Market

Trading in the Forex market, as we know it today, began in 1973 after the collapse of the Bretton Woods system, which tightly regulated currency exchange rates. However, trading in the Forex market in one form or another existed long ago, as long as people used coins.

There is evidence that Forex trading or its early form existed in ancient Babylon, Egypt, and the Byzantine Empire. In the 15th century, the famous Medici family from Florence opened banks in other countries specifically to facilitate trade and currency exchange. The first real Forex market was established in the Dutch city of Amsterdam about 500 years ago.

Амстердам - родина форекс рынка в 15 веке
Amsterdam — the birthplace of the Forex market in the 15th century

The history of modern Forex trading begins with the gold standard. Adopted by various countries around the world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the gold standard guaranteed the value of national currencies. Any banknote could be converted into a certain amount of gold.

The expenses associated with World War I led countries to start printing large amounts of money not backed by gold, which resulted in inflation and the ultimate abandonment of the gold standard in 1931.

Уолл-Стрит в 1920 годы
Wall Street in the 1920s

After World War II, under the Bretton Woods agreement, a new system was introduced. The U.S. dollar was pegged to gold at a fixed rate of $35 per ounce. The dollar became the world’s reserve and reference currency, and other national currencies were pegged to the dollar.

Eventually, the U.S. budget and trade deficits, as well as the reduction of the gold reserve, led President Richard Nixon to abandon the Bretton Woods system in 1971. By 1973, the modern form of Forex trading had already taken shape.

But that’s not the end of the story. For a long time, Forex trading was only accessible to large organizations with huge capital, such as governments and banks.

Трейдинг в 90-е годы
Trading in the 1990s

However, the 1990s brought the perfect storm for Forex trading. Dozens of economies began transitioning to capitalism, and technologies, especially the Internet and electronic communication networks, revolutionized the exchange of information. Suddenly, barriers that prevented ordinary people from trying their hand at Forex trading disappeared. The emergence of retail Forex brokers allowed individual traders to invest much smaller sums, and they no longer needed an army of brokers and traders at their disposal to participate in this form of investment.

This brings us to the present day. In 2023, Forex trading is popular in almost all countries around the world. In the United States and several other leading countries, there are also regulated Forex brokers.

Трейдинг на финансовом рынке в 2023 году
Trading in the Financial Market in 2023

But what awaits us in the future? Of course, we cannot claim to know for sure, but modern technological advancements are already starting to influence the Forex market. In particular, the rise of cryptocurrencies will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the currency market by the end of the decade.

How do people trade on the Forex market?

Imagine a huge, decentralized market where trillions of dollars circulate daily. This is not fiction, but reality — the world of Forex, the foreign exchange market, where traders from all over the world come together to play an exciting game of currency betting.

Unlike buying currency at an exchange office, you do not receive physical bills in Forex. Here you speculate on the exchange rates, betting on their rise or fall.

  • Choosing a currency pair: Choose two currencies, for example, the euro and the US dollar (EUR/USD).
  • Movement forecast: Analyze various factors affecting the exchange rate (news, economic indicators, geopolitical events), and make a forecast of which currency in the pair will rise in price and which will fall in price.
  • Opening a deal: If you think that the euro will rise against the dollar, you «buy» EUR/USD. Conversely, if you predict the growth of the dollar, you «sell» EUR/USD.
  • Closing a deal: When the exchange rate of a currency pair changes in your favor, you make a profit by «selling» or «buying» EUR/USD, depending on your initial position.

Trader’s Tools:

  • Leverage: Allows you to increase the volume of a transaction using borrowed funds from a broker. Increases both potential profits and risks.
  • Trading orders: Allow you to automate transactions by setting the conditions for their opening and closing.
  • Analytical tools: Charts, indicators, news — everything that helps a trader make informed decisions.

Forex is not just a game, but a serious business that requires deep knowledge, analytical skills, composure and discipline from participants.

Mark Rubezhny

Senior Staff Writer at TradingWebsite, specializing in the development of forex websites and marketing. Mark has extensive experience in creating web projects related to trading in financial markets, including websites, widgets, trader cabinets, and integration with MT4.