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One of the most important issues of our time is a question of transport. With increasing concerns related to both our local and global environments, we’ve become increasingly concerned with sustainable ways to travel.
Whilst certainly not irrelevant, cars are becoming an increasingly less frequented means of travel for many people around the world.
Bicycles are once again seeing a global resurgence in popularity. More and more cities are becoming car-free and more people are choosing to hop out of cars and onto bikes.
With an estimated 1 billion bicycles worldwide, let’s dive into some of the statistics on how and where they’re used.
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Bicycles per Capita by Country
One helpful measure we can use to determine bike usage is the number of bikes per capita per country (i.e, the average number of bikes per person in a country).
|Country||Population||Bikes||Bikes per capita|
Which Country Has the Highest Number of Bicycles per Capita?
With an estimated 1.31 bikes per Capita, the Netherlands actually has more bikes than people! This is due to the fact that people own different bikes for different purposes, such as for commuting, leisure or transporting goods.
In fact, interestingly, the Netherlands actually has an estimated 2.3% of the world’s bikes. Pretty impressive for a country whose population accounts for less than half a percent of the global population!
On the other hand, the UK only has around 0.29 bikes per capita. In comparison to the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany, the UK doesn’t have quite the same culture of cycling, especially when it comes to commuting.
Which Country Has the Most Bicycles?
One of the biggest cycling countries, China is the country with the most bikes globally, and by a long way. With an estimated 450-500 million bicycles, this accounts for around half of the billion bicycles worldwide.
Obviously, whilst this is an impressive figure, it doesn’t take into account other important figures, such as how frequently people travel by bike and the distance they cover. With an estimated population of 1.41 billion people, this also means that on average only 1 in 3 people in China have a bike.
In second place, the United States has an estimated 100 million bicycles. Interestingly, around 76% of bikes are imported from China and only 2.2% of bicycles in the USA are produced domestically.
Bicycle Usage Statistics by Country
It’s common knowledge that the Dutch take cycling seriously, but it’s interesting to look at some numbers. The average daily distance cycled per person in the Netherlands is between 2.19 – 2.73km. Cycling is a very normal thing to do in the Netherlands, and this is largely thanks to the investment in infrastructure and education there.
Of course, it’s clear from these statistics that in some countries cycling is much more commonplace than others. The average daily distance cycled per person in Germany is more than 3 times that of a person in England.
There’s many factors that influence such statistics. For example, cities like Oslo have made enormous efforts to increase road safety and encourage cycling. In the UK, on the other hand, only 10% of cyclists feel that the government is taking their road safety seriously, so it’s often not something people would choose to do everyday.
|Country||Average Daily Distance |
Cycled Per Person (KM)
|Netherlands||2.19 – 2.73||Statista|
|Denmark||1.4||Danish Cycling Embassy|
|USA||0.1||The World Geography|
Interesting Cycling Facts (By Country)
UK Bicycle Stats 🇬🇧
- In England, bicycle usage has actually fallen by 5% between 2022-2023. (CyclingUK)
- Just 42% of British people have access to or own a bicycle. (Finder)
- 71% of Brits report that they never cycle ‘nowadays’. (Finder)
- Only 2% of all trips made in England were made by bicycle. (GOV.UK)
Germany Bike Stats 🇩🇪
- In 2022, there were 82.8 million bicycles in Germany. (Statista)
- 9.1% of Germans use a bicycle daily. (Statista)
- Use of bicycles increases with the size of the place of residence. (BMDV)
- Average of 2.2 bicycles per household. (BMDV)
USA Cycling Stats 🇺🇸
- 55% of Americans between the ages of 18-29 didn’t use a bike at all between June 2022 and June 2023. (Statista)
- Only around 6% of Americans cycle at least once a week. (Statista)
- In the USA, 72% of cyclists are male and 28% female, although the gap is decreasing. (Zippia)
- E-bike market sales grew by 240% between 2020-2021. (Zippia)
- There were an estimated 20,000,000 bikes sold in the US in 2021. (Zippia)
Netherlands Bicycle Facts 🇳🇱
- 65% of Dutch people cycle at least once a week. (Statista)
- Used bikes account for 30% of the Dutch bicycle market. (Statista)
- E-bikes accounted for 52% of all new bike sales in the Netherlands. (Statista)
- Just over 1,000,000 bicycles were sold in the Netherlands in 2020. (Statista)
Denmark Bike Facts 🇩🇰
- On average, Danes cycle 1.4km every day. (Danish Cycling Embassy)
- Cycling accounts for 21% of all trips in Denmark. (Danish Cycling Embassy)
- 53% of cyclists are female and 47% male, which goes against the global trend. (Danish Cycling Embassy)
- 26% of all Copenhagen based families with two children own a cargo bike. (Danish Cycling Embassy)
Which Country Uses Bicycles the Most?
With a whopping 90% of its population being regular cyclists, it’s probably little surprise that the Netherlands is the country which uses bicycles the most. It’s flat and safe cyclist friendly cities are one of the many reasons why it’s where cycling is most popular.
The city of Utrecht has the highest score for its cycling infrastructure and weather conditions, a combination that’s very appealing for cyclists. There’s also a similar trend across the rest of Europe, as it appears that 9 of the top 10 bike friendly cities in the world are there.
However, surprisingly, there are some new trends emerging. In 2022, India had the largest share of regular cyclists who used their bikes at least once a week. This is partly due to the fact that at least 9 out of 10 Indians believe cycling plays an import role in the reduction of carbon emissions.
Which Country Cycles the Most?
The Dutch cycle more than anyone else, more frequently than anyone else, and own more bikes per capita than anyone else. There’s no question that the Netherlands is at the top of the list when it comes to the countries that cycle the most. Other countries have a lot of catching up to do.
Whilst for many reasons cycling is extremely popular in the Netherlands, we know that almost all of us benefit from an increase in cycling. In the EU, riding bicycles produces an estimated economic benefit of 150 billion euros. (ECF)
There’s also interesting changes in the cycling industry. By the end of 2023, sales of electric bikes are estimated to reach around 400 million units. Globally, we’re seeing people opting to for two wheels instead of four, and it’s a trend that seems to be continuing.
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