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Cycling to work has become an increasingly popular form of transportation, with more people opting for a healthy and environmentally friendly mode of travel. With the rise of bike commuting, it’s important to understand the impact it has on cities and communities.
This post presents 75 key statistics on bike commuting, providing insights on the number of people cycling to work, the benefits of cycling, and the challenges faced by cyclists. From the average distance cycled by commuters to the reasons why people choose to cycle, these stats paint a picture of the current state of bike commuting and its future potential.
Let’s dive in.
Bike Commuting Statistics
- There are around 1 billion bikes in the world. (Statista)
- In some countries, like the notoriously cyclist-friendly Netherlands, cycling to work has increased by more than 50% in the last decade. (Cycling Facts – Gov.nl)
- In the US, only about 1% of commuters cycle to work, one of the lowest counts in the world. (The National Household Travel Service)
- The most common reason cited by non-cyclists for not cycling to work is lack of infrastructure. (The Journal Of Transport And Health)
- In some cities, cycling to work has been shown to save commuters time compared to driving. This is especially true in cities where cycle routes and schemes have been put in place. (MIT Technology Review)
- In Copenhagen, about 37% of people cycle to work. (Copenhagenize)
- In Germany, over 30% of cyclists cycle over 30 km per week, which is classed as “long distance” cycling. (BMDV Germany)
- The average distance cycled by UK commuters is 5.5 miles. (British Medical Journal)
- Cycle commuting has been shown to improve mental and physical health, reduce stress, and increase happiness levels. (British Medical Journal)
- In New Zealand, the number of bike commuters has increased by over 40% in the last decade. (Cycling Network Action NZ)
Bicycle Usage Statistics by Country
- In France, 6% of people cycle to work. (Statista)
- In Belgium, 25% of people cycle to work. (FietsDNA)
- In Norway, 7% of people cycle to work. (National Library of Medicine)
- In Sweden, over 10% of people cycle to work. (Science Direct)
- In Finland, 5% of people cycle to work. (WWF)
- In Thailand, over 20% of people use bicycles as their primary mode of transportation. (PLOS Journals)
- In Indonesia, over 40% of people use bicycles as their primary mode of transportation. (IndexBox)
- Cycling can be up to 2-3 times faster than driving for short trips during rush hour. (Global Traffic Scorecard)
Commuting by Bicycle Statistics
- In Amsterdam (one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the world) almost 40% of all trips are made by bicycle. (Cycling Facts – Gov.nl)
- In the UK, the number of people cycling increased by 29% during the COVID lockdown and hasn’t shown any dramatic decline since. (GOV.UK)
- Despite building more bicycles than anywhere in the world, in China, about 2% of people cycle to work, with a growing trend in large cities. (Marketing To China)
- Cycling is less expensive than driving, with an average cost of $0.05-$0.10 per mile compared to $0.50-$1.00 per mile for driving. (Victoria Transport Policy Institute)
- Women are a minority in cycling, making up around 25-30% of cyclists in the US and Europe. (Sustrans)
- In Australia, cycling accounts for around 2% of all trips, but in cities like Sydney and Melbourne, the figure is higher, around 3-4%. (BMJ Yale)
- Cyclists recorded an impressive 10 billion miles of road time in 2021. (Strava)
- 98.1% of commuters are happy to cycle in the rain. (Discerning Cyclist)
Average Bike Commute
- Bike-sharing programs have increased the number of cyclists in cities, with programs like Santander Cycles in London having over 11 million hired. (Transport For London)
- Investments in bike infrastructure have been shown to increase the number of cyclists, leading to positive impacts on health, traffic congestion, and the environment. (Environmental And Energy Study Institute)
- In some countries, such as the Netherlands and Denmark, the government provides incentives and subsidies for cycling and cycling infrastructure, leading to a higher rate of cycling and a higher average spend on cycling. (Sustainability.Org)
- In the US, bike-friendly cities have higher property values, increased tourism, and higher retail sales. (The League of American Bicyclists)
- Copenhagen has over 400 km of bike lanes and is considered one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world. (Denmark.dk)
- Santiago, Chile has a network of over 200 km of bike lanes and a bike-sharing system with over 2,000 bikes. (Science Direct)
- Bogotá has one of the largest bike-sharing systems in the world, with over 100,000 bikes. (PBSC)
- In Rio de Janeiro, the city government has built over 200 km of bike lanes and introduced bike-sharing programs in an effort to reduce traffic congestion. (CDP)
- 42% of all households in the world own at least one bicycle. This is predicted to rise in the coming years as cycling gains even more traction. (Journal of Transport And Science)
- There are more than 6000 bike share schemes in cities across the world, making a dramatic uptick in government support for cycling. The largest of these can be found in the Chinese cities of Shanghai and Hangzhou. (UN Environment Programme)
Cycling to Work Stats
- In the US, the average household spends around $25 dollars per year on cycling. (Statista)
- The global bicycle market was valued at over $64 million in 2022 and is expected to grow in the coming years. (Grand View Research)
- The average cost of a mid-range road bike is around $1,000-$2,500. (The Pro Closet)
- The average cost of a high-end road bike is over $3,000. (The Pro Closet)
- The global e-bike market is expected to be valued at over $120 billion by 2030 with further growth predicted. (Grand Vision Research)
- In Germany, over 2 million e-bikes are sold every year, a number which is predicted to rise in the future. (Statista)
- In the US, the cycling industry generates over $80 billion in annual economic activity. (Institute For Transport and Investment Policy)
- In Europe, the cycling industry generates over $17 billion in annual economic activity. (Department For Transport)
- In Europe, cycling can create up to 10 times more jobs per unit of investment compared to traditional transportation infrastructure. (Institute For Transport and Investment Policy)
The Rise Of E-Bikes
- In the European Union, e-bike sales have increased by over 50% in the past five years. (Confederation of the European Bicycle Agency)
- In the US, e-bike sales have increased by over 80% in the past two years. (ebicycles.com)
- In the Netherlands, e-bikes makeup over 40% of new bike sales. (Mordor Intelligence)
- E-bikes are popular among a wide range of age groups, with the highest growth in the 45-64 age group. (Science Direct)
- E-bikes can travel up to 60 miles on a single charge. (AdoeBike)
- The average cost of a brand new e-bike in the United States is $1,825 (interestingly, this is 10% cheaper than in 2021) – making them a potential target for thieves. (Mordor Intelligence)
- E-bike manufacturers have a profit margin of around 10% per bike sale. (Mordor Intelligence)
- The number of cycling schemes involving e-bikes is also increasing. 50 cities in the US alone now include e-bikes in their cycling schemes, an indicator of growing demand. (Axios)
- China is the biggest manufacturer of e-bikes in the world, having recently overtaken Japan. (ProQC)
Cycling And Safety.
- Secure bike lanes reduce the risk of accidents by around 90%. (University of Columbia)
- In the Netherlands, the rate of cyclist fatalities per 100,000 population is lower than the European average. (Statista)
- In Germany, over 60% of cyclists feel safe when cycling on dedicated bike lanes. (BMDV)
- In Sweden, over 90% of cyclists feel safe when cycling. (International Transport Profile)
- Nearly 50% of all accidents involve cyclists over the age of 65. (Road Safety EU)
- Nearly 70% of all cycling accidents occur during the daytime in the working week. The majority also occur on urban roads. (Road Safety EU)
- Nearly 75,000 bikes are stolen in the UK per year. (Statista)
- Only around 5% of those stolen bikes are recovered. (Asgard)
Bicycle Commuting Statistics
- Cyclists are associated with a 41% lower risk of death than people who drive or use public transport to commute. (British Heart Foundation)
- Cycling commuters have a 51% decreased chance of dying from heart disease. (British Heart Foundation)
- Commuters who cycle are also at a 40% lower risk of suffering from any form of cancer. (British Heart Foundation)
- Even “mixed mode” cyclists (those who use a bicycle alongside other forms of travel on their daily commute) enjoy a 24% lower risk of death from all causes. (British Heart Foundation)
- Cycling even offers protection against developing Type 2 Diabetes. (British Heart Foundation)
- Cycling can burn between 400-1000 calories per hour, depending on intensity. (CalorieBee)
- The average cyclist burns approximately 300 calories per hour of cycling. (Healthline)
- A typical professional cyclist has a resting heart rate of around 40 beats per minute. (VeryWelLFit)
- Motorists breathe 60% more carbon monoxide than motorists, debunking one of the more common cycling myths about cyclists breathing in excessive exhaust fumes because they’re outside. (The National Library of Medicine)
- Cycling to school cuts a child’s risk of developing a cardiovascular disease later in life (so cycling isn’t just for adult commuters). (SAGE Journals)
Other Interesting Cycling Stats.
- Cycling can reduce carbon emissions by up to 1 ton per year per person, (ECF)
- The fastest speed ever recorded on a bicycle is 183 mph, (Guinness World Records)
- The longest distance cycled non-stop is 19,019 km by Vin Cox in 2010, (British Cycling)
- The largest bike parade consisted of 44,487 participants in Amsterdam, Netherlands in 2015, (Centre For Public Interest)
- The longest continued cycle path is over 50 miles long and was completed in Dubai in November 2022, (Guinness World Records)
- The longest bicycle made was over 40 feet long and had a top speed of 10 km/h (6 mph). (Guinness World Records)
What Conclusions Can We Draw?
The most significant conclusion we can draw from this data is that cycling is on the rise. Production, purchases, money spent on equipment, distances and time spent on the road are all rising.
These trends look certain to continue. Even countries where cycling was fairly uncommon have seen massive growth, especially in urban areas. This is particularly clear in countries like Australia, where cycling accounts for a (relatively) small number of trips country-wide, but the number grows exponentially in cities. Urban cycling clearly saves commuters time and money, and the array of cycling schemes put in place by governments have helped to boost its popularity.
Those cycling schemes are likely to play a significant role in the future of cycling. We can clearly see from the data that governments across the world are radically expanding their cycling infrastructure with new bicycle lanes, bike shares and cycling tracks. This is all part of a wider effort to cut carbon emissions and move towards a greener future.
Cycling will play a massive role in that future, which also explains why it’s so popular in notoriously “green” countries like Finland and Sweden. All data trends point towards an increasing reliance on cycling in the future, which will encourage more governments to implement cycling schemes.
A special mention has to go to e-bikes. E-bikes have also seen a rise in popularity in recent years. They offer a less energy intensive alternative to traditional bicycles and are wonderful entry points for people who haven’t ridden before. They are popular among a wide range of age groups and can travel long distances with a top speed of around 28 mph, making them suitable for longer commutes and recreational rides.
The global e-bike market has experienced significant growth, with sales of e-bikes increasing in many countries. Despite being more expensive than traditional bicycles, e-bikes can provide health benefits, as they allow people to cycle for longer distances and tackle hills with less effort.
In short – the future of cycling is bright, and it’s getting bright every day. That’s especially true of e-bikes, so expect to see more bikes, more cycle friendly cities and more cyclists in the future.