How Many Bikes Are In The World: And other important bike statistics


Many cyclists are interested in the popularity of cycling, including how many bikes there are in the world and which countries are the most friendly when it comes to cycling. As a keen cyclist with an interest in statistics, I wanted to take a more detailed look into just how popular cycling is, which countries make the most bikes, and which country has the most cyclists.

There are an estimated 1 billion bicycles in the world. China has the most bikes of any country with roughly 450 million bikes, however, the Netherlands has the most bikes per person. By the year 2036, there are estimated to be more bikes in the world than there are cars.

As you can see, it is crazy just how many bikes there are in the world. In the rest of this article, I take a more detailed look at which countries produce all these bikes, just how many bikes they produce each year, as well as which countries are buying the most bikes.

How many bikes are there in the world?

There are an estimated 1 billion bikes in the world. This estimate is calculated from the 830 million bikes currently owned in the top 10 most bicycle-owning countries in the world plus an estimated 170 million throughout the rest of the world.

What country has the most bikes?

China is the country that has the most bikes, with 450 million bikes. This makes up around 45% of the bikes owned in the world.

However, when you are looking at which country has the most bikes per person, the Netherlands comes out on top with 16,500,000 bikes for its 16,652,800 people. That’s enough bikes for 99% of the population to have their own bike.

The Netherlands is the 11th largest country in the world for bikes.

How many bikes are made each year?

Every second there are 4 bikes made around the world. This means that globally there are 364,000 bikes made each day and 96 million bikes made each year. However, bike production has increased in recent years quite dramatically and 70 million bikes have already been produced in the first half of the year 2022.

The top 5 exporters of bikes account for 87% of the world’s bike production. These top 5 exporters are China, India, Europe, Taiwan, and Japan. Within Europe, Portugal exports the most bikes (15% of Europe’s bike exports), shortly followed by Italy (14%) and the Netherlands (13%).

China produces 58% of the world’s bikes by itself and also broke the record for the most bikes produced by a single country in a year in 2004 when it produced 80 million bikes.

When it comes to overall bike sales, certain countries appear to sell higher value bikes than others. As you can see from the pie chart, Germany and the Netherlands did not make it to the 5 highest bikes exporters but did make it to the top 5 when you look at the value of bicycles exported.

How many bikes are sold each year?

Overall, there are roughly 17.5 million bikes being sold each year, this equates to roughly 50,000 bike sales each day (or 47,670 to be exact). This is the same as one bike every two seconds.

It is predicted that the value of worldwide bike sales will increase by an average of 8.2% per year over the next 10 years. This means that if the value of bikes remains the same in real terms that in 2032 there will be roughly 38.5 million bikes being sold each year.

The UK imports more bikes than any other country, accounting for 18% of total bike imports in the world. This is likely due to its high demand for bikes and its low levels of bike production.

How many people own a bicycle worldwide?

Given there are an estimated 1 billion bikes in the world, this means that roughly 13% of the population of the earth owns a bike (presuming no one owns more than 1 bike). This is however not the case as many cyclists will own 2, 3, or even 4 bikes. As such, a closer estimate is that 10% of the world population owns a bike.

Given that many households share a bike, a better measure is actually the number of households that own at least one bicycle. 42% of households over the world own at least one bicycle, whereas in certain countries such as Denmark this is much higher (99%).

Some countries are much more bike-friendly than others. 9 out of 10 people own bikes in countries such as Denmark and there are similar levels in countries such as the Netherlands.

How many people ride a bicycle in the world?

Over 50% of the world’s population knows how to ride a bike, however, in reality, the amount of people who ride a bicycle around the world is very dependent on the country in question.

As you might guess the Netherlands has the highest proportion of cyclists, with 84% of Dutch people riding a bike. Not only this but 24% of the people in the Netherlands ride a bike every day and perhaps even more surprisingly 17% of those over the age of 65 still cycle a bike every day in the Netherlands.

Are there more cars or bikes in the world?

There are currently 1.5 billion cars in the world. That means that there are more cars than there are bikes in the world (there are 1 billion bikes). However, in recent years there are over twice as many bikes being produced each year than there are cars. For example, in 2004 there were over 100 million bicycles produced in comparison to 60 million cars.

At this rate, it means that the number of bikes in the world could overtake the number of cars by the year 2036.

In certain countries such as Denmark, people own far more bikes than they do cars, with 9 out of 10 people owning a bike and only 4 out of 10 Danish people owning a car.

Overall

If you are just getting into cycling, or just enjoy the use of statistics to take a deep dive into the world of cycling, try taking a look at some of my other articles such as my article on the cost of bikepakcing in different countries.

If you want to take a more detailed look at my data sources for this article, please take a look at the list below.

References

https://www.worldometers.info/bicycles/

https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/

https://www.worldometers.info/bicycles/

https://unstats.un.org/home/

https://www.statista.com/statistics/275286/bicycle-sales-in-europe/

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/02/why-we-need-to-encourage-cycling-everywhere

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2214140515006787

https://bicyledutch.com

Mark Holmes

30-year-old doctor with an interest in cycling, bikepacking, and statistics.

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