Bicycles Outselling Cars Throughout Europe

Bicycles Outselling Cars Throughout Europe

In a follow up to our post from yesterday, it seems that bicycles are now outselling cars in almost every European country. In his article, NPR’s Krishnadev Calamur and his colleagues examined figures from “27 member states of the European Union for both cars and bicycles.” They found that in 25 out of the 27 countries they looked at, bicycles outsold cars. The top 5 countries are listed below in the graph.

Chart comparing new passenger car registration and bicycle sales in five European countries.Source: NPR;
They also looked into which countries had the highest bicycle-to-car ownership ratio. These top 5 countries are Romania, Slovenia, Hungary, Greece, and Lithuania. But why are bicycles more popular among Europeans than cars? The economic recession has hurt most of Europe pretty hard, which has made car sales decrease significantly. In addition, the millennial generation are not interested in using cars for transportation. Car sales have reached a 20-year low in these countries. Fewer millennials have driver’s licenses than any other generation. They are much more interested in using other means, such as bicycles.

Rebecca Hertz


Rebecca Hertz is the Assistant Executive Director of Friends of White Flint. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in International Development and Social Change from Clark University, Worcester Massachusetts in 2012. She completed her Master’s Degree from Clark University, as well, in Community Development and Planning in 2013. She is interested in how built environments impact the health and growth of communities. Prior to this role, she worked as a youth worker and mentor for several non-profit organizations in Maryland and Massachusetts. She grew up in Rockville, MD and has recently moved back to the region.

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