Do you think bikes outsell cars in most European countries?

Amsterdam cyclist
CC BY-ND 2.0 Flickr

By how much? Which countries are most bike-crazy?

It's pretty well known that Europeans in some cities just love bicycles. Copenhagen and Amsterdam are the poster boys (or are these cities girls?) for bike culture, and for good reason. But if we zoom out and look at Europe as a whole, does that hold? Do Europeans love bikes as much as we might think by looking at their 'halo' bike cities?

NPR did a great job of looking at the car sales and bike sales figures for most of the 27 E.U. countries (Cyprus and Malta didn't have data available). What they found is that "Bicycle sales outpaced new-car sales last year in every one of those countries, except Belgium and Luxembourg. The top five countries by bicycle sales can be seen in the top chart."

Europe bike sales chart© ACEA/COLIPED

Above are the top 5 countries in the EU where the most bikes are sold, with those numbers compared to car sales.

Europe bike sales chart© ACEA/COLIPED

And this one shows the countries where the ratio is most extreme.

Part of this is explained by the slump in car sales in Europe since the great recession (and with the subsequent troubles of the past few years). There's some recovery in car sales, but still, bikes are rocking in Europe.


See also: This short-film on Amsterdam will BLOW YOUR MIND

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