There’s a lot to be said about cycling. For starters, a lot of us use bicycles for commuting or as eco-friendly transportation. They are also easier to park and maneuver than cars, which means that they provide better access to roads, bike paths, and rural trails. Not to mention that you’re exercising while you cycle.
Speaking of exercise, did you know that cycling lowers the risk of getting cancer, heart disease, and diabetes? In addition, it improves your overall health, blood circulation, well-being, and lifespan. Now that you know why cycling is good for you, let’s explore some cycling statistics that will make you want to do it whenever you get the chance!
The Top 10 Most Interesting Cycling Stats
- Close to 900,000 New York City residents regularly cycle.
- There is one female bike rider for every three male cyclists.
- Portland has the largest population of cyclists out of all the big US cities—6.3%.
- Secure bike lanes reduce the risk of bicycle-related injuries by 90%.
- Adult cyclists account for 88% of bicycle-related fatalities.
- In the European Union, riding bicycles produces an economic benefit of 150 billion euros.
- The US bike market is worth about $6 billion.
- By 2023, sales of electric bikes will reach around 40 million units.
- In 2016, a total of 2015 cyclists died in traffic accidents in the European Union countries.
- Copenhagen has more bikes than residents.
US Cycling Statistics
In this section, you’ll find out which state has the most cyclists and more.
1. Close to 900,000 New Yorkers ride bicycles regularly.
Almost 900,000 New York residents use bikes every day, thanks to the 116% growth of cycling activity between 2008 and 2018. According to bicycle statistics from the same source, estimations suggest that around 510,000 rides are made daily in New York City, which is three times more than 15 years prior. Last but not least, one-third of adult New Yorkers (around 2 million) ride a bicycle at least once per year.
2. There is one female bike rider for every three male cyclists.
(Buzzfeed, University of Washington)
Compared to men, women tend to use bicycles far less often. One of the possible reasons for this could be because women fear for their safety more. In fact, bicycle usage statistics show that, despite what established wellness facts recommend, a significant part of the female population steers clear of the road and bicycles because they’re concerned about automobile drivers who are distracted.
3. Portland has the largest population of cyclists out of all the big US cities—6.3%.
Bicycle statistics by state indicate that the main reason behind this is quality infrastructure. The city of Portland made sure that its cyclist residents are well-protected, not only by enacting strict safety laws but also by providing them with 236 miles of bike lanes.
4. In 2017, cycling tourism contributed $137 million in economic benefits to Northwest Arkansas.
(Walton Family Foundation)
As more and more locals and tourists alike use Arkansas’ network of natural-surface trails and paved paths for riding bicycles, cycling created a regional economic impact that helps local companies, increases tourism, and develops healthier communities.
Cycling tourism statistics compiled by the Walton Foundation also showed that bike tourism is an enormous economic driver for Arkansas—visitors have spent $27 million at local companies in 2017.
5. Minneapolis is working towards having 15% of city transport carried out by bikes by 2025.
(Urban Land Institute)
This is definitely feasible when we consider that various big European cities, like Amsterdam and Copenhagen, have bike transport rates of over 40%. Moreover, according to the US Department of Transportation cycling statistics, 50% of all trips are less than 3 miles long. This equals a 20-minute bike ride.
Seeing how less than a quarter of US citizens are getting enough physical activity, combining the commute with brisk exercise makes all the sense in the world.
Bicycle Safety Statistics
As all cyclists know, wearing a helmet is a must if you care about your safety. But did you know that it doesn’t only protect your head, but also areas around the head?
6. If you wear a helmet, you’re half as likely to receive a head injury while riding a bike.
Based on bicycle helmet statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, wearing a helmet not only reduces the chances of getting a head injury by half, but also reduces the risk of injury to areas around the head by 33%.
The same research shows that, if they want to help protect the cyclists from injuries, their car-driving fellow participants in traffic can do so by equipping their vehicles with rear-facing cameras and forward collision avoidance systems.
7. Secure bike lanes reduce the risk of bicycle-related injuries by 90%.
A Canadian study on bicycle accidents statistics showed that the risk of injury on secured bicycle lanes is 90% lower when compared with shared roads and roads with bicycle lanes where traffic isn’t completely separated. In addition to that, the same study showed that sticking to major roads without parked cars and off-street bicycle paths reduces the risk of injury by 50%.
8. In 2018, 857 cyclists died in motor vehicle crashes in the US.
Unfortunately, this number is 6% higher than it was in 2017. Cycling deaths statistics from the NHTSA for the same year show that most deaths happen between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., regardless of the season.
Most fatalities occurred in urban zones (75%), and men are estimated to be 8 times more likely to suffer a fatal injury while cycling than women. Last but not least, alcohol was involved in 37% of all deaths.
You might be surprised to learn that, according to verified boating accident statistics for the same year (2018), the number of people who have died as a result of boating-related accidents (633) is lower than the number of those who suffered fatal injuries while cycling.
9. Adult cyclists account for 88% of bicycle-related fatalities.
Cycling accident statistics from the Governors Highway Safety Association show that attention is critical when it comes to road safety. In 2015, cyclists accounted for 2.2% out of a total of 3,477 participants in traffic who died in distraction-caused accidents.
What’s more, this number is likely even higher, since 33% of drivers admit to being distracted for at least a minute during 1 out of 10 trips. Also, 9% of cyclists reported they used a smartphone during their rides.
Bicycle Industry Statistics
In this section, we’ll be taking a closer look at both the US and global bicycle markets.
10. In the European Union, riding bicycles produces an economic benefit of 150 billion euros.
(European Cyclists’ Federation)
Out of this amount, more than 90 billion euros comes from the positive impact of cycling on the environment, public health, and transport systems. The benefits of bike riding aren’t present only here, but also in a lot of other areas like industrial policies, employment, and social policies.
On the other hand, a recent study on bicycle commuting statistics concluded that the negative impact of motorized transport on the environment, mobility, and health is around 800 billion euros annually. Even if this weren’t the case, since we simply don’t know how much fossil fuel is still left for us to extract, moving towards the more sustainable modes of transport definitely seems like a good idea.
11. The US bike market is worth about $6 billion.
This includes retail bike sales, all related parts, and accessories through all distribution channels. It should be noted that 99% of all those bicycles and parts come from China and Taiwan. In 2017, cycling industry statistics showed that the sales of mountain bikes amounted to around $577 million.
12. By 2023, sales of electric bikes will reach around 40 million units.
Moreover, these cycling statistics on e-bikes project that China will remain a crucial market for them, since 34.3 million units are expected to be sold there.
13. In 2017, the value of the global bicycle apparel market was around $3.27 billion.
(Statista, Fact MR)
Global cycling statistics also predict an exponential growth of the cycling apparel market. The sales are likely to remain concentrated in developed countries of the European Union and in the US.
14. Based on the current cycling statistics, the worldwide bike market will grow to $34.6 billion by 2027.
Since the current global market for bikes is estimated at around $29.2 billion, to reach the projected value by 2027, it would have to grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 2.4%. Other US bicycle sales statistics show that the US alone accounts for 27% of the global bicycle market.
Cycling Statistics for Europe
In this section, we’ll be discussing the popularity of cycling on the European continent.
15. In 2018, bike rides accounted for just 1% of the total mileage made by road transport vehicles in Great Britain.
On the other hand, automobiles and taxis were responsible for 77%. Keep in mind that these cycling stats only include cycling on bicycle paths and public roadways, disregarding the miles accumulated on byways and towpaths.
16. Bicycle statistics by country show that cycling is so popular in Italy that just three of the country’s regions combined have a total of 1267 cycling clubs.
These regions are Lombardy, Tuscany, and Veneto, and they have 629, 400, and 238 cycling clubs, respectively. Cycling participation statistics compiled by the Italian Cycling Federation show that most members of these clubs are males between the ages of 50 and 54 years—a category known as Master Men 5.
17. In 2016, a total of 2015 cyclists died in traffic accidents in the European Union countries.
It should be mentioned that this number doesn’t include the deaths that occurred in Lithuania and Slovakia. Cycling fatalities represent only 8% of the overall number of people killed in road accidents. However, based on the European Commission’s cycling safety facts report, cycling fatalities decreased by 24% between 2007 and 2016.
18. In 2016, most individuals who died in bicycle accidents in the EU were men—80%.
However, there are major differences between the countries. For instance, while males account for 62% of cyclists killed in road accidents in the Netherlands, they make up more than 90% of fatalities in Romania. Moreover, the same cycling crash statistics show that a significant number (45%) of cyclists who die in road accidents are over 65 years old.
19. In 2019, approximately 20 million bikes and e-bikes were sold in Europe.
The value of parts and accessories actually produced in Europe is estimated at 2 billion euros. In addition, the bicycle industry creates, directly and indirectly, over 120,000 jobs in the European market.
20. Copenhagen has more bikes than residents.
(Urban Land Institute)
The capital of Denmark can boast over 249 miles of bicycle lanes. Speaking of interesting facts about road cycling in this city, it is estimated that 50% of its residents use bikes to commute.
It’s clear that more and more people are deciding to cycle. They might enjoy it as a leisure activity (for those who want something more thrilling than meditation) or consider it a cheap, health- and environment-conscious way of commuting. For 900,000 New Yorkers and half of the residents of Copenhagen, bicycles are the preferred means of transport.
Remember that you should wear a helmet and use protected bike lanes if you want to stay as safe as possible. Now that you are aware of these cycling statistics for 2021, the only thing left to do is to find the nearest bike and join in on the fun!
How many people die cycling each year?
We’ve already mentioned that, according to the bicycle accident statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during 2018, 857 people died in cycling-related accidents in the US. However, how many cyclists are dying each year on a global level?
While the exact numbers are difficult to determine, the World Health Organization created a calculator that relies on the data from their 2018 road safety report to try and approximate (among other things) the number of cyclists dying each year in traffic accidents.
Currently, the calculator estimates that a staggering 40,646 cyclists have been fatally injured on the road during the last 365 days.
Where is cycling most popular?
Cycling is most prevalent in the Netherlands and other European countries like Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden, and Finland. This is mostly because it’s a more affordable and eco-friendly mode of transport than cars. Bikes are also extremely popular in China, where people mostly use them in order to avoid traffic jams and crowded metros and buses.
(World Economic Forum)
Is cycling popular in the USA?
Very much so. Just in 2016, 12.4% of US citizens have been riding bicycles regularly. Between 2014 and 2017, the number of cyclists has increased from 43 million to 47.5 million. Although the number of younger cyclists (6–17 years old) has decreased, the number of those between 18 and 24 hasn’t been fluctuating much, instead constantly hovering around four million.
What percentage of people cannot ride a bike?
According to a 2013 survey conducted by YouGov, 5.8% of the US population doesn’t know how to ride a bike. In addition, 51.2% of respondents said they never cycle. Surprisingly, based on the most recent cycling popularity statistics, young adults between the ages of 18 to 34 are actually worse at riding bicycles than those who are 55 or older.
Where is the bike capital of the world?
People from all over the world consider the Netherlands the world’s bicycle capital. This doesn’t come as a surprise, since the country is characterized by very flat terrain. Moreover, it’s brimming with public cycling trails and tracks inaccessible to cars and other traffic. When it comes to the popularity of cycling in the Netherlands, statistics show that Amsterdam has around 320 miles of bicycle lanes, and that half of the total commuting in the city is done through cycling.
(World Economic Forum, Amsterdam Tips)
What is the most bike-friendly city in the world?
Copenhagen, Denmark, is likely one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world. Along with Amsterdam, of course. Copenhagen sports around 200-300 miles of bike paths, and about half of its residents use bikes to travel to work or school. According to cycling statistics, Utrecht, the Netherlands, is also near the top of this list, as it is home to around 125,000 cyclists.
(World Cycle Tours)
- Amsterdam Tips
- European Commission
- European Cyclists’ Federation
- Fact MR
- NYC DOT
- University of Washington
- Urban Land Institute
- Walton Family Foundation
- World Cycle Tours
- World Economic Forum