Bicycle Production Reaches 130 Million Units

Gary Gardner | Nov 12, 2008

Bicycle production was up 3.2 percent in 2007 to 130 million units, a continuation of the upward trend that has characterized production for most of this decade.1 (See Figure 1.) Global output continued to be largely a Chinese affair, as China produced two of every three bikes made worldwide.2 (See Figure 2.) India, the European Union, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Brazil were the next five largest producers, accounting together for about a quarter of the total.3

Cycling is potentially an important mode of sustainable transport: it is non-polluting, inexpensive, and good for users’ health and the quality of urban life. But the amount of cycling in most cities worldwide remains well below its potential.

The share of all trips made by bike varies greatly among countries. Chinese cities still register some of the highest cycling rates in the world, despite growing consumer interest in private automobiles. In the most cycled cities, such as Tianjin, Xi’an, and Shijiazhuang, the bicycle accounts for more than half of all trips.4 In the west, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany have the highest rates of cycling, ranging from 10 to 27 percent of all trips.5 This compares with about 1 percent of trips in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia.6

The Worldwatch Institute is an independent research organization known around the world for its accessible, fact-based analysis of critical global issues. Learn More