If you want to know how many cars are there on Earth here you go: There are about 1.474 billion vehicles on Earth in 2023. About 19% of those vehicles are in the United States. Let’s dig into more detail on how many cars are there in the world and other global automotive stats, including cars per capita.
Most of the cars in the world are in Asia. It has over a third of all vehicles on this planet. Many people think of North America as obsessed with cars, but North America is in third place. Europe, in second place, has 28% of the world’s vehicles while North America only has 24%.
Need to know how many cars there are on Earth in 2023? Here is how many cars there are in the world, including trucks, broken down by world region.
1). Asia: 543 million vehicles on the road
2). Europe: 413 million vehicles (288 million in EU plus 125 million in non-EU countries)1
3). North America: 358 million vehicles
4). South America: 84 million vehicles
5). Middle East: 50 million vehicles
6). Africa: 26 million vehicles
7). Antarctica: about 50 vehicles
How many cars in the world, by world region
Here is a breakdown of vehicles per capita by world region.
1). North America: 0.71 vehicles per capita/710 vehicles per thousand people
2). Europe: 0.52 vehicles per capita/520 vehicles per thousand people
3). South America: 0.21 vehicles per capita/210 vehicles per thousand people
4). Middle East: 0.19 vehicles per capita/190 vehicles per thousand people
5). Asia/Pacific: 0.14 vehicles per capita/140 vehicles per thousand people
6). Africa: 0.06 vehicles per capita/58 vehicles per thousand people
7). Antarctica: 0.05 vehicles per capita/50 vehicles per thousand people
Cars per capita by country
Two major countries are virtually tied for the most vehicles per capita in the world: The car-crazy United States and New Zealand. In both countries there are about 0.9 vehicles for every person.
There are 1.474 billion cars in the world in 2023. Most are in Asia, followed by Europe and North America. 19% of all vehicles are in the United States. #carindustryanalysis #automotiveindustry #autoindustry Click To Tweet On the other end of the scale are Pakistan, Vietnam, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana and Kenya. The countries have 0.03 vehicles per capita, or less.
Here are the top countries for vehicles per capita and GDP per capita, revised for 2023:
1). New Zealand: 0.90 vehicles per capita/895 vehicles per thousand people/$43,000 GDP per capita2
2). United States: 0.89 vehicles per capita/890 vehicles per thousand people/$62,000 GDP per capita
3). Estonia: 0.82 vehicles per capita/821 vehicles per thousand people/$42,800 GDP per capita1
4). Cyprus: 0.79 vehicles per capita/785 vehicles per thousand people/$26,624 GDP per capita1
5). Luxembourg: 0.78 vehicles per capita/784 vehicles per thousand people/$115,873 GDP per capita1
6). Australia: 0.77 vehicles per capita/772 vehicles per thousand people/$48,300 GDP per capita2
7). Canada: 0.77 vehicles per capita/770 vehicles per thousand people/$47,600 GDP per capita
8). Italy: 0.76 vehicles per capita/757 vehicles per thousand people/$40,600 GDP per capita1
9). Iceland: 0.72 vehicles per capita/720 vehicles per thousand people/$55,300 GDP per capita1
10). Poland: 0.60 vehicles per capita/604 vehicles per thousand people/$34,700 GDP per capita1
11). France: 0.60 vehicles per capita/599 vehicles per thousand people/$44,500 GDP per capita1
There’s a lot of confusing sources of information on the internet for this type of search. There’s one web page that shows the most cars in the world per country, per capita, but totally omits the United States. There’s a somewhat popular website that claims Finland has the most cars per capita, citing a 2015 World Economic Forum report. Rest assured, Finland is not number one in the world.
If you’re citing data, just be aware of which website you use as a source. By the way, in Europe and Asia, cars per capita is called the “motorisation rate” (UK English) or “motorization rate” (American English).
The only nation in the world that averages more than 1 car per person: Republic of San Marino. Click To Tweet If you want to include very small countries, then these two countries would also be on this list of cars per capita.
One country, the Republic of San Marino, is a tiny nation with more than one car per person with 1.3 vehicles per person. Here’s the answer the next time you’re in a trivia contest and get asked, “What is the only nation in the world that averages more than one car per person?” San Marino is only 23.6 square miles. Many of the cars registered in San Marino aren’t physically in San Marino, however. San Marino does not have VAT tax and instead taxes vehicles at either 3.5% or 7%. It’s much less expensive to buy and register a vehicle in San Marino than in surrounding Italy or in the rest of Europe.
• The Republic of San Marino with a population of about 34,000 has around 1,300 vehicles per thousand people and a GPD per capita of $63,500
• The Principality of Monaco with a population of about 39,000 has around 910 vehicles per thousand people and a GDP per capita of $165,000
What about Andorra, a principality on the border between Spain and France? With a population of 77,625 and its status as a tax haven, it sometimes shows up on the list of nations with more than one car per person. We haven’t been able to verify that up to this point so we don’t have those stats. Vehicle registration data from Andorra is very difficult to get.
Motorcycles per capita
Note that this analysis covers cars, vans and trucks, not motorcycles. Countries with a huge number of motorcycles, like Taiwan for example, are not factored into this. Taiwan has a population of 23.57 million and 14 million motorcycles. They only have 0.30 vehicles per capita/300 vehicles per thousand people, but have 0.67 motorcycles per capita/670 motorcycles per thousand people.
Countries with the least number of cars per capita
Here are the bottom countries for cars per capita and per thousand people:
1). Democratic Republic of Congo: 0.004 vehicles per capita/about 4 vehicles per thousand people/$5,500 GDP per capita
2). Pakistan: 0.02 vehicles per capita/20 vehicles per thousand people/$5,500 GDP per capita
3). Vietnam: 0.03 vehicles per capita/25 vehicles per thousand people/$6,800 GDP per capita
4). Kenya: 0.03 vehicles per capita/30 vehicles per thousand people/$3,300 GDP per capita
5). Ghana: 0.04 vehicles per capita/40 vehicles per thousand people/$4,500 GDP per capita
6). Nigeria: 0.05 vehicles per capita/50 vehicles per thousand people/$5,900 GDP per capita
7). India: 0.05 vehicles per capita/50 vehicles per thousand people/$7,100 GDP per capita
8). Philippines: 0.05 vehicles per capita/50 vehicles per thousand people/$8,400 GDP per capita
9). Iraq: 0.05 vehicles per capita/50 vehicles per thousand people/$16,900 GDP per capita
10). Egypt: 0.08 vehicles per capita/75 vehicles per thousand people/$11,600 GDP per capita
We estimate there are about 0.05 vehicles per capita/50 vehicles per thousand people in Antarctica. We’re using the year-round population for that estimate.
Since Russia is in the news so much right now, Russia has 0.37 vehicles per capita/370 vehicles per thousand people (2020).
Are there more houses or cars in the world?
According to the Architecture & Design website, there are 2.3 billion houses in the world. Since there are 1.474 billion vehicles in the world, there are more houses than there are cars.
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