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The number of cars in the EU increased by nearly 40% between 1990 and 2005, reaching a total of 216 million cars in the 25 EU member states. The largest increases were in Lithuania (167%) and Latvia (142%), with Portugal the highest of the longer-standing members (135%). The Nordic countries saw the least car growth, with 14% in Sweden, 20% in Denmark, and 21% in Finland.
The 2004 figure of 472 cars per 1000 inhabitants means there is now nearly one car for every two EU inhabitants, but this still compares favourably with the USA, where the figure is 759 per 1000. The highest countries are Luxembourg (659), Italy (581), Portugal (572) and Germany (546), while Slovakia is the lowest at 222, followed by Hungary (280) and Latvia (297).
Road accident statistics published the same day showed a decrease in road accident deaths from 162 per million inhabitants in 1991 to 95 in 2004. The USA’s rate in 2004 was 146.
This news story is taken from the October 2006 edition of T&E Bulletin.