One billion. To put such a lofty figure in perspective, let's look at it this way: 1,000,000,000. One with nine zeros. It's gonna take a lot of fingers and toes for us to count that high.

Why do we care? According the number crunchers over at Wards Auto, 2010 marked the first year that the worldwide vehicle populated crested the magic billion-unit mark. That's a 3.6-percent rise over the figure recorded in 2009, and it's also the largest single-year percentage increase since 2000.

As you'd expect, much of that growth can be attributed to the rapidly expanding Chinese economy. The total number of vehicles registered in China in 2010 came in at a bit over 78 million, a 27.5-percent surge, which puts the country over the figure recorded in Japan but still far behind the nearly 240 million registered vehicles in the United States.

Here's where things get really interesting: Here in the States, there is one vehicle for every 1.3 people living. In other words, just about everyone of legal driving age has a car, or two, or three. In China, that ratio is one car for every 17 people. In India, there are a whopping 56.3 people per registered vehicle.

In other words, you can expect our worldwide vehicular population to continue growing in leaps and bounds for many, many more years.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 13 Comments
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      Meanwhile, at Autoblog Green...the rage builds...
      Tourian A5
      • 3 Years Ago
      Think about it: If there was 1 car for every 3 people in China, that's half a billion new cars on the road, a 50% increase. Where is all that oil going to come from? And if you think 50% isn't that much, imagine having two children, struggling to come up with food for them, and then having a third child.
      chris meyers
      • 3 Years Ago
      Lovely, nice to see that we've exported our materialistic unfulfilling garbage culture around the world, at ever increasing rates. Once the Chinese also reach 1 car per 1.3 persons as well, do you think they'll realize they are soulless debt ridden people with no real culture left too?
        EZEE
        • 3 Years Ago
        @chris meyers
        And to think I was going to type, 'let the blaming of America begin' but settled on the rage comment instead. Thanks ChrisM
        • 3 Years Ago
        @chris meyers
        [blocked]
      Johnny-wat
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ya know, I see a lot of whining lately about the evil, evil, EVIL cars. How they're destroying the environment. How they're symbols of materialistic decadence. How 'peak oil' will come and end us all. But you know what I don't see? A solution being proposed. How do you propose to solve the transportation problems of a country with 300,000,000 people and 3,790,000 square miles to cover? On top of that, there is a culture here that romanticizes road trips, and the beauty of the car. What do you whiners propose? Nothing. Hence why the use of the term "whiners". Electric? Won't go cross country in a single day. Hydrogen? Costs more to make than gasoline. What do you propose? That we go back to the stone age? That we use the non-existent public transport system (the world isn't San Francisco)?
      ZooZoo
      • 3 Years Ago
      "One billion. To put such a lofty figure in perspective, let's look at it this way: 1,000,000,000. One with nine zeros. It's gonna take a lot of fingers and toes for us to count that high." AB, do you even take us as adults?
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
    • Load More Comments