032 Mopeds and Motorcycles


Mopeds and motorbikes are two-wheeled motorised vehicles. Motorbikes are more powerful than mopeds, and therefore can reach higher speeds. There were 205 million mopeds and motorcycles in the world by 2002, 33 for every 1000 people.

Data sources

The World Bank World Development Indicators 2005 time series: Two-wheelers (in theory per 1,000 people, IS.VEH.2CYL.P3) was used as the source of these estimates. Two-wheelers refers to mopeds and motorcycles but not bicycles. The original source is cited as the International Road Federation, World Road Statistics and data files.

To make these estimates many of the original data values were assumed to be awry by several orders of magnitude, more care than is usual is required in interpreting these figures. The number of these vehicles in some countries may be overestimated, all assumptions are documented in the spreadsheet. Assumptions were directed by the previous numbers recorded for motorbikes and mopeds in that territory, and assuring that a plausible ratio of cars to two-wheelers existed.

Click here to view detailed data source references

The quote used on the poster comes from George Davey Smith. It was first published in the British Medical Journal in 1991. However it was sourced from page 524 of a later publication, which is referenced below.

George Davey Smith (2003) Afterword: Still wanting to be James Dean. p.523-525. in George Davey Smith (editor) (2003) Health in equalities: Lifecourse approaches. The Policy Press, Bristol.

Excel sheets

Below is an explanation of each of the columns in the excel file:

Column A = Unique numerical territory (see 001).

Column B = Region and territory names (see 001).

Column C = Region code (see 001).

Column D = The ISO 3 code, or ISO ALPHA-3 (see 001).

Column E = Estimated mopeds and motorcycles, in millions. This is calculated by multiplying the mopeds and motorcycles per thousand people (F) by the population of a territory in millions (G), then dividing this by 1000 (E = F * H / 1000).

Column F = Mopeds and motorcycles per thousand people. This is calculated by dividing the tot al number of mopeds and motorcycles in millions (H) by population in millions (G), and then multiplying this by 1000 (F = H/G * 1000). If no data was available in column H, then the regional average is used.

Column G = Population in 2002, in millions. See the technical notes for ‘Total Population’ for the sources of this data (002).

Column H = Mopeds and motorcycles, for the most recent date, in millions. The number from column Y is taken, which gives the most recent number of mopeds and motorcycles, per thousand people, provided for the period 1997-2002. If this is not available the maximum number recorded for the period 1990-1996 is used. This number is then multiplied by the population in millions (G), and divided by 1000 . If no data is available over the period of 1990-2002, #N/A is shown.

The source data is on a separate sheet.