Number of households in North Macedonia with cars twice bigger than those with bicycles

Фото: Бојан Блажевски

The statistics shows that the number of households that own a car is more than double the number of households with at least one bike. According to the data provided by the State Statistical Office (SSO), only 30.7% of the Macedonian households has owned a bicycle in 2020. This number is by 2.8% less compared to 2019, and owning a bicycle has been continuously dropping since 2014.

In the past few years the number of households owning a car has grown continuously. Still, last year, a decrease of 1.5% was noticed for the first time in the number of families that own a car i.e. this percentage was 64.2%. Despite this, the data from the previous decade show a general trend of a drop in the interest of using bicycles against the rise of people who are using the car as their primary means of transportation.

This negative data arrives in a period when the issue of air pollution is more fiercely debated including the climate changes that we all are facing through the rise of average temperatures. Despite the fact that the bicycle is transportation means that isn’t polluting the air at all by emitting gasses, the statistical data still shows that the awareness of the need for increasing its use isn’t rising.

The bicycle does not emitg greenhouse gasses. In the Energy sector, transportation is a second biggest category of emissions of the greenhouse gasses. Passenger traffic is causing almost all of the emissions of the greenhouse gasses in North Macedonia, with the cars asthe main cause of. In 2016, the passenger traffic’s share of emission of greenhouse gasses was 99.7% shows the latest Report on climate change for 2020. Unfortunately, transportation is the only one in the Energy sector where a drastic increase in greenhouse gas emissions was noticed, almost triple in 2016 compared to 1990.

The lowering of the number of people owning a bicycle in Macedonia is contrary to the current efforts by most of the Macedonian municipalities to grant subsidies for bying bicycles by the citizens. Also, the bicycle infrastructure, especially in the urban citizens’ segment is improving gradually, and in Skopje, the number of bicycle trails is over 100 km in length.

Still, the statistical data shows there is a continuous decline in the percentage of bicycles that are owned by non-agricultural families. So, the last year, only 30. 4% of them have owned a bicycle, while in 2014 the percentage of those families that have had some kind of transportation means was 40.8%. On the other hand, in the areas where there isn’t any trail or there are not enough bicycle trails, such as the rural areas where agricultural families usually live, there is a growth in the number of households that are owning bicycles.

In 2020, 45.9% of the agricultural households and 28.8% of the mixed households throughout the country owned a bicycle. The growing number of agricultural households that own a bicycle is especially evident in the last two years – 2019 and 2020.