Facts about cycling in Denmark

A short and clear statistically introduction to Danish cycling, covering cycles, cars, cycle paths, safety and health among other things.

Cycling in Denmark

  • 16% of all trips are by bicycle.
  • 24% of trips below 5 km are by bicycle.
  • Every Dane cycles 1.1 km on average each day.
  • 36% of all Danish adults ride a bike to work daily or once a week.
  • The main reason for Danish adults not to take the bike to work is because the distance is too long.
  • According to the Road Directorate, cycling on a national level decreased by 17% and car driving increased by 46% from 1990 to 2008. But in some cities like Copenhagen and Odense cycling has increased.
  • 17% of adult males and 36% of adult females use a bicycle to get to and from a work or education site.
  • 45% of all Danish children bike to school.
  • Local investments in cycle infrastructure and campaigns have demonstrated a significant impact in selected Danish cities.

Bicycles in Denmark

  • Approximately half a million bicycles are sold in Denmark each year.
  • Nine out of 10 Danes has a bicycle.

Cars in Denmark

  • There are 2.1 million cars in Denmark.
  • 44% of all Danish households don’t have a car.
  • Cars are used for 80% of total passenger transport in Denmark.

Cycle Lanes

  • The Danish cycle lane is unique: a curbstone edge protects cyclist from cars.
  • 2.2 meters is the standard width of cycle lanes in Denmark – this makes conversation possible and overtaking can be done safely.
  • 2.5-2.8 meters is Copenhagen’s new standard width – this offers space for three cyclists next to each other.
  • A cycle lane usually gives an increase of 20% over previous cycling on the first day of use. Connection to an extended network gives further growth.

Cycle Routes

  • Since 1993, there have been 11 national cycle routes established in Denmark, covering a total of 4,233 km.
  • Regional routes cover 5,874 km.
  • Local routes cover 2,298 km.

Traffic safety

  • In 2008, 54 cyclists were killed in traffic, 561 were seriously injured.
  • 17,500 cyclists are treated at the hospital each year from cycle-related injuries.
  • 70% of these are single-cyclist accidents – often related to alcohol, potholes, etc.
  • 15% of cyclists use helmets.
  • 2 out of 3 children under age 11 use helmets.
  • Cycle accidents in Odense – Cycle City – reduced by 20% when cycling increased by 20% – more cyclists increase safety.


  • 30-40% of the Danish population is physically inactive.
  • Physical inactivity results in 4,500 deaths every year.
  • Physically inactive people die 5-6 years before physically active ones.
  • Production loss is the main benefit from promotion of cycling – cyclists are healthier, and are because of that less absent from work.

Get the statistics in a printable version here: Bicycle Statistics from Denmark

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