High car density in urbanised neighbourhoods

29/03/2007 15:00

On average, every Dutch household owned a car in 2005. Figures published by Statistics Netherlands reveal in which neighbourhoods the cars are registered.

High car density in cities

Car density is highest in neighbourhoods with a high urbanisation rate. In rural areas, the number of cars per km² is lower than in towns. Due to the low population density in rural areas, the number of cars per km² is much smaller.

In some neighbourhoods, the car density rate is very low. In such neighbourhoods, residential property often only consists of care-providing institutions, asylum centres or student apartments, e.g. ‘Stichtingsterrein’ in Assen and ‘Galgenwaard en Kromhoutkazerne’ with a student campus in Utrecht.

High car ownership rate households in rural areas

Car ownership rate per household is higher in rural areas than in towns. In rural areas, services and public transport facilities are often remote and infrequent. Consequently, residents of rural areas are often forced to organise their own transport.

Many cars per km2 in centre of Hoorn

This picture is confirmed in the municipality of Hoorn. In the centre, there are on average fewer cars per household, but the amount of cars per km² is higher than in the rural surroundings of Hoorn.

Cars per km2 in Hoorn and surrounding area, 2005

Cars per km2 in Hoorn and surrounding area, 2005

Cars per household in Hoorn and surrounding area, 2005

Cars per household in Hoorn and surrounding area, 2005

Increase in the number of cars in new housing estates

Between 2000 and 2005, the number of cars in the Netherlands increased by 10 percent. The increase was observed across all municipalities, but mainly in neighbourhoods with a moderate or low urbanisation rate.

Car increase by urbanisation rate of the neighbourhood, 2000–2005

Car increase by urbanisation rate of the neighbourhood, 2000–2005

The most substantial increases were found in spacious new housing estates like ‘Leidsche Rijn’ in Utrecht and ‘Ypenburg’ belonging to The Hague. In these new housing estates, the increase in the number of households entails an increase in the number of cars. The current facility and public transport level falls short of that in existing areas and residents have to rely on their own means of transport.

The average number of cars per household has risen for years from 0.9 in 1995 to 1.0 in 2005. The number of households without at least one car is declining. At the same time, almost one quarter of households (23 percent) had more than one car in 2005.

Households by car ownership

Households by car ownership

Chantal Melser