Passenger transport demand (CSI 035) - Assessment published Dec 2008
Transport (Primary topic)
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
- CSI 035
Key policy question: Is passenger transport demand being decoupled from economic growth?
Growth in the volume of passenger transport has nearly paralleled that in GDP. Decoupling transport demand and GDP over the period has only occurred in two of the years, 1996 and 2002 and in both cases has been less than 0.5 % per year.
Trend in passenger transport demand and GDP
Note: The decoupling columns displayed in the chart represent annual decoupling
Eurostat and UN Statistics Division
Trends in the annual intensity of passenger transport demand
Note: Total passenger transport demand data including air are not available for all countries and years
Over the past decade, passenger transport growth has been slower on average than growth in the economy. However, passenger transport demand has grown steadily in the EEA countries as a whole, thereby making it increasingly difficult to stabilise or reduce the environmental impacts of transport.
The majority of countries saw growth in passenger transport demand every year, with few exceptions. The main underlying factor in this trend is the growth in incomes coupled with a tendency to spend more or less the same share of disposable income on transport. Additional income therefore means additional travel budget, which allows more frequent, faster, farther and more luxurious travelling.
Overall growth in passenger transport demand has been very similar to that of GDP. Transport growth was marginally higher than GDP growth in 1996, but was then surpassed by growth in GDP from 1997 onwards. Decoupling (the difference between GDP and transport volume growth) between transport demand and GDP growth occurred in 1996 and 2002, and was less than 0.5 % in both cases.
Specific policy question: Is the share of passenger car transport in total inland transport being reduced relative to other transport modes?
As part of the modal-split indicators project, Eurostat is working on methods regarding the calculation and territorial attribution of air passenger transport. Until such data becomes available, the core set indicator "passenger transport demand" will include an EU estimate of air for the headline graph.
Annual Macroeconomic Database
provided by Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN)
Transport statistics (Eurostat)
provided by Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat)
More information about this indicator
See this indicator specification for more details.
Contacts and ownership
EEA Contact InfoPeder Gabrielsen
EEA Management Plan2010 (note: EEA internal system)
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe’s environment.
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