Page 205

About the data



Traffic congestion in urban areas constrains eco-

associations. If they lack data or do not respond,

• Motor vehicles include cars, buses, and freight

nomic productivity, damages people’s health, and

other agencies are contacted, including road direc-

vehicles but not two-wheelers. Population figures

degrades the quality of life. In recent years own-

torates, ministries of transport or public works, and

refer to the midyear population in the year for

ership of passenger cars has increased, and the

central statistical offices. As a result, data quality

which data are available. Roads refer to motor-

expansion of economic activity has led to more

is uneven. Coverage of each indicator may differ

ways, highways, main or national roads, and sec-

goods and services being transported by road over

across countries because of different definitions.

ondary or regional roads. A motorway is a road

greater distances (see table 5.10). These devel-

Comparability is also limited when time series data

designed and built for motor traffic that sepa-

opments have increased demand for roads and

are reported. The IRF is taking steps to improve the

rates the traffic flowing in opposite directions.

vehicles, adding to urban congestion, air pollution,

quality of the data in its World Road Statistics 2010.

• Passenger cars are road motor vehicles, other than

health hazards, and traffic accidents and injuries.

Because this effort covers 2003–08 only, time

two-wheelers, intended for the carriage of passen-

The data on motor vehicles, passenger cars, and

series data may not be comparable. Another rea-

gers and designed to seat no more than nine people

road density in the table are compiled by the Interna-

son is coverage. Road density is a rough indicator of

(including the driver). • Road density is the ratio of

tional Road Federation (IRF) through questionnaires

accessibility and does not capture road width, type,

the length of the country’s total road network to the

sent to national organizations. The IRF uses a hier-

or condition. Thus comparisons over time and across

country’s land area. The road network includes all

archy of sources to gather as much information as

countries should be made with caution.

roads in the country—motorways, highways, main

possible. Primary sources are national road Biogasoline consumption as a share of total consumption is 3.13a highest in Brazil . . .  Biogasoline consumption (percent of total consumption)









France Canada Germany China

United States

Source: International Energy Agency.

. . . but the United States consumes the most biogasoline  3.13b Biogasoline consumption (thousand of tons of oil equivalent)

or national roads, secondary or regional roads, and

from petroleum products, natural gas, renewable and

other urban and rural roads. • Road sector energy

combustible waste, and electricity. Biodiesel and bio-

consumption is the total energy used in the road

gasoline, forms of renewable energy, are biodegrad-

sector, including energy from petroleum products,

able and emit less sulfur and carbon monoxide than

natural gas, combustible and renewable waste,

petroleum-derived ones. They can be produced from

and electricity. • Total energy consumption is the

vegetable oils, such as soybean, corn, palm, peanut,

country’s total energy consumption from all sources

or sunflower oil, and can be used directly only in a

(see table 3.7). • Gasoline is light hydrocarbon oil

modified internal combustion engine. Data are pro-

use in internal combustion engines such as motor

vided by the International Energy Agency.

vehicles, excluding aircraft. • Diesel is heavy oils

Data on fuel prices are compiled by the German

used as a fuel for internal combustion in diesel

Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), from its

engines. • Fuel price is the pump price of super

global network, and other sources, including the

grade gasoline and of diesel fuel, converted from the

Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobile Club (for Europe)

local currency to U.S. dollars (see About the data).

and the Latin American Energy Organization for Latin

• Particulate matter concentration is fine sus-

America. Local prices are converted to U.S. dollars

pended particulates of less than 10 microns in diam-

using the exchange rate in the Financial Times inter-

eter (PM10) that are capable of penetrating deep

national monetary table on the survey date. When

into the respiratory tract and causing severe health

multiple exchange rates exist, the market, parallel,

damage. Data are urban-population-weighted PM10

or black market rate is used. Prices were compiled

levels in residential areas of cities with more than

in mid-November 2010, based on the crude oil price

100,000 residents. The estimates represent the

of $81 per barrel Brent.

average annual exposure level of the average urban

Considerable uncertainty surrounds estimates of 2000



country comparisons of the relative risk of particulate




United States



Canada France Germany

Source: International Energy Agency.

resident to outdoor particulate matter.

particulate matter concentrations, and caution should be used in interpreting them. They allow for cross-



Road sector energy consumption includes energy

Data sources

matter pollution facing urban residents. Major sources

Data on vehicles and road density are from the

of urban outdoor particulate matter pollution are

IRF’s electronic files and its annual World Road

traffic and industrial emissions, but nonanthropogenic

Statistics, except where noted. Data on road sector

sources such as dust storms may also be a substan-

energy consumption are from the IRF and the Inter-

tial contributor for some cities. Country technology

national Energy Agency. Data on fuel prices are

and pollution controls are important determinants of

from the GIZ’s electronic files. Data on particulate

particulate matter. Data on particulate matter for

matter concentrations are from Pandey and oth-

selected cities are in table 3.14.

ers’ “Ambient Particulate Matter Concentrations in Residential and Pollution Hotspot Areas of World Cities: New Estimates Based on the Global Model of Ambient Particulates (GMAPS)” (2006b).

2011 World Development Indicators



Traffic and congestion

World Development Indicators 2011 Part 1 of 2  

Looking for accurate, up-to-date data on development issues? 'World Development Indicators' is the World Bank's premier annual compilation o...

World Development Indicators 2011 Part 1 of 2  

Looking for accurate, up-to-date data on development issues? 'World Development Indicators' is the World Bank's premier annual compilation o...