ASEAN vehicle to population list – the correct facts

ASEAN vehicle to population list – the correct facts

Everybody loves a list, especially when it’s relatively easy to cobble data together and come up with a fast, colourful graphic highlighting the relevant numbers in an easy-to-digest fashion these days. Utilising Wikipedia for such a task isn’t a terrible idea, but there are flaws to the approach – sometimes the information available in that particular virtual tome isn’t all that accurate, or up to date.

Take the above graphic, which showed up on Facebook feeds yesterday, for example. Posted by website seasia.co, the list is about the vehicle ownership ratio in Southeast Asian countries, depicting the number of registered vehicles per 1,000 population (two- and four-wheelers. In it, Brunei leads the list, with 721 vehicles per 1,000 people, followed by Malaysia (443 per 1,000) and Thailand (225 per 1,000).

Authoritative enough, dressed up with a flashy – if simple – graphic to boot, but the thing that caught my eye was the absence of a source for the data that was cited. The wonderful part of the Internet is that, if you click long enough, you’ll usually find where the numbers are sourced from, provided they’re not made up – in this case, the Wikipedia page for “List of countries by vehicles per capita” provided the necessary.

There’s nothing wrong with the numbers per se (or the placement of the top three, but less so with the rest – more on this later), because what you see in the graphic is numerically correct as per that listed on the page. It is however not reflective of an accurate – or rather, as up-to-date as possible – depiction, more so when the compared data points are not from the same timeframe (2013, 2015, 2018).

ASEAN vehicle to population list – the correct facts

Since we’re already on the subject, let’s find out how it shapes up. The ASEAN Statistics Division (ASEANstats) website provides a more accurate reflection of things. In its ASEAN key figures 2018 document, statistics – for 2017 – reveal that Brunei had 971 vehicles per 1,000 population, while Malaysia was close, with 897 vehicles per 1,000 population (yes, we really do love our motorised transport, it seems – as reflected by the numbers, almost nine out of every 10 people have a vehicle of some sort!).

Meanwhile, Thailand had a ratio of 548 vehicles per 1,000. As for Indonesia, it’s actually fourth on the list, with an ownership ratio of 499 vehicles per 1,000 people, significantly higher than the 87 vehicles per 1,000 as listed in the graphic. Singapore, listed fourth in the graphic, is placed sixth in the region – if anything, data shows that the number of registered vehicles in the republic has been dropping from a peak in 2010.

Here’s the list of how the vehicle ownership ratio in the region actually shapes up as of 2017, as reflected from the ASEANstats database:

  • Brunei 971
  • Malaysia 897
  • Thailand 548
  • Indonesia 499
  • Laos 293
  • Singapore 171
  • Myanmar 127
  • Philippines 99
  • Vietnam 31
  • Cambodia 28
  • ASEAN vehicle to population list – the correct facts

    Other bits of trivia – the region has seen a marked increase in the number of registered vehicles, with over 220 million units across all member countries in 2017, an increase of 167.8% compared to 2005, or around 8.6% per year on average. The countries that see the highest annual increase of vehicles are Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Indonesia, the latter growing at a rate of 10.9% per year.

    Within ASEAN, Indonesia has the highest number of registered vehicles, at over 130 million units – or nearly 60% of the ASEAN total – in 2017. Its placing in the vehicle-to-population ratio list is as such due to its large population size.

    Elsewhere, total road length in the region reached nearly 1.8 million km in 2017, up by 48.1% from that which was available in 2006. Indonesia has the longest road length (539,400 km), followed by Vietnam (370,660 km) and then Thailand (284,730 km). Malaysia, meanwhile, had just over 237,000 km of road in 2017. So there you go – if you click long enough, you’ll come up with a list containing data beyond that provided by Wiki.

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    Comments

    • Troll Hunter on Sep 26, 2019 at 10:44 pm

      Meanwhile someone claimed Malaysia has the highest car prices in the world. He was telling us a lie all along.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2
      • This article doesn’t change the fact that statement is still true. Malaysia indeed has one of the most expensive car prices in the world. People here buy cars because they don’t have a choice. Ask around how many people with actual jobs are willing to wait around for an hour for a bus to pick them up under the sun? I was unlucky enough to experience that during my college years. Thank God I have a car now. Never again.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 6
        • rpkay on Sep 27, 2019 at 3:43 pm

          this proved Malaysia is high income nation. marhen afforded to buy the highest car prices in the world. Thank God

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1
          • Civic Turbo 2018 on Sep 27, 2019 at 10:00 pm

            Common here is the lower the fuel price, the more people will buy cars.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
        • Logical Deduction on Sep 27, 2019 at 3:56 pm

          Logic dictates that car ownership is unquestionably high. Now if car prices are high, this high level would not have happened unless we are highly paid. Now if you don’t agree on this, would that mean we could still afford cars is because the affordability for cars is actually quite high compared to our income?

          So I will put the question: Which is which?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
        • That statement is proven false when Thailand, Singapore and even little Mauritius have costlier cars compared to Malaysia. Nuff said.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
    • Predict Malaysia vehicle sales data for August 2019 by brand:-
      1. Perodua @ Mumm-Ra – 19500 units
      2. Proton @ Thundercats – 9127 units
      3. Honda – 7500 units
      4. Toyota – 5500 units
      5. Nissan – 2000 units

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2
    • Sgt Scoop on Sep 27, 2019 at 3:01 am

      I assume ‘road vehicles’ includes motorbikes, vans, lorries etc?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
    • kakistocracy on Sep 27, 2019 at 5:45 am

      Soon Malaysia roads and highways will be choked up with cars since we have the 2nd highest number of cars but not enough road to travel compared to the other top 3 countries.
      If we try to paint a picture of situation in all ASEAN countries based on these statistics alone. Then the gridlock traffic jam in KL should be worst than Jakarta/Bangkok. We are getting there but not today.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
    • Shoman77 on Sep 27, 2019 at 7:48 am

      As for Indonesia, it’s actually fourth on the list, with an ownership ratio of 548 vehicles per 1,000 people, significantly higher than the 87 vehicles per 1,000 as listed in the graphic.

      There is a mistake in the figure, it should be 499.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
      • Johny on Sep 27, 2019 at 2:31 pm

        It’s bullshit. As an Indonesian, i’m 100% sure that data includes motorcycles (unlike what the article said). It is literally impossible to have 130 million cars registered in the country, since in the last 6 or 7 years the average car+truck/lorry sales is 1 million per year. 130 million is like 130 years worth of sales, assuming the car sales is stagnant at 1 M. It didn’t add up.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
        • Statistician on Sep 27, 2019 at 5:16 pm

          I think both of you could be right. ASEAN statistic data states motorized vehicle i.e. cars and motorbikes. Whereas above list states car ownership. Mr. Anthony Lim may want to verify this..
          Malaysians are known to keep their cars, bikes for more than 15 years after purchase. According to another statistic from MITI, up to one-third of these vehicles don’t have road tax. Even more scary when you think of it…

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
          • Anthony Lim (Member) on Sep 27, 2019 at 5:44 pm

            Statistician, the list should be of motorised vehicles. I have updated and standardised the mentions to reflect this.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
      • Anthony Lim (Member) on Sep 27, 2019 at 5:37 pm

        Yes, indeed. Corrected.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • Singarajah on Sep 27, 2019 at 7:50 am

      Our cars to people ration is very high because it is very simple. Past 60 years, our public transportation money went into a few pockets.

      If all the money went into proper channels including public transportation, you won’t see so many cars on the road

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6
      • EDITOR on Sep 27, 2019 at 12:52 pm

        Real world facts; we never had public transportation money until just recently with MRT1 & MRT2

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
    • The Truth About Car Numbers on Sep 27, 2019 at 7:51 am

      One of the main reasons why car penetration rate is high is because many like to buy new cars to show off to their kampung folk that they have done well in bandar.

      Even they don’t need the car also, mati mati must buy car to berlagak to their kampung folk they got money

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7
    • Rakyat Malaysia on Sep 27, 2019 at 8:23 am

      Thanks to 60 years of corruption, we could afford to be the 2nd highest car ownership in this region. Some keep complaining and moaning about high car prices but we are only behind rich Brunei, even topping richer countries like Singapore. This is all thanks to 60 years of corruption by the previous government.

      Thank you previous government for making cars affordable! Now with the steady price increases for cars and bikes, we are really heading towards unaffordability no thanks to current government. 60 years of affordability wasted in 60 months. Please return us back to the 60 years of corrupt government that made life affordable.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6
    • V r lucky on Sep 27, 2019 at 8:25 am

      Indon + Philipine + Vietnam… imagine when these 3 countries economic improved over the next decade, if their car ownership % can increased to our current Malaysian level, that wil b a Number that every manufacturer want to bite…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • aires on Sep 27, 2019 at 8:31 am

      Malaysia boleh! Malaysia baharu

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • budget2020 on Sep 27, 2019 at 8:49 am

      registered vehicle increase, have the infra ready?please benchmark other developed countries..how they maintain the road conditions..

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • thefact on Sep 27, 2019 at 12:17 pm

      dei brother… car is car.. motor vehicle is? are you doing an apple to apple comparison?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
    • thefact on Sep 27, 2019 at 12:24 pm

      https://paultan.org/2019/01/18/malaysia-automotive-industry-overview-for-2018-export-is-strongest-growth-performer-says-marii/

      “The motorisation rate, it added, was already at 348.6 to 1,000 people in 2017.”

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • Johny on Sep 27, 2019 at 2:26 pm

      Sorry, is that really a car to population ratio? It said road motor vehicles, which probably includes motorcycle. Could anyone clarify this? As an Indonesian, i don’t believe we have like 130 million cars registered, as in the last 5-6 years only about 1 million cars sold per year in average.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
    • Sohai on Sep 27, 2019 at 6:42 pm

      The nunber looks so big for malaysia.
      Must already include those pre-register BMW units that actually has no real owner yet.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
    • vVivi Zurianti on Sep 28, 2019 at 10:13 am

      For the figure of Malaysia, maybe this include Govt vehicles as well….hihihihiihi

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • Phil Jones on Feb 08, 2020 at 1:53 pm

      The road length indicated for Thailand is wrong. The Thai highways department has Thailand as having some 400,000km of roads in the country, not a mere 250,000.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • Vietnam’s figure looks wrong as well. There is no way that Vietnam’s vehicle penetration is so low – bike manufacturers in vietnam are quoting much higher volume that that annually as well.

      This make me suspect of ASEAN’s data as a whole…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
     

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