China Soon to Have Almost as Many Drivers as U.S. Has People – China Real Time Report – WSJ

China will soon have nearly as many drivers as the U.S. has people.

As of this week, the number of Chinese motor-vehicle drivers was poised to break past 300 million people, according to the country’s top law-enforcement agency, including 244 million licensed passenger-car drivers. The U.S., by comparison, has about 319 million men, women and children, and nearly 212 million licensed drivers.

Meanwhile, China has 154 million private autos, next only to the U.S., said the ministry. The U.S. government puts the number of cars and trucks there at around 240 million, suggesting China still has a ways to go before it can fill parking lots the way Americans do.

The numbers – a result of China’s wealth accumulation over the past decade as well as the rise a domestic car-manufacturing base – have all kinds of implications for the world’s No. 2 economy. The rise in the ranks of drivers could be good news for an industry facing slowing growth and overcapacity, though it also complicated Beijing’s efforts to wrap its arms around the country’s massive pollution problems.

First, the details: Chinese drivers are increasingly female, both older and younger, and new to the streets.

via China Soon to Have Almost as Many Drivers as U.S. Has People – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

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