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Are There More Cars or Houses In The World?

Sometimes it seems like there are more cars in the world than houses – especially if you are stuck in a traffic jam. Where do all those cars come from, and where do the people live?

Some people collect cars too, so surely there must be more cars in the world than houses? Besides, more people can fit into a home than a car, so there should be fewer houses, right?

According to statistics, there are more houses in the world than cars. There are about 2.3 billion houses as opposed to 1.446 billion cars worldwide. Most of the world’s population of 7.9 billion people live in a type of house, creating more need for housing than cars.

An important consideration is that a group of people may live together under one roof. Still, not everyone in the household can drive or afford a car. People without vehicles may rely on other modes of transport, like buses, trains, motorbikes, or bicycles.

Why Are There More Houses Than Cars In The World?

The world’s population at the end of 2021 was estimated to be around 7.9 billion people. That figure includes people of all ages, from newborns to the aged.

Most of us are fortunate to have a roof over our heads and a place to call home, whether we own them, rent them, or stay in them for free.

Most times, people will usually prioritize accommodation over personal transport. Given that production relies on demand, houses are more needed than cars.

Additionally, owning a home is considered an asset that may appreciate value. In contrast, most cars (except for collectibles) tend to decrease in value, making them a financial liability.

Some other reasons why there are fewer cars than houses in the world include the following:

  • There are alternative modes of transport to cars, e.g., bicycles and motorbikes.
  • Public transport reduces the need for cars. For example, buses, trains, and trams.
  • Affordability and taxes. A notable portion of the world’s population has a low GDP (Growth Domestic Product) per capita, meaning fewer people can afford car costs.
  • The number of people licensed to drive and own a car affects the number of vehicles produced.

What Cars And Houses Are Included In These Statistics?

Given the wide variety of cars and houses, it is a good idea to define these terms more clearly to better understand the comparison.

Cars Include Cars, SUVs, And Trucks

According to Hedges & Company, a digital automotive marketing agency, there are about 1.446 billion vehicles worldwide.

Of that estimate, passenger vehicles, such as cars, tallied about 1.1 billion by the end of the first quarter of 2022. Motorcycles, buses, and other motorized vehicles were not included in the estimated number of passenger vehicles.

It is estimated that the number of cars worldwide will reach two billion by 2040.

Houses Include Various Types Of Dwellings

Architecture and Design estimated that in 2021 there were 2.3 billion houses worldwide. But what kinds of homes were included in their estimate? They included all sorts of buildings where people live, including apartment blocks.

Excluded from this tally were places categorized as collective living quarters, such as hotels, lodges, camps, hostels, and institutions.

According to this article, more than 2 billion additional houses must be built by the year 2100 to meet the needs of the growing population.

As a general trend, new homes are being made smaller, and household sizes are decreasing. Since these dwellings are suited for one or two people, more of them need to be built.

Another factor is that people live longer on average, so it has caused an upward shift in housing needs.

Car And House Ratios Differ In Each Country

The ratio of people to cars and people to houses differs from country to country. A factor contributing to these different ratios is the country’s GDP, a snapshot of the country’s economic health.

For example, here are the ratios of cars and houses per capita (1,000 people) in the United States, which was estimated to have a total population of 331,893,745 in July 2021.

Some Interesting Facts About Cars And Houses Per Capita

The concentration of cars and homes per capita differs from country to country. Below are some interesting statistics highlighting these differences.

1. If there are 7,9 billion people in the world and 1,446 billion cars, the average number of vehicles per 1,000 people worldwide would be 183.

2. There are only two countries in the world where cars outnumber the people, namely San Marino (1,300 cars per 1,000 people) and Andorra with 1,050 cars per 1,000 people.

3. On the other end of the scale, North Korea averages only 1 car per 1,000 people.

4. The countries with the most vehicles are:

  • China: 307,000,000 vehicles (219 vehicles per 1,000 people)
  • The United States: 290,800,000 vehicles (868 cars per 1,000 people)
  • India: 86,811,575 vehicles (62 vehicles per 1,000 people)

5. If there are 2,3 billion houses worldwide, the average number of dwellings per 1,000 people worldwide would be 291.

6. The countries with the most houses are:

  • China: 522,689,264 houses (371 houses per 1,000 people)
  • India: 299,727,860 houses (219 houses per 1,000 people)
  • The United States: 140 million (419 houses per 1,000 people)

7. The county with the least number of houses per capita is Senegal, with only 115 homes per 1000 people. So, the average household in Senegal has almost 9 occupants.

8. The country that has the greatest number of houses per capita is Germany. On average, there are only 2 occupants in a household and 489 homes per 1,000 people in Germany.


As statistics show, there are more houses than cars in the world. This is because people prioritize private accommodation over private transport for practical reasons.

The ratio of people to cars and homes in each country differs and is mainly attributed to the country’s economic health. However, there is a need for more houses and cars worldwide due to population growth.

I listed whether there are more cars or wheels worldwide in this post.