If all of Malta's vehicles were to be out on the road at the same time, there would have been 130 of them on each kilometre of road across the country in 2017. 

The quirky measure of the country's relationship with vehicles emerges from a comprehensive report on transport issued by the National Statistics Office.

Among other things, it helps shed light on whether the number of vehicles in Malta is increasing in line with an increase in population, or whether it is growing at a faster rate than demographic growth. 

The report looks at the number of vehicles per 1,000 residents and finds that the rate increased since 2010, but only relatively marginally. Back then, there were 747 vehicles per 1,000 residents. By 2018, it had risen to 782 per 1,000.

To put this into some context, the average for the EU that year was 602 - suggesting Maltese have been exceedingly keen on their vehicles for quite a while. 

Driving licences

A glance at Malta's driving licence statistics further reinforces this impression: Maltese drivers have more than one vehicle each.

They had 1.357 vehicles each in 2011, which went up to 1.458 by 2017, the last year for which statistics are available in the report.

When vehicle ownership is analysed by household. another interesting twist emerges. Although each household had an average of 2.2 cars in 2017, only 1.7 were passenger cars, perhaps indicating the growing popularity of vehicles like motorcycles as a secondary mode of transport. 

A 2013 report by the European Commission said Malta had the most dense network when taking into account the surface area, with 7.5km of roads for every square kilometre.

This is considerably higher than the next placed Belgium, which had just over 5km of roads per square kilometres.

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