An error occured. Details Hide
You have unsaved pages. Restore Cancel

Some countries are famous for the quality of their roads (and maybe also the speeds you may go on them). According to the Global Competitiveness Report, the UAE boasts the best roads. France, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and Switzerland also have very high-quality roads—with a ‘quality of roads' score higher than 6—and yet none make the top 100 countries by land area and thus all fall outside the group of countries with the largest road networks.

If large countries with expansive road networks struggle to maintain high-quality roads, to what extent is the public maintenance of roadways hampered by corruption? We analyzed data for seven countries, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Russia, and the United States, which combined account for 70 percent of the global roads network and roughly half of the world's land area.

  • Four of the seven countries have high road quality, scoring a 5 or greater on the 'quality of roads' subindex of the Global Competitiveness Index in 2017. This means that the length and quality of road network are not correlated. In fact, the data shows there is a slight positive relationship between road quality and length. 
  • All seven countries also have different densities of roadways, which is reasonable given challenging topographies and climate conditions and potentially insufficient investment in infrastructure. But, again, investment issues could relate to corruption.

So, what about corruption and roadways? The data is absolutely inconclusive.

  • Brazil and Russia score high on corruption and low on density and quality of roads, whereas corruption in China hasn’t lessened the quality or density of its roadways.
  • The US scores low on corruption but has relatively high density and quality of roads whereas others with low corruption scores—such as Australia and Canada—have low densities of roadways.
  • And, then there’s India as the outlier in the group of seven, with a relatively high corruption score and high density and poor quality of roadways.

Related Data Insights

The Global Electric Car Market

Electric cars constitute less than 0.1 percent of the vehicle market today, but market and regulatory forces all but ensure electric vehicles will be the future of the auto industry. According to the 2016 Global Electric Vehicle Outlook from the International Energy Agency, the global electric car stock has grown rapidly since 2010, from about 2,000 cars in 2005 to nearly 1.3 million in 2015. The boom in the electric car industry is usually attributed to three factors:The increasing recovery cost globally for fossil fuels used in conventional vehicles;The environmentally-friendly potential of electric vehicles, which produce fewer CO2...

World Motor Vehicle Sales

The World's Top Car-Owning Countries

The United States is often criticized for its perceived nonchalance toward air pollution despite persistent statements to the contrary by the current presidential administration. The US remains the number one contributor globally to harmful chemicals in the air, with the fossil-fuel consuming transportation industry being a primary emission source. With more than 250 million vehicles on US roads, the US surpasses even China based on total vehicles in use despite China's much larger population...at least for now. China has already surpassed the US in annual new car sales. Examining the data on a per capita basis reveals another side to the...

Prospects of car production in the world

Decline in demand during world economic crisis of 2008-2009 has caused troubles for many car producers especially in the United States, Europe and Japan. Nevertheless, global long term prospects for automotive industry remain promising. Cars sales in emerging countries are well below the level of saturation. In India and China, where lives almost 40% of world population, there are only 12 and 34 passenger cars per 1000 population, respectively.