The amount of licensed motor vehicles driving on Malta’s roads has been growing at an astronomical rate, increasing from around 300,000 vehicles in 2010 to close to 360,000 by the end of 2016.
The human population of the islands by comparison has grown from 415,000 to slightly over 434,000 in the same time period. Assuming that the current rate of growth will follow a straight line, this would hypothetically mean that vehicles will outnumber people by 2030.
The above graph plots the number of people in Malta (blue line) and the number of registered vehicles (red line) including trucks and busses. Fitting a simple linear trend line, which calculates the slope of the lines from the data we already know and extends this into the future, allows us to determine the exact point at which these two lines intersect – 2030.
Put another way, an average of 38 new vehicles are hitting our roads every day, while the average number of babies born daily has been 14 over the past 10 years.
Of course, it’s entirely possible that the licensed vehicle stock will plateau over the next couple of years due to factors like increased costs of ownership. However, it’s also a sobering reminder to just how much worse the current traffic situation may become.