HOW MANY U.S. BIKERS OVER 40?

January 30, 2007

    I am trying to find out how many adults 40 and older in the U.S. own or ride bicycles. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Stephen S.

Stephen:
    No good way exists to get such a number, so I’ll give you something, ah, heuristic. Statisticians: Stop reading now.
    First, realize that many people own bikes that don’t ride them, and I don’t know of any surveys that ask about that. So when it comes to the number of bike owners I’ll throw in the towel.
    As far as the number of adults who ride bikes, let’s take a high-profile survey: one done periodically by the National Sporting Goods Association. NGSA sez that in 2005 43.1 million Americans of age 7 and older rode bicycles.
    You can take NSGA’s number and, as they say, do the math: Distribute it across the U.S. population according to age. Get the percentage of population for each age from the U.S Census Bureau.
    Want a higher number? Use a different study. The federal government’s 2002 National Survey of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Attitudes and Behaviors tells us that about 57 million Americans age 16 or older ride bikes. Distribute that quantity across the U.S. population.
    Other studies identify certain kinds of bicycling behavior (e.g., crashes, consumption habits, preferred biking activity), but not the broad range you seek.
    Hey, I enjoy math. But, like my piano, I don’t use it much any more.

Mr Bike



Back to questions