Chart of the Day: Dutch Bicycling Rates by Age and Gender

Via @GBCyclingEmbassy, here’s a chart [in Dutch] that shows the gender ratios of bicycling mode share separated out for different age cohorts in Holland:

dutch biking gender ratios

In my opinion, the issue of gender disparities while bicycling is often talked about problematically, with women being used as a too-convenient shorthand to talk about other ideas like safety or child care. Most egregiously, you find the “indicator species” language; see reactions here or here.

But in more subtle ways, I notice that women bicyclists are often grouped into overly simplistic categories that leave assumptions about who is riding a bike, and how and why they ride, untouched.

It’s interesting to see a country where the gender ratio is not only gone, but ever-so-slightly reversed. What conclusions can we draw about gender, bicycling, and infrastructure design?

[See also, podcast with Stephanie Weir.] 

Bonus: For contrast, check out US bicycling rates sorted by gender:

us mode share gender

Bill Lindeke

About Bill Lindeke

Pronouns: he/him

Bill Lindeke has writing blogging about sidewalks and cities since 2005, ever since he read Jane Jacobs. He is a lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota Geography Department, the Cityscape columnist at Minnpost, and has written multiple books on local urban history. He was born in Minneapolis, but has spent most of his time in St Paul. Check out Twitter @BillLindeke or on Facebook.