In June last year, the resident population of the Canary Islands was 2,261,654, including both minors and those who, for various reasons, are unable to drive.
However, when comparing this figure with the one revealed by the Canarian Institute of Statistics (Istac), according to which last March a total of 1,821,314 vehicles were on the roads of the Canary Islands, it is obvious that the development model in the Archipelago over the last few years has been a complete failure from the perspective of the necessary sustainability, to such an extent that the trend is that the average – absolutely irrational, from an ecological perspective – of one vehicle per inhabitant will soon be reached. La Palma, the most beautiful of all, suffers the biggest burden, with 942.7 vehicles per thousand inhabitants.
In reality, the statistics suggest that the average is much closer to the fact that every resident in the archipelago has his or her own vehicle, because in addition to the 2,261,654 already mentioned, we should deduct some 100,000 Canary Islanders who are under 18 years of age and therefore cannot get a driving licence. To these must be added the more than 50,000 over 80 years of age, according to official statistics.
From the data in question, the important thing, as always, is the trend, and the trend is that the number of vehicles in the Canary Islands continues to grow, breaking record after record as the months go by, despite the fact that the traffic jams that particularly affect Tenerife date back to the last century, without the government in power (above all, Coalición Canaria) applying minimally effective corrective measures.
According to Istac data, there were 1,821,314 vehicles on the road in the Canary Islands last March, compared to 1,774,664 in the same month in 2022 and 1,706,838 in March 2019, i.e. in the pre-pandemic period. To put these figures into perspective, in March 2008 the fleet of vehicles in the Canary Islands, which includes lorries and vans, buses, cars, motorbikes, industrial tractors, trailers and semi-trailers and others, was made up of 1,458,433 vehicles.
The average density of vehicles in the Canary Islands is 829.9 per thousand inhabitants, according to data from 2022, the most recent in the historical series managed by Istac; in 2012 it was 705.9 per thousand inhabitants, and in 2005, 664.2 per thousand inhabitants. After La Palma, the islands with the highest number of vehicles per inhabitant are El Hierro (886.5), Lanzarote (881), Tenerife (839.2), Fuerteventura (814.7), Gran Canaria (802.4) and La Gomera (763.4).