Volume of passenger transport relative to GDP (tran_hv_pstra)

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)

For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT


1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union
1.2. Contact organisation unit E3: Transport
1.5. Contact mail address 2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG

2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 26/11/2019
2.2. Metadata last posted 26/11/2019
2.3. Metadata last update 26/11/2019

3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

This indicator is defined as the ratio between the total transport performance of passengers using the inland modes (road and rail), expressed in passenger-kilometres and GDP (chain-linked volumes, at 2010 exchange rates).

It is indexed 2010=100.

Total inland passenger transport includes road transport (transport by passenger cars and buses/coaches) and rail transport (by trains).

Rail passenger transport performance (in passenger-kilometres) data are collected according to the legal acts and road passenger transport data are provided voluntary. The indicator is updated annually.

3.2. Classification system

Not applicable

3.3. Coverage - sector

Road and rail passenger transport

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

The indicator is calculated by taking the ratio between transport performance (in passenger-kilometres) and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (chain-linked volumes, at 2010 exchange rates), and indexing on a single reference year (2010).

The passenger transport performance should be based on the movements on the respective national territory ('territoriality principle'), regardless of the nationality of the vehicle. However, data collection methodology for road passenger transport is not harmonised at the EU level. Data are collected on a voluntary basis, a variety of sources have been used and also estimates made. Detailed information can be found in the metadata information relating to table tran_hv_psmod on the Modal Split of passenger transport.

The indicators are based on inland transport only. Although statistics on air and sea transport are available, due to their predominantly international nature, there are conceptual difficulties in dealing with these modes in a manner consistent with the inland modes.

The units used for measuring the transport performance for passenger transport are  passenger-kilometre (pkm). Passenger-kilometre represents one passenger travelling a distance of one kilometre.

For detailed information on transport definitions, please, refer to the Glossary for transport statistics (Fifth edition).

3.5. Statistical unit

The indicators are indices. The index is calculated as a composite value combining transport data series and GDP series.

3.6. Statistical population

Transport data used for the calculation of the indicators are based on the ongoing specific data collections for the different transport modes. Some data are stemming from other international sources or are estimated.

3.7. Reference area

Where possible, all data are disseminated for the EU Member States, Candidate countries and EFTA countries.

For the EU Member States, aggregates for EU totals are provided, when possible.

3.8. Coverage - Time

The time period covered is usually 2000 onwards.

3.9. Base period

Indicators are annual indices (2010=100) of the ratio of transport performance and GDP (chain-linked volumes, at 2010 exchange rates).

4. Unit of measure Top

The units used for measuring the transport performance are  passenger-kilometre (pkm). The data in the table itself are indexed ratios. (see item 3.1.)

5. Reference Period Top

Calendar year

6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

Data on road passenger transport  are collected on a voluntary basis through the Eurostat/ITF/UNECE Common Questionnaire on Transport Statistics. From 2003, rail transport data are also collected through Regulation (EC) No 91/2003 on rail transport statistics, replaced by Regulation (EU) 2018/643 of the European Parliament and the Council on rail transport statistics (recast).

Where data have been unobtainable from these sources, figures have been taken from national statistical institutes, ITF, UNECE, UIC. Certain data on road passenger transport have been also estimated by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport.

GDP series are compiled in accordance with the European System of Accounts - ESA 2010 as defined in Annex B of the Council Regulation (EU) No 549/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013.

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

There are no specific agreements related to data sharing and exchange between Eurostat and national or international institutions. All users have equal access to statistical releases at the same time.

7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

See 7.1

8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

The delay between reference period and data dissemination is 12-18 months. 

8.2. Release calendar access

Not applicable

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website (see item 10 - 'Accessibility and clarity') respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.

9. Frequency of dissemination Top


10. Accessibility and clarity Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

Normally not planned

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

Normally not planned

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Please consult free data on-line or refer to contact details.

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Not available

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Not available

10.6. Documentation on methodology

For further information on definitions used for transport, please, refer to the Glossary for transport statistics (Fifth edition). Information on methodology for collecting transport data can be found online (for example "Reference manual on rail transport statistics"),

Information on methodology for compiling GDP series can be found on the website and in the relevant metadata.

10.7. Quality management - documentation

Some information for countries providing rail transport data can be found in the relevant metadata. No information is available for voluntary data collection, apart from the definitions available in the Glossary for transport statistics (Fifth edition).

11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

Common data definitions are provided in the Glossary for Transport Statistics, however due to the voluntary character of the road transport data, the methodology and concepts are not harmonised at the EU level.

Since the implementation of the legislation on rail data collection, common methodology at country level is established, and rail data is subsequently validated in Eurostat by applying different controls on the incoming data, before and after treatment.

The quality of the GDP data is assured by application of European System of Accounts (ESA 2010) concepts and by thorough validation of the data delivered by countries.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

Due to the prevailing voluntary character of the road transport data collection, the methodology is not harmonised at the EU level and this should be taken into account when data are used. Estimates were applied for certain countries for road passenger transport, particularly for passenger cars (see also item 18.5 and 19). Some information for countries providing rail transport data can be found in the relevant metadata.

12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

User needs can come from international and governmental bodies, universities and research institutes.

The indicator expresses the link between economic development and passenger mobility and aims at answering question on decoupling mobility from economic growth, i.e. does the mobility of passengers increase with economic development or is an economic growth possible without an increase of passenger travel. The indicator is an index 2010=100.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

Eurostat does not carry out a specific satisfaction survey. Methodological issues or other aspects of further development are a subject of discussion with the relevant national authorities, other services of the Commission or, in some cases, other institutions.

12.3. Completeness

For a few countries, data have to be estimated (see also item 18.5).

13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall


The transport performance data are based on a large variety of statistical sources and some data gaps are filled with estimates.

The restricted accuracy of the indicator is mainly due to lack of data on transport by passenger car although it is the prevailing mode. Car passenger data is usually obtained from national surveys on passenger mobility or travel surveys, however, the survey concept, periods covered and reference population taken into account may vary among the countries.

Data are not always collected according to the "territoriality principle" (see 3.4.). For example, some countries may report figures based on odometer readings of cars registered in their country. However, these data would then include transport which may have been performed abroad, and on the other hand would not cover transport performance of foreign vehicles on their territory and even though the two elements may partly compensate each other, the "territoriality principle" is not applied.

13.2. Sampling error

See 13.1

13.3. Non-sampling error

Not available

14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

The delay between reference period and data dissemination is 15-18 months.

14.2. Punctuality

Since the underlying road transport data collection for this indicator is not harmonised at EU level, the punctuality varies.

15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

Comparability across countries is considerably restricted because neither concepts nor data collection methodologies for passenger transport by road are harmonized at the EU level.

15.2. Comparability - over time

Comparability over time for road transport statistics is restricted as sources for a country may vary during the covered period due to the survey methodology changes. In addition, some countries stated that for certain periods data are based on benchmark surveys, while for the rest of the covered period they are estimated. 

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

Detailed transport data, collected according to the legal acts or on voluntary basis are available online per modes of transport.

Gross domestic product (GDP) is available online.

15.4. Coherence - internal

See 13 and 18.

16. Cost and Burden Top

The indicators are composite values combining series on few transport modes and GDP series thus the cost and burden is difficult to estimate.

17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

Indicators are revised if the series (transport, GDP) used for their calculation are updated.

17.2. Data revision - practice

The indicators are a composite value combining transport series and Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Methodological changes are usually a result of new legislation entering into force. The new legal acts are published in the Official Journal of the European Union before their application.

18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

Data on passenger transport performance are collected through the Eurostat/ITF/UNECE Common Questionnaire on Transport Statistics, and from 2003, rail transport data are also collected through the Regulation (EC) No 91/2003 on rail transport statistics and subsequant Regulation (EU) 2018/643 of the European Parliament and the Council on rail transport statistics (recast) . The Common Questionnaire is accompanied by a Glossary for transport statistics.

Where data have been unobtainable from these sources, figures have been taken from national statistical institutes, ITF, UNECE or  estimated. 

National Accounts are compiled in accordance with the European System of Accounts.

18.2. Frequency of data collection

Annually (quarterly for micro-data on rail).

18.3. Data collection

Techniques of collection for the underlying datasets might differ from one mode of transport to another, depending on the methodology applied and organisation of the work in the countries. When no official data are available, other statistical sources or estimates are used.

18.4. Data validation

Transport data series used for the calculation of these indicators are, despite its heterogeneous character, subject to plausibility checks. The data validation process is organised according to the data management applied for the different modes of transport.

18.5. Data compilation

Data on passenger cars and buses and coaches are estimated for several countries (passenger cars: BG, EE, IE, EL, CY, LU, MT, PT, RO, SI; Busses and coaches: IE, EL, CY, LU, MT, SI). Estimates are disseminated in the pocketbook ‘EU transport in figures’, available on the website of the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport of the European Commission.

In order to estimate data, first the vehicle use (passenger-km/vehicle stock) for year ‘n-1’ and ‘n’ is computed.  Then, the average growth rate for the vehicle use for the countries with available data is calculated. Furthermore, in order to obtain the values (for vehicle use) for year ‘n’ for the countries with missing data (for all other countries except Ireland), this average growth rate is applied to the values for year ‘n-1’. Finally, in order to obtain the passenger-km,  the estimated pkm/stock for year ‘n’  is multiplied with the values for vehicle stock for year ‘n’. The estimates for Ireland are based on the TRACCS project. Benchmarking of the estimates is done in cases when data became available for a country.


European aggregates are calculated as the indices on the basis of the total transport performance at the necessary level of aggregation (sum of the inland transport performance of the countries being part of the aggregate) and the GDP series.

The compilation of these aggregates has been done for years for which data for all countries, being part of these aggregates, were available. If, as exception, an estimate has been used for completing the series necessary for the calculation of the aggregate, this is stated in the footnotes. 

18.6. Adjustment

Not applicable

19. Comment Top

United Kingdom: Passenger cars and buses and coaches: Great Britain data.

Related metadata Top
tran_hv_frtra_esms - Volume of freight transport relative to GDP

Annexes Top