BEIJING, (Xinhua) -- China has 244 million people licensed to drive cars, the largest number worldwide, according to the Ministry of Public Security (MPS).
At present, there are 264 million civil motor vehicles in use, including 154 million automobiles, next only to the United States, according to the MPS.
It says that China accounts for 15 percent of all automobiles in use in the world.
In addition, 22 percent of Chinese people have driving licenses, and the number of Chinese drivers will continue to surge in the next few years, the MPS said.
In the last ten years, the number of women drivers increased 11 times, while that of male drivers only rose 7.4 times. The number of people licensed to drive a car above 60 rose 38 times.
According to international convention, having 20 cars for every hundred families means a country is beginning an auto society.
In China, every hundred families on average have 25 private cars, and in big cities, the number for every hundred households has exceeded 40, including Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu.
The ability to drive has now become a life skill instead of an occupation, the MPS said.
In Beijing, to acquire a driving license also means being qualified for car plate lottery, which started in 2011. Some senior people gain driving license only to increase the probability for their offspring to get car plates.