Latvia still a Baltic road death blackspot

Data published by Eurostat November 16 shows that Latvia maintains its unenviable record as the Baltic state with the largest per capita number of road deaths, and one of the higher road death rates in the European Union.

In 2021, there were 19 917 road fatalities on EU roads, equivalent to 45 road fatalities per million inhabitants. 

Latvia's rate is significantly higher at 78 road fatalities per million inhabitants. 147 road deaths were recorded in 2021. The number was an increase on the 140 deaths recorded in 2020.

Worryingly, Latvia's road death rate has shown no evidence of coming down in recent years. In 2017 the rate was 70, in 2018 it was 77, in 2019 it fell to 69, then in 2020 it rose again to 73.

The EU region with the highest rate of road fatalities at  NUTS 2 level was the French outermost region of Guadeloupe, recording 159 road fatalities per million inhabitants, followed by Severozapaden in north-west Bulgaria (133) and Guyane, another French outermost region (120).

In total, there were 24 EU regions with at least 80 road fatalities per million inhabitants, indicated by the dark blue colour on the map. These regions were primarily located in Romania (six regions), outermost and island regions of France (four regions), Bulgaria and Greece (three regions each), Croatia, Poland, and Portugal (two regions each), with the remaining regions situated in Belgium and Italy (2020 data). 

As far as the other Baltic states are concerned, Estonia's road death rate was nearly half Latvia's at 41 deaths per million inhabitants (55 deaths in total). Lithuania (which contains two regions) recorded exactly the same number of road deaths as Latvia (147) but its larger population means that its death rate was lower at 53 deaths per million inhabitants.

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Source datasets: tran_r_accitran_sf_roadse and demo_r_d2jan

Two EU regions reported no road fatalities: Valle d’Aosta/Vallée d’Aoste in northern Italy (2020 data) and the relatively small, autonomous region of Ciudad de Ceuta in Spain. Apart from these two exceptions, the lowest incidence rates were observed in urban regions, such as the capital region of Belgium (Région de Bruxelles-Capitale / Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest) with 7 road fatalities per million inhabitants, the Austrian capital region of Wien (8), the Swedish capital region of Stockholm (9), and the northern German region of Bremen (also 9). 

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