traffic jam

China Has the Worst Traffic in the World

China's first-tier cities have world-class traffic jams

traffic jam

China is home to more than 20 of the most congested cities for traffic in the world, and five are ranked among the world’s top 20, according to a report by TomTom, a dutch company specialising in car navigation services.

China’s most congested cities are its first-tier ones, with Chongqing taking top spot in China and 12th internationally, followed by Tianjin, Beijing and Guangzhou. Chengdu rounded out the top five Chinese cities, coming ahead of Shanghai as well as making it one of the top 20 most congested cities in the world at no. 19.

A number of cities in the Pearl River Delta made it onto the list. In addition to Guangzhou are Shenzhen as China’s 11th most congested city, Zhuhai in 12th place and Dongguan at 21. Another group to note are the Chinese cities that will make up the future Beijing supercity of Tianjin, Beijing and Shijiazhuang, Hebei at the number seven spot.

Taipei also made it onto the list as the 11th most traffic congested city in the world.

TomTom compiled the data by comparing travel times during peak periods against non-congested travel times, and expressing the result as a percentage. Chongqing has a congestion level of 38 percent in which an ordinary commute that takes 30 minutes in unobstructed traffic is delayed by 27 minutes during rush hour.

As bad as traffic conditions appear in Chongqing, car travel in Beijing may actually be worse. While Beijing has a 37 percent congestion level with a delay of 24 minutes for every 30 minute commute, it has more roads than Chongqing that still get clogged up. Though they are both large first-tier cities, Chongqing’s road network is only 5,575 kilometers long, of which 196 kilometers are highways. By comparison, Beijing has a road network of 20,834 kilometers in which 1,177 kilometers are highways.

Here is the list of China’s most congested cities for traffic, followed by their international ranking:

  1. Chongqing; 12th
  2. Tianjin; 14th
  3. Beijing; 15th
  4. Guangzhou, Guangdong; 17th
  5. Chengdu, Sichuan; 19th
  6. Shanghai; 24
  7. Shijiazhuang, Hebei; 25th
  8. Fuzhou, Fujian; 28th
  9. Shenyang, Liaoning; 29th
  10. Hangzhou, Zhejiang; 30th
  11. Shenzhen, Guangdong; 31st
  12. Zhuhai, Guangdong; 33rd
  13. Changchun, Jilin; 35th
  14. Changsha, Hunan 39th
  15. Nanjing, Jiangsu; 42nd
  16. Quanzhou, Fujian; 49th
  17. Ningbo, Zhejiang; 52nd
  18. Wuhan, Hubei; 54th
  19. Xiamen, Fujian; 80th
  20. Suzhou, Jiangsu; 82nd
  21. Dongguan, Guangdong; 83rd
  22. Wuxi, Jiangsu; 105th

Istanbul, Mexico City, and and Rio de Janeiro are the three most congested cities in the world.

Charles Liu

The Nanfang's Senior Editor