Which country is the roundabout capital of the world? New research reveals all

Aerial view of road roundabout intersection with moving heavy traffic. Urban circular transportation crossroads.

The online car rental specialist DiscoverCars.com analysed roundabouts in each country to reveal the countries with the most roundabouts, including per capita and per km2.

While navigating roundabouts may feel far from an ideal way to pass the time for many, an interesting new piece of research has revealed the tourist-destination roundabouts in countries around the world, while also unveiling the volume of roundabouts in each country.

New research from DiscoverCars.com sought to identify which country holds the mantle of “roundabout capital”, while also highlighting the unknown appeal of many global roundabouts to travellers looking for unconventional attractions to add to their sightseeing list.

To do this, they looked into the total number of roundabouts in each country, alongside breaking down how many roundabouts are in each country per capita – in this case, per 1 million people – and the volume of roundabouts per km2.

Speaking on the results, Aleksandrs Buraks at DiscoverCars.com said:

“When we think of a sightseeing holiday, roundabouts may not be the first thing to come to mind. Commonly found on the road, and even considered a nuisance to some drivers, it’s safe to say roundabouts are often not considered a sight worth seeing.

“However, there are a wide range of famous roundabouts all over the world, with many attracting tourists all on their own. In this research, we delved a little deeper into the countries with a high volume of roundabouts and where these renowned roundabouts can be found.”

Now, let’s take a look at some of the countries with the largest volume of roundabouts.

The research revealed that the champion for the most overall roundabouts was France – which recorded an enormous 42,986 roundabouts. This was followed by the United Kingdom, which came in second by quite some distance with 25,976 roundabouts in total.

Some notable roundabouts in these destinations include the iconic French Place de l’Étoile – the roundabout that encircles the Arc De Triomphe – and the UK’s “Magic Roundabout”, located in the town of Swindon, and regularly responsible for drivers being left scratching their heads in confusion with its multi-directional 6-roundabout collection.

The other countries in the top-5 for total roundabouts were:

  • Italy – 18,172 roundabouts
  • Spain – 15,053 roundabouts
  • Brazil – 11,854 roundabouts

In terms of countries with the most roundabouts per capita, France came out on top once again with 663.8 roundabouts per 1 million people. This was followed by Portugal – which is home to 473.4 roundabouts per million.

The remainder of the top-5 was comprised of:

  • Norway – 427.1 roundabouts per capita
  • Iceland – 421 roundabouts per capita
  • Ireland – 385 roundabouts per capita

The report also analysed which countries have the highest volume of roundabouts per km2. DiscoverCars found that the Netherlands ranked in first place with a staggering 113.4 roundabouts per km2. This was followed closely by the United Kingdom once again, which recorded 107.4 roundabouts per km2.

The other countries that ranked within the top-5 for highest volume per km2 were:

  • Israel – 81.8 roundabouts per km2
  • France – 78.5 roundabouts per km2
  • Belgium – 67.7 roundabouts per km2

One of the most fascinating roundabouts included in the research was the “floating tap” – located in Ypres, Belgium – which (as the name suggests) comprises of a brightly-coloured faucet in the center of the roundabout, equipped with a water feature that makes the tap appear as though it is running with water.

A breakdown of the notable roundabouts in each country can be found in the full piece here.

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