Study: Good News For Motorists, Younger People Driving Less

National_Public_Radio_logo.svgGood news for drivers.

National Public Radio reports on a new study from the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute which seems to indicate the number of young people who don’t drive is increasing.

The trend in car ownership and driver’s license holders is decreasing among all age groups but is most dramatically down in younger demographics.

One metric NPR pulls out is that only 69% of 19-year olds had a driver’s license in 2014, compared to 90% in 1983. While driver’s licenses among twenty-somethings is down 13% compared to 30 years ago.

NPR writer David Schaper reports from Chicago and interviews a handful of folks, both young and older, who don’t or have recently given up driving.

The cost of vehicle ownership including insurance, maintenance and the ever present parking tickets are a few of the things that are discouraging many from driving or even having a driver’s license.

This decline in motorists on the road is just good news for those who continue to drive as hopefully the result is less traffic congestion and improved travel times.

Here’s the full story from NPR, “Like Millennials, More Older Americans Steering Away From Driving.

5 Responses to Study: Good News For Motorists, Younger People Driving Less

  1. Jeff says:

    Not sure I buy this. The anti car crowd keeps crowing about fewer drivers, to justify spending on bike lanes for the 1% of people who bike to work in America.

    But 2015 set a records for both miles driven and for auto sales in the US.

    This smacks of the usual junk science behind these anti-car measures.

  2. pkdickman says:

    I ran the numbers for the 2010 census. I compared the percentage of Chicago households with at least one car available in different age groups of the householders.
    The difference between millenials and the 35-65yr olds was less than 5%.
    You can see the chart here:

  3. Jeff says:


    Nice work! You see — junk science studies can be published to prove any agenda-oriented point. And they can actually be credible so long as no pesky smart guy (like pkdickman) takes the time to really dig into the data.

  4. pkdickman says:

    The gap is expanding, and I don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing.
    I am old enough to remember when, even in the burbs, 1 car families were the norm. My high school had at least a 1000 kids with licenses, but I would only have to remove one shoe to count the number of student cars in the parking lot.
    But the bottom line is that the gap may be big enough to worry car companies, it is nowhere near the level of public policy changes.

  5. Jeff says:


    Hard to see any number to justify the spending lavished on bike projects for one out of 100, while everyone else drives, walks, or rides public transit to work

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