US Population vs. Miles Driven

From data discussed at Future Pundit, I created this chart of miles driven per person in the US.

Based on population data from April 2008 and Miles Driven from May 2008, we can come up with some interesting observations.

1. The miles driven per person estimate for May 2008 is slightly below 2002 levels:

Picture 1.png

2001: 9689.38

2002: 9806.25

2008: 9758.76 (Estimate)

2. Another interesting measurement – %-age change in miles driven vs. the previous year:

Picture 2.png

And what you’re seeing here is a steady and ongoing decrease in the “rate of growth” of driving over time. In other words, since 1990, our driving miles/year has been leveling off, despite a significant increase in population.

3. Which suggests the graph – changes in population vs. changes in driving year-over-year:

Picture 3.png

Which shows that the population growth has been a steady 1% per year. In the go-go 80s, we increased our mileage more than the population growth, and for the 90s through 2005 we roughly aligned our driving to the population, and since 2005 we’ve been driving less relative to population.

Source Data:

Population

1980 – 1990 http://www.census.gov/popest/archives/1990s/nat-total.txt

1990 – 2000 http://www.census.gov/popest/archives/EST90INTERCENSAL/US-EST90INT-07/US-EST90INT-07.csv

2000 – 2007 http://www.census.gov/popest/states/NST-ann-est.html

2008 http://www.census.gov/popest/national/NA-EST2007-01.html

Driving

1983-2008 http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/tvtw/tvtpage.htm

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