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Fewer US Households Driving These Days

List of top ten cities with the fewest cars per household includes one's you'd expect: New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., but also Milwaukee and Detroit.

Published: 09-Feb-2014

For many Americans, there's no escaping the stressful rush hour drive — but not for everybody. Many choose not to own a car. In fact, according to a recent report, more than 9% of U.S. households did not have a car in 2012, a higher figure than five years ago. In 21 of the nation's 30 largest cities, households were also less likely to have a vehicle than just five years earlier.

According to a study by Michael Sivak, a research professor at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, the growth in households without a vehicle provides evidence that Americans are less dependent on cars than in the past. Sivak's research also indicates that, per capita, Americans own fewer vehicles, drive fewer miles, and consume less fuel. While the number of households without a car rose nationwide, from 8.7% in 2007 to 9.2% in 2012, figures by city differ dramatically. In San Jose, just 5.8% of households did not have a car. In New York, 56.5% of households did not have a car.

According to Sivak's report, "The proportion of households without a vehicle is likely influenced by a variety of factors," including public transportation quality, urban layout, weather, and fuel costs." Adie Tomer, associate fellow at the Brookings Institution, agreed that, per capita, Americans have been driving less, and that this is due to "a huge confluence of factors."



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