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Report: Millennials Drive to Work as Much as They Did in the 1980s

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 12/13/2014 Karla Sanchez

It's been said Millennials aren't as into cars as earlier generations because youngsters these days walk or use public transportation. But a survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau reveals that people between the ages of 18 and 34 are still driving to work as often as they did in the 1980s.

Research

A new Census report titled "Young Adults: Then and Now" shows an interactive map outlining the social trends among 18- to 34-year-olds during four different time periods in 1980, 1990, 2000, and present day. One of those trends examines how much of the population gets to work by car, and after comparing raw data from 25 major metropolitan areas, CityLab, an urban-focused subdivision of The Atlantic, found that not much has changed over the past 30 years. In 1980, 83.8 percent of the entire U.S. population got to work in a car, including carpool. Fast forward to present day, and CityLab found that 84.5 percent of the entire U.S. population gets to work the same way. volvo-traffic-jam-assistance-demo-front-1© Provided by MotorTrend volvo-traffic-jam-assistance-demo-front-1

The numbers are surprising, considering there are several other methods of public transportation now compared to the 1980s, but compared to more recent times, the number of car commuters has gone down. While the percentage is slightly higher than it was in the 1980s, it's an improvement compared to what it was in 1990, when 85.6 percent of young adults were driving to work. And it's even better than in 2000, when the number of car commuters reached a peak 86.7 percent.

After closely analyzing each of the 25 metro areas, CityLab found that only nine of the places showed a decline in car commuting compared to 1980. New York, unsurprisingly, showed the biggest change, with a 9.4-percent decrease. Boston came in after that with 7.8 percent, followed by San Francisco (4.6 percent), and Portland (4.3 percent). The data also showed that the number of drivers actually increased in seven major cities, including: San Diego (8.1 percent), San Antonio (4.8 percent), and Baltimore (3.6 percent). And despite undergoing considerable transit upgrades over the last 30 years, the number of car commuters in Philadelphia and Chicago increased slightly. volvo-traffic-jam-assistance-demo-rear-1© Provided by MotorTrend volvo-traffic-jam-assistance-demo-rear-1

With self-driving cars and vehicle-to-vehicle communication slated for the future, it'll be interesting to see how the trends shift in 2020 and beyond. But if the data is to be believed, Millennials, and their aversion to cars and driving, aren’t entirely to blame for the challenges currently facing the U.S. auto industry.

Report: Millennials Drive to Work as Much as They Did in the 1980s

Source: CityLab

volvo-traffic-jam-assistance-demo-rear-2© Provided by MotorTrend volvo-traffic-jam-assistance-demo-rear-2
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