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Study: All Age Groups Experiencing Decline In Number Of Licensed Drivers

In yet another example of the way that the ongoing economic downturn (does anyone still actually believe that there was a real recovery?) is affecting the marketplace, a recent study from researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute found that the proportion of people possessing a driver’s license in the US has been decreasing across all age groups in recent years.

The study clearly shows that, for the 45 to 69 year-old age group, there was a steady increase in the proportion of people possessing a driver’s license from 1983 until 2008, when that trend reversed abruptly. A steady decrease was obvious between the years of 2008 and 2014. To use the 60 to 64 year-old age group as an example, the “percentages in 1983, 2008, 2011, and 2014, were 83.8%, 95.9%, 92.7%, and 92.1%, respectively.”

97 year old ev driver

As one familiar with the younger generations could probably guess, the effect of the recession on those between 16 and 44 years in age was somewhat less obvious — as the proportion of people in that age group possessing a driver’s license has been decreasing since all the way back in 1983. The younger generation in general just doesn’t seem to think owning a car is as important as earlier generations did (the average cost of ownership relative to average income level has been increasing since before 1983, though, it should be noted).

Here’s more from the new study, via Green Car Congress:

For 16- through 44-year-olds, there was a continuous decrease in the percentage of persons with a driver’s license for the years examined. For example, the percentages for 20- to 24-year-olds in 1983, 2008, 2011, and 2014, were 91.8%, 82.0%, 79.7%, and 76.7%, respectively.

For those 70 years and older, there was an increase in the percentage of persons with a driver’s license from 1983 to 2008, followed by an increase from 2008 to 2011, and a decrease from 2011 to 2014. The percentages for 1983, 2008, 2011, and 2014, were 55.0%, 78.4%, 79.2%, and 79.0%, respectively.

The findings were obtained using data gathered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) between 1983 and 2014. The analysis was performed by Dr Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

 
Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

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