Do Millennials Drive Less? Millennials Driving Statistics

Millennials or Generation Y is defined as a person born in the years ranging from the early 1980’s to the early 2000’s. The phraseGeneration Y first appeared in an August 1993 Ad Age editorial to describe teenagers of the day.


According to The New York Times, for six decades, Americans have tended to drive more each year. But in the middle of the last decade, the number of miles driven began to drop. This can largely be attributed to Millennials.

As a leader in affordable car insurance, we are always looking for interesting data regarding drivers of different generations. We saw fascinating trends amongst Millennials that we were eager to share.

  • Young people aged 16 to 34 drove 23 percent fewer miles on average in 2009 than they did in 2001—a greater decline in driving than any other age group. The severe economic recession was likely responsible for some of the decline, but not all.
  • Millennials are more likely to want to live in urban and walkable neigh­borhoods and are more open to non-driving forms of transportation than older Americans. They are also the first generation to fully embrace mobile Internet-connected technolo­gies, which are rapidly spawning new transportation options and shifting the way young Americans relate to one another, creating new avenues for living connected, vibrant lives that are less reliant on driving.
  • If the Millennial-led decline in per-capita driving continues for another dozen years, even at half the annual rate of the 2001-2009 period total vehicle travel in the United States could remain well below its 2007 peak through at least 2040—despite a 21 percent increase in population. If Millennials retain their current pro­pensity to drive less as they age and future generations follow (Enduring Shift), driving could increase by only 7 percent by 2040. If, unexpectedly, Millennials were to revert to the driv­ing patterns of previous generations (Back to the Future), total driving could grow by as much as 24 percent by 2040.

It will definitely be interesting to see whether or not the younger generation steers clear of driving over the next decade. Could Millennials shift the trend or will they eventually get back on the road in droves? Only time will tell!

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