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The States With the Highest Share of Younger Drivers on the Highway


The coveted teenage dream of acquiring a driver’s license at 16 has been headed towards the scrap yard for nearly 40 years. Federal Freeway Administration information from 2020, the newest obtainable, reveals that drivers 19 and youthful make up 3.7% of all U.S. drivers—and drivers 16 and youthful are simply 0.5% of the nation’s drivers.

These ratios are shrinking: An evaluation by mobility advocacy group Inexperienced Automobile Congress discovered that in 2018, 61% of 18-year-olds had a driver’s license, down from 80% in 1983. Over the identical interval, the proportion of 16-year-olds with licenses additionally dropped from 46% to 25%.

Utilizing information from the FHWA, The Common has compiled the ten U.S. states with the biggest shares of younger drivers—these 19 and youthful.

As a result of individuals in additional rural states could also be extra more likely to want—and subsequently get—a driver’s license, the states are additionally listed with their urbanization indexes, sourced from a 2020 evaluation by FiveThirtyEight. And certainly, extra rural states are likely to have the next share of drivers who’re younger.

The Common

Charge of younger drivers in every state

Rural Midwestern states had been among the many almost definitely to have increased percentages of younger drivers. Partially that’s probably as a result of they’re made up of much less dense, extra expansive areas and lack important public transit providers.

As a nation, the U.S. is just not essentially the most transit-accessible: The ten largest metropolitan areas within the nation make up simply one-quarter of the nation’s census tracts, however 95% of census tracts with common public transit service, in response to a UCLA evaluation of Census Bureau information. Most of these transit scorching spots are on both the East Coast or the West Coast—with almost one-third of them within the New York Metropolis metropolitan space.

As well as, the pandemic could have considerably slowed the speed of younger drivers getting licenses: Nationally, 3.9% of the nation’s drivers had been 19 and beneath in 2019. In 2020 that share dropped to three.7%.

Nicholas Stankus // Shutterstock

#10. Nebraska

– Share of drivers age 19 and beneath: 5.33%

– Whole drivers 19 and beneath: 38,395

– Whole drivers in state: 720,896

– Urbanization index: 10.2

Inbound Horizons // Shutterstock

#9. Idaho

– Share of drivers age 19 and beneath: 5.42%

– Whole drivers 19 and beneath: 35,312

– Whole drivers in state: 651,522

– Urbanization index: 9.59

LMspencer // Shutterstock

#8. Alabama

– Share of drivers age 19 and beneath: 5.49%

– Whole drivers 19 and beneath: 107,425

– Whole drivers in state: 1,956,800

– Urbanization index: 9.61

Kristi Blokhin // Shutterstock

#7. South Carolina

– Share of drivers age 19 and beneath: 5.58%

– Whole drivers 19 and beneath: 103,806

– Whole drivers in state: 1,861,511

– Urbanization index: 10.11

Dan Thornberg // Shutterstock

#6. Minnesota

– Share of drivers age 19 and beneath: 5.96%

– Whole drivers 19 and beneath: 122,559

– Whole drivers in state: 2,055,978

– Urbanization index: 10.46

FTiare // Shutterstock

#5. Iowa

– Share of drivers age 19 and beneath: 5.97%

– Whole drivers 19 and beneath: 67,141

– Whole drivers in state: 1,124,007

– Urbanization index: 9.59

Matt Fowler KC // Shutterstock

#4. Kansas

– Share of drivers age 19 and beneath: 6.04%

– Whole drivers 19 and beneath: 58,539

– Whole drivers in state: 969,756

– Urbanization index: 10.12

#3. Oklahoma

– Share of drivers age 19 and beneath: 6.63%

– Whole drivers 19 and beneath: 78,573

– Whole drivers in state: 1,184,969

– Urbanization index: 9.94

Bob Pool // Shutterstock

#2. Utah

– Share of drivers age 19 and beneath: 6.74%

– Whole drivers 19 and beneath: 73,075

– Whole drivers in state: 1,083,825

– Urbanization index: 10.96

Alex Cimbal // Shutterstock

#1. South Dakota

– Share of drivers age 19 and beneath: 7.34%

– Whole drivers 19 and beneath: 24,391

– Whole drivers in state: 332,249

– Urbanization index: 8.73

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