Study Finds More Age Groups Ditching the Driver's License

It's not just millennials anymore. A new study finds more people are going without driver's licenses than in previous decades.
February 14, 2016, 7am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"The trend [of driving less and getting rid of cars] is gaining traction in middle-aged adults, to the point where fewer of them are even bothering to get or renew their driver's licenses, but it's been prominent among younger adults — millennials — for years now," reports David Schaper.

Schaper cites a new study published [pdf] by University of Michigan's Transportation Research as evidence of these claims, and speaks with the study's lead author, Brandon Schoettle.

According to the study, only 69 percent of 19-year-olds have a driver's license in 2014, compared with almost 90 percent in 1983. The percentage of 20-somethings with driver's licenses has also fallen by 13 percent over the past three decades, and fewer Americans in their 30s and 40s now have driver's licenses.

The article includes an infographic that illustrates how much less common driver's licenses are among age groups broken down into five-year groupings. The exception to the decrease is found at the top end of the spectrum, with drivers 60 years old and beyond. The study's findings, of course, don't mean Americans are driving less—just that a larger proportion of Americans are opting not to drive. In November 2015, the Federal Highway Administration reported a new record in Vehicle Miles Traveled.

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Published on Thursday, February 11, 2016 in NPR
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