We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How Many Cars do Americans Have?

There are about 70 cars for every 100 people in the United States — that's more cars than there are licensed drivers, and about 20 cars more per 100 people than in countries such as Japan and Britain. Despite the car/person ratio, vehicle occupancy is declining. In the U.S., vehicle occupancy averages about 1.7 people per vehicle, down from about 2.2 people per vehicle in 1970.

More vehicle statistics:

  • In the U.S., the average person spends a little more than an hour per day in a car.

  • The massive car ownership is leading to major traffic problems in many cities. The cities with the worst traffic in the world are Beijing, Mexico City and Johannesburg. The worst U.S. cities for traffic are Los Angeles, New York and Houston.

  • Despite the massive fuel expenditures, air travel is sometimes better for the environment because planes usually are mostly full when they're in use, unlike cars, which usually carry only one or two people.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.