Monday, October 04, 2021

Who Owns the Most Cars?

Trulia has mapped out where people in the United States own the most cars. On average there are 0.68 vehicles per person across the USA. However the number of cars owned by each household isn't equal across the country.

Trulia's People per Vehicle interactive map shows the average number of people per vehicle in each zip -code area in America's largest cities. If you hover over a neighborhood on this map you can view the average number of people per vehicle and the average number of vehicles per person in a zip-code area. The map also tells you the average income in the neighborhood and the number of people per square mile.

Trulia's interactive map reveals that there are two main factors affecting car ownership - population density & income levels. Areas with higher income levels tend to have higher levels of car ownership. However in city centers (especially in cities with good public transit) car ownership is often much lower than the U.S. average, even in relatively wealthy neighborhoods. In fact Trulia suggests that the cities with the fewest cars are often the ones with the most affluent households. 


A similar picture seems to exist in the UK. A map by CityMetric visualizes car ownership in towns and cities across England & Wales. This map also reveals that car ownership in the UK is also affected by population density.

When I explored the map back in 2016 I found that the lowest percentage of car ownership could be found in city neighborhoods across England & Wales. As you move out into city suburbs car ownership grows. And, once you get out into the countryside, then nearly every household owns a car.

Unfortunately the CityMetric map used Google Fusion Tables so it no longer actually exists. It is therefore not possible to check the map to see if car ownership in the UK is also affected by average incomes. I suspect it is and the band of low car ownership along the Thames east of London (on the screenshot above), where there are relatively low average incomes, suggests that income levels do affect car ownership levels.

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