A new report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and Frontier Group details reasons why Millennials are driving fewer miles than previous generations.
Among other explanations, Millennials are less likely to move from central cities to the suburbs and are more attracted to "less driving-intensive lifestyles" than previous generations, according to the report.
The report, which highlights "mounting evidence that the Millennial generation’s dramatic shift away from driving is more than temporary," showed that people in the 16 to 24 age range who travel to work by car dropped 1.5 percentage points between 2006 and 2013. Over the same time, the share of young people traveling to work by public transportation, foot, or bicycle increased.
Also, fewer younger people are getting a driver's license, the report showed. Between 1996 to 2010, the share of high school seniors with a driver's license ticked down from 85 percent to 73 percent.
Here's more about why millennials aren't driving as much, and why the trend is likely continue:
While young adults 'living in their parents’ basement' increased during the recession, the share living in their parents’ homes had also been increasing even prior to the recession.
The recession may have caused some Millennials to delay forming separate families that would likely drive more, but Americans have been getting married and having children at a later age nearly continuously since the 1960s. These trends have continued during the recovery.
Graduated driver licensing requirements adopted in recent years by state governments have likely played a small but important role in causing young people to delay or forgo getting a driver’s license, potentially encouraging Millennials to develop less car-dependent transportation habits that they may carry with them as they age.
“Millennials are different from their parents, and those differences aren’t going away,” said Illinois PIRG Director Abe Scarr. “After five years of economic growth with stagnant driving, it’s time for federal and Illinois governments to wake up to growing evidence that Millennials don’t want to drive as much as their parents did. This change has big implications and policy makers shouldn’t be asleep at the wheel.
“This report is about more than just describing what is taking place,” he added. “It is also about an opportunity. If Millennials continue to drive fewer miles than previous generations as they age — and if future generations of young people follow suit — America will have an opportunity to reap a variety of benefits, including reduced traffic congestion, fewer deaths and injuries on the roads, reduced expenditures for highway construction and less pollution of our air and climate.”