Is Driving Doomed?
We don't think so. In fact, we think driver demographics bode well for auto sales.
Total U.S. miles driven in 2020 declined 13.2% year over year to 2.83 trillion, the lowest total since just below 2.8 trillion in 2001. 2020 was only the fourth year-over-year decline of this century and the first since a 0.6% fall in 2011. The 13% year-over-year fall was by far the worst decline of the Federal Highway Administration's data available back through 1970, with the next worst being 2008's 1.9% decline. The 2020 drop was so bad that we calculate it lowered the compound annual growth rate in U.S. miles driven to 1.9% for 1970-2020 from 2.2% for 1970-2019.