No. of Recommendations: 9

Among the young, the drive to drive is plummeting
by Paul A. Eisenstein

Nearly a third of American 19-year-olds haven’t bothered to get a driver’s license, according to a new study, continuing a downward trend that finds fewer and fewer Millennials plugging into the American car culture.

Instead, suggest researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, young people are substituting email and text messaging for the traditional forms of socializing that would have required them to get a set of wheels to stay in contact with friends and family....

The latest study looked at U.S. Census and Federal Highway Administration data to determine that in 2010 a full 30.5 percent of 19-year-olds didn’t yet have a license (vs. 12.7 percent om 1983).

... the average number of miles driven by those aged 16 to 34 dropped by 23 percent between 2001 and 2009 — to 7,900 miles annually. ...
[end quote]

I don't have a smart phone, but I have heard that young people often send hundreds of texts a day and can spend $100 per month or more -- which probably isn't much less than the payment on a modest used car.

I didn't get my driver's license until age 24 (when I got a job in the suburbs). I took public transportation and rode my bike. It simply doesn't make sense for most lower-to-middle income people to drive in a city that has good public transportation.

As the balance of population shifts toward cities, and young people socialize and shop online instead of in person, demand for cars is expected to fall.

This isn't good news for the profitability of auto companies.
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