Ownership rates for cars and light trucks have touched their highest levels since 2008 and 2009, according to a report from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.
The report, led by university researcher Michael Sivak, is part of an ongoing study that has zeroed in on changes in ownership and miles driven in the U.S. since 1984.
Now in its tenth iteration, the report shows car ownership rose to 0.766 per person in 2016 from 0.756 in 2015, while the rate per household has increased to 1.968 from 1.95 in 2015. Per-person rates have been on the rise for four consecutive years while household rates have increased three years in a row.
Both rates were at their peak in 2006, when there were 2.05 cars per household and 0.79 cars per American on average. Since then, per person rates are down 2.5 percent while household rates have slipped 4 percent.
In addition, the report looked at annual distances driven per person and per household. Since 2004, when both rates peaked, miles driven on a per-person basis dropped 5.3 percent in 2016 from 9,314, and miles driven per household slipped 7 percent from 24,349.
Miles driven grew 1.9 percent to 8,819 miles in 2016 from 2015 on a per person basis, while miles driven per household rose 1.5 percent to 22,649 miles. The rate per person for 2016 is at about the same as it was in 2003, while the rate per household is about the same as it was in 1994.
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