Access to an automobile in the United States is an important determinant of household mobility, as well as the economic, educational, and myriad other benefits which mobility confers. Previous analyses of national trends in vehicle availability through 2010 show a decline in zero-vehicle households across diverse populations and continued growth in the number of vehicles per household, but a slowdown in growth of available vehicles relative to driving-age adults.

Recent trends related to transportation, the demographic composition of population, technology, and residential location highlight the importance of revisiting and updating these analyses. In this report, we extend and deepen the analyses to assess vehicle availability patterns and trends across the U.S. through 2017, with a focus on zero-vehicle households. The analysis draws on three different data sources comprised of multiple associated datasets—the Public Use Microdata Samples of the U.S. Census and the American Community Survey (ACS), and the National Household Travel Survey (NHTS).