Vehicles per Thousand Inhabitants in US Regions

Mar 9, 2018
Chart of US Regional Vehicular Ownership Rates

The chart above shows the rate of motor vehicle ownership in US regions.  Aside from the Northeast, there isn't much difference in vehicular registration rates between US regions.


  • The difference between the region with the largest ownership rate, the Midwest, and the region with the smallest rate, the Northeast, is 215 vehicles per 1,000 people.
  • The Midwest has 1.3 times the ownership rate that the Northeast does.
  • All regions save for the Northeast have at least 75% as many vehicles as people.
  • The mean ownership rate for the US is 943.9 and the median 902.4.


  • Vehicle ownership data is from 2015.
  • Population data is from 2010.
  • Total vehicles include automobiles, taxis, buses, trucks, and motorcycles of both public and private use.
  • The Midwestern US consists of Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
  • The Western US consists of California, Washington, Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Hawaii, Idaho, Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming.
  • The Southern US consists of Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Louisiana, South Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, and West Virginia.
  • The Northeastern US consists of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Delaware, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont.


Even though Western states account for the two leading states, the West falls short of the Midwest in this metric.

The ownership rate for the entire United States is 854 vehicles per 1,000 inhabitants which ranks the US as a whole just under the South and above the Northeast.


United States Census Bureau.  "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2016."  Accessed December 12, 2017.

United States Department of Transportation.  2018.  "Table MV-1 - Highway Statistics 2015."  Accessed February 20, 2018.

Filed under: Charts and Graphs