Miles of Roadway per Square Mile of Land in EU and US Regions

Apr 9, 2018
Chart of Road Length per Square Mile of Land in EU and US Regions

The chart above shows the miles of roads per square mile of land in EU and US regions.  Only the Western EU has more than three miles of road for every square mile of territory.


  • The difference between the region with the greatest road coverage, the Western EU, and the region with the least, the Western US, is 2.57 miles.
  • The Western EU has 6.74 times the road coverage that the Western US has.
  • Only the Western US has less than half-a-mile of roadways for every square mile of territory.


  • US road length data is from 2015; EU road length data is from 2008 except for Denmark which is from 2006, and Italy and Portugal which are from 2005.
  • US area data is from 2010; EU area data is from 2007.
  • Road and area data come from different sources.
  • EU and US data come from different sources.
  • Bulgaria is not included because it did not have complete data in the road data set.
  • The road network is very limited in Alaska, so much so that the state capital is not connected by road, and one in 78 people are pilots.
  • The Western EU consists of Germany, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Ireland, and Luxembourg.
  • The Northeastern US consists of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Delaware, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
  • The Southern EU consists of Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, and Malta.
  • The Midwestern US consists of Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
  • The Southern US consists of Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Louisiana, South Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, and West Virginia.
  • The Eastern EU consists of Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria (not included), Croatia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
  • The Northern EU consists of Sweden, Denmark, and Finland.
  • The Western US consists of California, Washington, Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Hawaii, Idaho, Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming.


Even though EU regions are far more paved than US regions tend to be, vehicle ownership rates are far higher in US regions.  Considering that the regions that are less paved are vast and rural, it is more likely that vehicle ownership is a necessity in those regions.

The number of miles of roadway per square mile of land for the United States as a whole is 1.09 which ranks it just below the Eastern EU and just above the Northern EU (the Western US is by far the largest region in the US).  The number of miles of roadway per square mile of land for the European Union as a whole is 2.00 which ranks it just below the Southern EU and above the Midwestern US.


European Union Road Federation.  2011.  "European Road Statistics 2011."  Accessed March 12, 2018.

United Nations.  2007.  "United Nations Statistics Division - Environment Statistics."  Accessed January 23, 2018.

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.  2016.  "Table HM-10M - Highway Statistics 2015 - Policy | Federal Highway Administration."  Accessed March 12, 2018.