Per Capita Road Coverage in US States

May 16, 2018
Chart of Roads per Thousand People in US States

The chart above shows road lengths per thousand people in US states.  The Dakotas are the only two states that have over 100 miles for every thousand inhabitants in their states.  Additionally, the top 12 states all are from west of the Mississippi.


  • The difference between the state with the most roads per capita, North Dakota, and the state with the least, Hawaii, is 126.27 miles.
  • North Dakota has 39.55 times the roads per capita that Hawaii does.
  • Five states have more than 50 miles of road for every thousand inhabitants.
  • Twelve states have less than 10 miles of road for every thousand inhabitants.
  • The mean miles of road for every thousand inhabitants for the US is 23.09 and the median 16.37.


  • Population data is from 2010.
  • Road length data is from 2015.
  • Road and population data come from different sources.
  • 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.
  • All figures are rounded to the nearest hundredth.


The states that have the highest vehicle registration rates also rank high in this metric.  There is also a pretty strong inverse relationship between this metric and registered vehicles per mile of road network which makes sense.

The United States as a whole has 13.47 miles of road for every thousand inhabitants ranking it just under Louisiana and just above Georgia.


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.

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