Per Capita Waterway Coverage in EU and US Regions

Jun 26, 2018
Chart of Waterways per Thousand People in EU and US Regions

The chart above shows the miles of waterways per thousand people in EU and US regions.  Although the Southern US has almost twice as many miles of waterways per capita as the third highest ranked region, the Northern EU has six times as many waterways per capita as the Southern US does.


  • The difference between the region with the most waterways per capita, the Northern EU, and the region with the least, the Southern EU, is 0.92 miles.
  • The Northern EU has 57.53 times the waterways per capita that the Southern EU does.
  • Only the Northern EU has more than two-tenths of a mile of waterways for every thousand people.


  • EU waterway data is from 2016 except for Belgium (2008), Germany (2013), Luxembourg (2009), and Romania (2015).  US waterway data is from 2013.
  • EU population data is from 2011.  US population data is from 2010.
  • Waterway and population data come from different sources.
  • EU and US data come from different sources.
  • All figures are rounded to the nearest thousandth.
  • Cyprus, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden from the EU and Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming from the US did not have any waterway data.
  • The Northern EU consists of Sweden, Denmark, and Finland.
  • The Southern US consists of Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Louisiana, South Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, and West Virginia.
  • The Midwestern US consists of Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
  • The Eastern EU consists of Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
  • The Western EU consists of Germany, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Ireland, and Luxembourg.
  • The Western US consists of California, Washington, Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Hawaii, Idaho, Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming.
  • 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 two highest ranked regions in this metric each rank at the top in either total waterways or waterway coverage.  The Northern EU takes the top spot in waterway coverage while the Southern US bests all other regions in total waterways.

The European Union as a whole has 0.063 miles of waterways for every thousand people ranking it just under the Eastern EU and above the Western EU.  The United States as a whole has 0.088 miles of waterways for every thousand people ranking it under the Southern US and above the Midwestern US.


Eurostat.  2017.  "Data Explorer."  Accessed December 11, 2017.

Eurostat.  2018.  "Data Explorer."  Accessed May 30, 2018.,C,X,0;GEO,L,Y,0;UNIT,L,Z,0;TRA_INFR,L,Z,1;WEIGHT,L,Z,2;INDICATORS,C,Z,3;&zSelection=DS-054762UNIT,KM;DS-054762WEIGHT,TOTAL;DS-054762TRA_INFR,TOTAL;DS-054762INDICATORS,OBS_FLAG;&rankName1=TRA-INFR_1_2_-1_2&rankName2=UNIT_1_2_-1_2&rankName3=WEIGHT_1_2_-1_2&rankName4=INDICATORS_1_2_-1_2&rankName5=TIME_1_0_0_0&rankName6=GEO_1_2_0_1&sortC=ASC_-1_FIRST&rStp=&cStp=&rDCh=&cDCh=&rDM=true&cDM=true&footnes=false&empty=false&wai=false&time_mode=NONE&time_most_recent=false&lang=EN&cfo=%23%23%23%2C%23%23%23.%23%23%23.

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.  2015.  "State Transportation by the Numbers."  Accessed March 21, 2018.