The chart above shows the number of airports that have at least 15,000 annual passengers for every million inhabitants in EU and US states. In both the EU and the US, large states with small populations have more airports per capita.
- The difference between the state with the greatest number of busy airports per capita, Alaska, and the state with the least (which has busy airports), the Netherlands, is 29.27.
- Alaska has 98.50 times the number of busy airports per million inhabitants that the Netherlands does.
- The difference between the US state with the greatest number of busy airports per capita, Alaska, and the EU state with the greatest number of busy airports per capita, Sweden, is 26.40.
- Alaska has 9.35 times the number of busy airports per million people that Sweden does.
- Delaware is the only state in both the EU and the US without a single busy airport.
- The median number of busy airports per million residents in the 28 EU states is 0.78 and the mean 1.22.
- The median number of busy airports per million residents in the 50 US states is 1.34 and the mean 2.42.
- The median number of busy airports per million residents in the 78 EU and US states is 1.11 and the mean 1.99.
- Data for EU airports is from 2016.
- Data for US airports is from 2017.
- EU population data is from 2011.
- US population data is from 2010.
- All figures are rounded to the nearest hundredth.
- Fifteen thousand annual passengers amounts to 41 per day, so busy is loosely defined.
- The data for Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, and West Virginia indicates the maximum possible number of tourists as the sample size was too small to be accurate.
- The US tourist data is based on total number of international tourists to the US in 2012 and distributed among the states based on a survey that was conducted on the first quarter of the same year.
Large states with low population density tend to have more busy airports per capita. Alaska, the largest state by far (two times larger than the next US state and three times larger than any EU state) also has a limited road network and bush planes make up a relatively large portion of intrastate travel. States that are also geographically large and have low population densities include Wyoming, Montana, the Dakotas, and Idaho in the US and Sweden and Finland in the EU. All of these rank high in this metric.
States that are composed of several islands also rank high, as just as in Alaska, the road connections between inhabited places are nonexistent. Hawaii and Greece fall into this category and both rank high in this metric.
Eurostat. 2018. "Number of Commercial Airports (with More Than 15,000 Passenger Units per Year)." Accessed November 25, 2018. http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?query=BOOKMARK_DS-054100_QID_5E0B9564_UID_-3F171EB0&layout=TIME,C,X,0;GEO,L,Y,0;TRA_INFR,L,Z,0;INDICATORS,C,Z,1;&zSelection=DS-054100TRA_INFR,AIRP;DS-054100INDICATORS,OBS_FLAG;&rankName1=TIME_1_0_0_0&rankName2=TRA-INFR_1_2_-1_2&rankName3=GEO_1_2_0_1&rankName4=INDICATORS_1_2_-1_2&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.
Eurostat. 2017. "Population on 1 January by Age Groups and Sex - Functional Urban Areas." Accessed December 11, 2017. http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=urb_lpop1&lang=en.
Federal Aviation Authority. 2018. "Enplanements of All Commercial Service Airports (by Rank)." Accessed November 26, 2018. https://www.faa.gov/airports/planning_capacity/passenger_allcargo_stats/passenger/media/cy17-commercial-service-enplanements.pdf.
United States Census Bureau. September 2012. "United States Summary: 2010: Population and Housing Unit Counts." Accessed January 23, 2018. https://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/cph-2-1.pdf.