Typecasting Neighborhoods and Travelers: Analyzing the Geography of Travel Behavior Among Teens and Young Adults in the U.S.

This report presents a high-level analysis of the effects of location on personal travel and trends associated with place of residence and the travel behavior of younger populations (ages 20-34). Seven distinct neighborhood typologies were created using data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Smart Location Database and the Decennial U.S. Census. Neighborhoods were classified in terms of the built environment and surrounding transportation system, using variables that provided information about jobs, housing and employment densities, intersection densities, transit supply, and types of developments. In addition, four distinct traveler types were developed using data from the National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) based on selected variables, including: miles of travel, daily trips, car ownership, mode use, and licensure. Neighborhood types and traveler types were then linked to explore travel characteristics associated with place of residence. Findings suggest that location plays a role in personal travel decisions. Where people live, work, recreate, and how they travel are intimately related to the built environment. Youth are more likely to live in urban areas, compared to previous generations. Younger populations (ages 20-34) are more likely than other age groups to live in the central city; however, this often changes as they age and have children. Most young adults still live and move into suburban areas. Nationwide, just over half of all youth (53 percent) live in suburban neighborhoods. Despite the thought that younger populations are becoming more urban, current trends show that a significant number of youth are more commonly taking up residence in suburban neighborhoods, particularly in new developments. A large percentage of youth are carless and have shown a decline in trip making, most likely a result of their economic condition.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 174p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01667445
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-PL-18-014
  • Created Date: Apr 26 2018 9:15AM