Demographic Trends Affecting Transportation in the U.S.

September 11, 2008

In this PowerPoint presentation Robert Puentes provides a deeper understanding of trends that are impacting metropolitan America and how those trends may impact the transportation demand and service in the coming decades. The presentation stresses several key points including dramatic changes in household formation, the increasing diversity reflected in both cities and suburban areas, and the key spatial effects on the American landscape.

These patterns are changing the nation in many important ways and have enormous implications for transportation. However, these effects are extraordinarily complex and broad agreement does not exist with respect to the nature of the relationship. For one thing, there is an obvious nexus between demographic trends (such as household formation) and economic growth and transportation, but causality is unclear. Nevertheless, the relationships are undeniable. In setting the stage for future discussions of federal transportation, decisionmakers must keep in mind these important changes in shaping the physical landscape and economic destiny of this nation.