Young Americans Struggle to Hit 'Adult' Milestones Story, Bloomburg, Natasha Solo-Lyons, May 2023
It's about how certain "milestones", such as driving a car, moving out of one's parents house and renting an apartment, starting a family, or buying a home, are getting delayed among the newest generation of young people, compared with young people in previous generations (born between around 1935 to 1985).
Something I have noticed, I see a lot of teenagers these days who do not have a car.
When I grew up, it was very common for 16 year old teenagers have a car and be driving around.
These days it seems that it's too much of a financial stress for many families to buy their child a car or pay for their car insurance. And it's much harder for a 16 year old or young adult to buy a car than it used to be, more expensive.
I think this has huge implications. Having a car used to be associated with "freedom" for teenagers. In most parts of America it's very difficult and very time consuming to be able to get around and go many places without a car.
I believe this may no doubt be part of the reason that numerous surveys show the younger generation is dating less and having less sex than previous generations, despite the level of sexual permissiveness having only increased.
You can also read this article from Vox
Young people are driving less than their parents. But why?
Vox, Joseph Stromberg, May 1, 2015
The article has a graph showing that the amount of distance Americans were driving was only continuing to increase but then around 2004 to 2007 it began to decrease.
The Washington Post also had an article titled "Why aren't younger Americans driving anymore?"
Brad Plumer, April 22, 2013
Here's some excerpts from that article:
Ever since the recession hit in late 2007, Americans have been driving less and less. Was that because of the horrible economy? To some extent, perhaps. But it's striking that Americans are still cutting back on driving even though the economy is growing again. Doug Short, who charts financial data, has put together a nice graph that uses the latest Transportation Department data on vehicle-miles driven and adjusts for population growth. Looked at this way, the plunge in driving is even more startling and began back in June 2005.
This isn't the first time Americans have pared back their driving habits -- after the OPEC oil shock in the late 1970s, miles driven fell about 6 percent from the peak, though they started climbing again by the end of the recession in 1982.
This time, however, the drop has been much more severe. Since June 2005, vehicle miles driven have fallen 8.75 percent. The decline has persisted for 92 months and there's no sign it's abating.
Young Americans are driving much, much less. Between 2001 and 2009, the average yearly number of miles driven by 16- to 34-year-olds dropped a staggering 23 percent.
The Frontier Group has the most comprehensive look yet of why younger Americans are opting out of driving. Public transportation use is up 40 percent per capita in this age group since 2001. Bicycling is up 24 percent overall in that time period. And this is true even for young Americans who are financially well off.
The cost of driving has gone up. In some ways, it's become more expensive to drive a car over the years. There's evidence that high student debt is hampering some younger borrowers from buying cars. And auto-insurance rates have soared in recent years, partly as a result of higher healthcare costs. Auto-insurance rates continued to climb 10 percent between 2008 and 2010 even though average driving distances were down.
It's harder to get a license. From 1996 to 2006, every state enacted graduated driving laws that make it more cumbersome for young people to get licenses. "Young people must now take more behind-the-wheel training (which is more expensive), fulfill additional requirements for permits, and once they are allowed to drive, they are often restricted to driving in the daytime without passengers." The number of younger Americans without a driver's license has risen from 21 percent to 26 percent since 2001.
Why aren't younger Americans driving anymore? - The Washington Post