In a world where the United Kingdom has more cars per capita than any other country, where a new Tesla Model S sedan is on the road every day and where Uber and Lyft have been expanding rapidly in the US, the US has long been considered the country of the car.
But the US now has a far smaller car market, a population of fewer than 2 billion people and fewer than 5,000 miles of roads.
And it’s still growing.
In the last 10 years, the United State has added more than 2.5 million miles of new roadways, according to a report released Tuesday by the US Department of Transportation.
The report also found that new vehicle miles traveled are now rising faster in the States than any developed nation.
“In 2015, the number of miles traveled in the country were the lowest since 1993, and they’ve been increasing steadily since.
We’re moving from a country that was mostly a highway system, a lot of which is still on the way out, to a country where roads are getting better and better,” said Matthew J. Miller, deputy director of the Transportation Policy Institute, a think tank that promotes public policy focused on transportation.
The report, published by the department, looked at the number and types of roads and the type of vehicles they were built for.
It found that in 2015, new vehicle kilometers traveled in America were 3,929, which is about 9.6 percent of the nation’s total vehicle miles.
Miller said this is a big change from 20 years ago, when the United Stated had about 7,500,000 vehicle miles and only a handful of new roads.
As cars and other vehicles get smaller and smaller, the roadways they need to navigate have gotten more and more congested, he said.
But while roads in the U.S. have gotten larger, the total number of road miles traveled is decreasing, and traffic congestion in the region is also increasing.
A typical US road trip takes about 18 hours, but with congestion in cities like New York and Los Angeles, it could be longer, Miller said.
The Department of Transport’s report also noted that the number that was built in the last decade grew by about 1.6 million, and the number added in the first half of this century grew by more than 7.5 percent.
The growth in new vehicle traffic has been driven by a “big increase in new passenger vehicles, particularly SUV’s and pickup trucks,” Miller said, adding that that means people are driving less, and that the congestion is worse in places like California.
Overall, the report noted that vehicle miles driven in the nation grew by a net 0.3 percent in 2015.
While the US is not an automobile nation, the percentage of cars in the economy has been increasing, which means the number in the streets is growing as well.
According to the report, the nation had more than 20.3 million vehicles in 2015 with a total of 7.7 million miles traveled, a 1.2 percent increase.