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September 3, 2013

The average number of miles travelled per capita in New Jersey was 8,286 in 2011, according to the Federal Highway Administration. That represents a slight dip (481 miles) from 2007, which was the peak year for miles travelled in New Jersey.

A report from the U.S. Public Interest Group Education Fund suggests that after a driving boom of sixty years, Americans since 2004 have decreased their driving per capita for eight years in a row. However, the report does not draw a conclusion about whether the tailing off is due to a temporary economic recession or whether it is a permanent trend, due to fewer drivers among youth, higher gas prices, the trend toward working from home, and demographic shifts toward a more urban population.

New Jersey, along with states such as New York, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Washington, had among the lowest per-capita miles travelled. Surprisingly, the state with the very lowest distance (followed by New York) was Alaska, with 6,355 miles travelled in 2011.

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