The nation's vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) both declined in 2020. VMT and GDP reflect similar patterns, indicating the strong relationship between the nation's economy and its travel. Beginning in the late 1990's, GDP grew at a faster rate than VMT, uncoupling the two data series. In the last two decades, sectors of the economy not dependent on travel, such as computing and software development, have grown, causing the two series to diverge.
Note: VMT for 2020 is preliminary data.
GDP: Bureau of Economic Analysis, National Income and Product Accounts, Table 1.1.6.
1960-2019 VMT: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Highway Statistics 2019, Table VM-1 and previous annual editions.
2020 VMT: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Traffic Volume Trends, December 2020, p. 2.