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In the 1980's, more than half of all teenagers 15 to 19 years old had a driver's license. But that has changed. Since 1995, less than half of that age group has a driver's license. In 2010, the latest year for which data are available, only 45.3% of 15 to 19 year-olds had a license. There are many different reasons that this has happened. Some states have placed more stringent requirements on those applying for a license. For example, the State of Tennessee requires anyone less than 18 years of age to provide proof that they are currently attending school in order to obtain a driver's license. Among other reasons, the connectivity of the Internet may give teens less of an incentive to pursue a license, or the high costs of operating a vehicle may be prohibitive, thus obtaining a license is delayed.
Share of 15 to 19 Year-Olds with Driver's Licenses, 1980-2010
|Year||Number of Licensed Drivers 19 Years Old and Under||U.S. Population of
|Drivers as a Percent of Age Group|
Licensed Drivers - U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Highway Statistics 2010, Washington, D.C., September 2011, Table DL-20 and annual. Population - Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the United States.