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The nation's highway vehicle miles of travel (VMT) and the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) reflect strikingly 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. With the growth of VMT in 2015, the gap between the two series has narrowed for the first time since the Great Recession.

GDP and VMT Trends, 1960-2015

Graph showing gross national product and vehicle travel trends during 2015.

Note: Data for the last quarter of 2015 were not available and were estimated using 2014 data.

Fact #904 Dataset

Supporting Information

GDP and VMT Trends, 1960-2015
YearGDP in Constant
2009 dollars
(billions)
VMT (millions)Indexed to 1996
GDPVMT
19603,108.7718,76229.428.9
19613,188.1737,42130.229.7
19623,383.1766,73432.030.8
19633,530.4805,24933.432.4
19643,734.0846,29835.434.0
19653,976.7887,81237.735.7
19664,238.9925,89940.137.2
19674,355.2964,00541.238.8
19684,569.01,015,86943.340.9
19694,712.51,061,79144.642.7
19704,722.01,109,72444.744.6
19714,877.61,178,81146.247.4
19725,134.31,259,78648.650.7
19735,424.11,313,11051.452.8
19745,396.01,280,54451.151.5
19755,385.41,327,66451.053.4
19765,675.41,402,38053.756.4
19775,937.01,467,02756.259.0
19786,267.21,544,70459.362.1
19796,466.21,529,13361.261.5
19806,450.41,527,29561.161.4
19816,617.71,555,30862.762.6
19826,491.31,595,01061.564.2
19836,792.01,652,78864.366.5
19847,285.01,720,26969.069.2
19857,593.81,774,82671.971.4
19867,860.51,834,87274.473.8
19878,132.61,921,20477.077.3
19888,474.52,025,96280.281.5
19898,786.42,096,48783.284.3
19908,955.02,144,36284.886.3
19918,948.42,172,05084.787.4
19929,266.62,247,15187.790.4
19939,521.02,296,37890.292.4
19949,905.42,357,58893.894.8
199510,174.82,422,69696.397.5
199610,561.02,485,848100.0100.0
199711,034.92,561,695104.5103.1
199811,525.92,631,522109.1105.9
199912,065.92,691,056114.2108.3
200012,559.72,746,925118.9110.5
200112,682.22,790,372120.1112.3
200212,908.82,855,508122.2114.9
200313,271.12,890,450125.7116.3
200413,773.52,964,788130.4119.3
200514,234.22,989,430134.8120.3
200614,613.83,014,371138.4121.3
200714,873.73,031,124140.8121.9
200814,830.42,976,528140.4119.7
200914,418.72,956,764136.5118.9
201014,783.82,967,266140.0119.4
201115,020.62,950,402142.2118.7
201215,354.62,969,433145.4119.5
201315,583.32,988,323147.6120.2
201415,961.73,015,620151.1121.3
2015*16,270.03,120,977154.1125.5

* Data for the last quarter of 2015 were not available and were estimated using 2014 data.
Sources: Bureau of Economic Analysis, Current and Real Gross Domestic Product. GDP for 2015 was estimated using an average of the last four quarters of GDP data.
1960-2013 VMT: Federal Highway Administration, Highway Statistics 2013, Table VM-1 and previous annual editions.
2014 VMT: Federal Highway Administration, Traffic Volume Trends, December 2014, p. 2.
2015 VMT: Federal Highway Administration, Traffic Volume Trends, September 2015, p. 2. VMT estimated using moving 12-month total.

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