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Chapter 1: A Nation Driven by Travel

Over 300 million residents use the Nation’s transportation system every day. Driven primarily by where people live and work, travel demand changes as our Nation grows.

Between 2010 and 2014, the U.S. population grew by 3.1 percent—from 309 million to 319 million. Metropolitan areas experienced the most overall growth, while many non-metropolitan counties, particularly in rural areas, lost residents as employment opportunities declined.

Figure 1-1 Population Change by County: 2010–2014

Population and economic activity grew faster in the South and West, together accounting for 83.6 percent of population growth since 2010. The Northeast, however, continued to produce the most economic activity per capita, as measured by gross domestic product. Per capita growth was fastest in the Midwest.

Table 1-1 Selected U.S. Demographics and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by Census Region: 2000, 2010, and 2014

Updated: Tuesday, June 27, 2017