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Percent of U.S. Population with the Potential to be Exposed to Transportation Noise: 2014

A-weighted 24-hour LAEQ (dBA)Common comparable soundsAviationRoad (Interstate)
Less than 50Refrigerator humming (~40 dBA)97.1298.00
50 to 59Quiet office (~50 dBA)2.651.30
60 to 69Conversational speech (~60 dBA)0.210.44
70 to 79Vacuum cleaner (~70 dBA)0.010.25
80 or moreGarbage disposal (~80 dBA)< 0.010.06

1.  24-hour equivalent sound level (LAEQ) is the (logarithmic) average of sound energy over a 24 hour period. A-weighting is a correction applied to sound levels to better reflect the way the human ear hears sound. A-weighted sound levels are described by the unit dBA (a-weighted decibel). 

2.  While only National Highway System Interstates are included in the estimate of percentage of population affected by road noise, additional road types are included in the dataset. See the documentation for more information.

3.  The acoustics modeling used in the National Transportation Noise Map represents a worst-case scenario, and shielding effects are not included in the model. Please see documentation for a full list of acoustic modeling assumptions.


Sources: U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, National Transportation Noise Map; U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 American Community Survey 5-year Estimates; National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, I Love What I Hear! Common Sounds , available at :