Is Driving Driving the Economy?: Research Shows We Can Thrive More With Less Traffic

Fact Sheet
March 06, 2012

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has examined the connection between traffic and economic development. What is the relationship between America’s gross domestic product (GDP) and the amount Americans drive,or vehicle miles travelled (VMT)? The answer to this question is vital if we want to both revive a flagging economy and keep our air free of pollution. Fortunately, a look at recent trends and the relationships between VMT, GDP, and household income show that the amount we drive, in fact, does not drive economic growth.