Chart of the Day: Millennial Mode Share in Different Cities (1980 v. Today)

So this chart comes from a recent piece on Citylab attempting to debunk millennial trend pieces using ACS data comparisons from 1980. Here you go:

millennial mode share

As the author of the piece explains, this is proof that:

the notion that Millennials are spurning cars across the board is clearly oversimplified. In many big cities, young people today are commuting in much the same way they did three decades ago—tape decks notwithstanding.

Why 1980? Because using 1990 or 2000 data would show that there is in fact a trend in young people away from commuting by car.

This is just my opinion, but I feel like this story is lazy journalism because it doesn’t include important context. A lot was different back in 1980; for example, transit ridership in general was higher than today. There were a lot of roads built and cars sold during the 80s and 90s. A lot!

But anyway, still interesting I guess.

Bill Lindeke

About Bill Lindeke

Pronouns: he/him

Bill Lindeke has writing blogging about sidewalks and cities since 2005, ever since he read Jane Jacobs. He is a lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota Geography Department, the Cityscape columnist at Minnpost, and has written multiple books on local urban history. He was born in Minneapolis, but has spent most of his time in St Paul. Check out Twitter @BillLindeke or on Facebook.