Map Monday: Twin Cities Metro by Cars Per Person

Via Slate, here’s an interesting map that shows automobile ownership per capita across the Twin Cities’ metro. It’s from a recent Trulia dataset that does this for the whole country, and lets you easily glimpse the car ownership rates across the country.

Here’s the TC:

Cars Per Person Map

Two basic patterns emerge: the low-car areas correspond with both areas of poverty, and areas where there is a high level of walkability and transit service. You can see both of those patterns in the map data here, with low levels of car ownership both in and around downtown Minneapolis and in Phillips or North Minneapolis.

Henry Grabar did a write up of the map on Slate that came to the same conclusion

In dense, transit-rich cities like New York and Boston, vehicle ownership is more closely linked to population density than to income. What kind of neighborhood you live in is likely to align with whether you own a car, or two. In places like Los Angeles and Houston, vehicle ownership is much more closely tied to income. Families who make more money buy more cars.

This map could serve as a useful shorthand for where to focus transit and pedestrian improvements in the Twin Cities.

3 thoughts on “Map Monday: Twin Cities Metro by Cars Per Person

  1. Monte Castleman

    Seems this strengthens the case for putting the Bloomington Community Center at the Valley View site rather than someplace more centrally located, since it’s located more in the area where fewer people have cars.

  2. Frank Phelan

    It would be helpful if posts like this contained some useful information that would give more context; information that may or may not be located by clicking on any links.

    When it says “per person”, does that include everyone under 18? Under 16?

    Is it all vehicles, including vehicles such a business owned fleet trucks, utility trucks, municipal vehicles and such? Or is it just private vehicles?

  3. John Welbes


    The story that accompanies the data on Trulia indicates that it does include people of all ages.
    It’s less clear about commercial vehicles, but I’d suspect that it doesn’t include those, as they could be registered to addresses just about anywhere (ie, not in the neighborhood where they are based).

    I hadn’t seen this data before. The other take-aways from the data are that cars are very popular here, and the degree of the concentration of poverty is a significant factor. Because the Mpls-St. Paul CSA is relatively prosperous and doesn’t have concentrations of poverty similar to many other metro areas, there are fewer people-per-car here, overall.

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