New data released by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) shows a record-high 221.7 million licensed drivers in the U.S. in 2016, including 41.7 million – or almost one in five – who are 65 years or older.
The over-65 age group is growing faster than any other and is far outpacing teenagers. The largest single-year percentage increase in licensed drivers last year was among those aged between 75 and 79, increasing by almost 5% over the previous year.
Licensed drivers aged 85 or older increased by 161,182 people – or 4.62% – since the previous year, making it the nation’s second-fastest growing demographic group in 2016.
With the exception of five states – Michigan, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming – the nation saw increases among licensed drivers in 2016 compared to the previous year.
Drivers between the ages of 20-34 – generally known as “millennials” – accounted for nearly one in four U.S. drivers, increasing slightly from the 56.1 million reported in 2015 to 57 million.
Teen drivers continued to increase slightly for the third year in a row, rising to 8.8 million – the highest level since 2013, but remaining at among the lowest levels since the federal government began compiling driver license data in 1963.
The data was data collected from all 50 states and Washington, D.C.