I'm still finding myself asking lots of questions about the state's licensed drivers FJ. It makes perfect sense that New York is number one, due to the huge percentage of its population that lives in or around NYC and relies on public transportation and/or taxis. Illinois is pretty low on the list with just 64.3% of its population being licensed drivers, and I presume that the large metro area of Chicago, like in New York, is the main reason for that low number. Utah is 48th with just 61.8%, so those who guessed that the Mormon population would lead that state to have a substantial portion of its population below the driving age may have been on the right track.
All of these things seem logical to me, but when looking at the map (pictured above) of each state's percentage, I am puzzled by several things. (The numbers on the map are licensed drivers per 1000 residents, so New York, with 58%, shows 580.) Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Wyoming are all around 75%, yet Idaho is only at 68.3%. Why? Wisconsin, Iowa, and both Dakotas are all between 71% and 74%, but Minnesota is 49th, ahead of only New York, with just 61.6%. Why? Alabama is at 80.3%, and Mississippi is at 65.4%. Why? Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky are all between 68% and 71%, while Indiana sits right between them at 86.4%, highest in the country by a pretty wide margin. I live in Indiana and have no earthly idea why this would be the case.
Taking just the driving age population, Indiana is still first by a wide margin, with 110.7% of its adult population being licensed drivers. Yes, 110%. There are 5 million people age 16 and over in Indiana, and 5.5 million licensed drivers. Is Indiana just terrible at paperwork and recordkeeping, or is there some explanation for this strange statistic? Maybe people who live in Chicago, Louisville, and/or Cincinnati for some reason get Indiana drivers licenses rather than ones issued from their home states? Maybe Indiana's licenses last for more years than most other states, so when people move out of the state they retain their Indiana license for several years? Checking a handful of states online, 4-6 years seems like the most common length of life for a drivers license, and Indiana fits that window, so that theory seems to be a miss. Does Indiana not have a way of removing the drivers licenses of deceased persons? There has to be a reason, doesn't there?
I'm sure there are perfectly logical explanations for at least some of these anomalies, I'm just curious about what some of them might be. A lot of smart people frequent this board, so I would love to hear some theories.
Here is a link to the data from the map in list form, as well as several other columns of data, and also a link to the page that includes the pictured map:
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformati ... 9/dl1c.cfm
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformati ... apter4.cfm