Traffic Report Mentions Population Growth, But Not Where It Will Come From

FreewayThe U.S. Department of Transportation released this week a new report including traffic projections for 2045.

The report notes:

Over the past 30 years the American population has increased 35 percent—from 230 million to 320 million. As our nation grows, so does our demand for travel. Today there are more people on the roads and in our airports and rail stations than ever before.  Unfortunately, the capacity of our transportation system has not kept up with our requirements. Many roads and airports cannot accommodate the growing demand for travel, leading to record levels of congestion on our roads and frequent delays across our aviation system.

By 2045 our population is expected to increase by nearly 70 million. That is a slower growth rate than previous decades, but it still means we will add more than the current population of New York, Florida, and Texas, combined. Our growing population will lead to increasing overall demand for travel even as increasing congestion could make travel so inconvenient that many individuals will seek to travel less.

Left out of the report (but mentioned by several commenters at the Washington Post) write-up was the source of the projected population growth. Of course, regular readers of know that the main source of population growth through 2045 will be immigration, a word missing from the report entirely.

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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar
    Larry Glickfeld on

    This is so typical of those writing about transportation, energy, environmental, or other needs, that is, they’ll come on by saying that “….because of our growing population, we need more roads, energy sources….” or whatever. They virtually never say that we need to “quit growing our population”, and this is the case both nationally and worldwide. This attitude has to change.

  2. avatar

    Immigration is driving the massive population increase but there is too much money to be made by all kinds of interest groups. Our per capita consumption of energy continues to decrease, but this doesn’t matter since the growth in population will counter this decrease. Politicians continue to come up with schemes to tax carbon to meet greenhouse gas goals. But these taxes will hurt the middle class!

  3. avatar

    One blog comment on the story says the Washington Post acts like 70 million more people “is just the way it’s going to be” while the paper ignores the fact that immigration will be the largest factor in that increase. But actually that’s common in our media. And let’s just remember that figure of 70 million is based on present immigration levels, not the doubling and tripling of those levels that many politicians are promoting.

    We have a choice. Either spend the huge amount of money to build the infrastructure for all those people or reduce immigration to the low levels of the mid 20th century and not have to build as much.

    • avatar

      And we don’t even have enough good jobs for our current population. There is no guarantee that if we increase our population by such a large amount that the jobs will automatically appear.

  4. avatar

    Last I Read On the Legal Citizen America’s Birthrate

    We have been depopulating at a 1.7 rate [2.2 is equity]. We’ve destroyed that recent dream entirely with foreign overpopulation, legal or illegal.

    • avatar

      One thing we have to keep in mind also is that a big part of the present improvement in the economy can be traced to the lowering of energy prices. If a person fills up weekly and is saving a dollar per gallon that is going straight to their pocket and being spent on other things. But a growing population will eventually just soak up the extra oil in the system and we go right back to higher prices. Not to mention the environmental impact of all those extra people.