Miles of Roadway per Square Mile of Land in US States

Mar 30, 2018
Chart of Road Length per Square Mile of Land in US States

The chart above shows the miles of roads per square mile of land in US states.  For comparison, a typical urban square mile in Manhattan has approximately 25 miles of road for every square mile of area.  The most densely paved state, New Jersey, does not even come close.


  • The difference between the state with the greatest road coverage, New Jersey, and the state with the least, Alaska, is 4.45 miles.
  • New Jersey has 185 times the road coverage that Alaska has.
  • Northeastern states make up the four most densely paved states and seven of the top ten, the other three are all from the Midwest.
  • Nine out of the ten least paved states are all from the West, the other is from the Northeast.
  • The mean miles of roadway per square mile of land is 1.69; the median is 1.66.


  • Road length data is from 2015.
  • Area data is from 2010.
  • Road and area data come from different sources.
  • The road network is very limited in Alaska, so much so that the state capital is not connected by road, and one in 78 people are pilots.


Wyoming is the only state to have at least twice the road coverage as the next most densely paved state, Alaska.  It has 12 times the roadway coverage that Alaska does (the figures in the chart are rounded to the nearest hundredth).

The number of miles of roadway per square mile of land for the United States as a whole is 1.09 which ranks it just below Washington and just above South Dakota.


United States Census Bureau.  "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2016."  Accessed December 12, 2017.

United States Department of Transportation.  2016.  "Table HM-10M - Highway Statistics 2015 - Policy | Federal Highway Administration."  Accessed March 12, 2018.

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