Per Capita Road Coverage in EU and US Regions

May 22, 2018
Chart of Roads per Thousand People in EU and US Regions

The chart above shows road lengths per thousand people in EU and US regions.  With the exception of the Northeastern US, every single US region bests every single EU region in this metric.  The Northern EU is the only EU region to rank higher than a US region.


  • The difference between the region with the most roads per capita, the Midwestern US, and the region with the least, the Eastern EU, is 14.58 miles.
  • The Midwestern US has 3.35 times the roads per capita that the Eastern EU does.
  • Only the Midwestern US has more than 20 miles of roads per thousand inhabitants.
  • Four regions (the Northeastern US, and the Southern, Western, and Eastern EU) have less than 10 miles of roads per thousand inhabitants.


  • EU population data is from 2011; US population data is from 2010.
  • EU road length data is from 2008 except for Denmark which is from 2006, and Italy and Portugal which are from 2005; US road length data is from 2015.
  • Road and population data come from different sources.
  • EU and US data come from different sources.
  • Bulgaria is not included because it did not have complete data in the road data set.
  • 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.
  • All figures are rounded to the nearest hundredth.
  • The Midwestern US consists of Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
  • The Southern US consists of Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Louisiana, South Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, and West Virginia.
  • The Western US consists of California, Washington, Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Hawaii, Idaho, Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming.
  • The Northern EU consists of Sweden, Denmark, and Finland.
  • The Northeastern US consists of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Delaware, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
  • The Southern EU consists of Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, and Malta.
  • The Western EU consists of Germany, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Ireland, and Luxembourg.
  • The Eastern EU consists of Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.


The leading US region, the Midwestern US, has nearly double the road length per person of the leading EU region, the Northern EU.

The European Union as a whole has 6.59 miles of road for every thousand inhabitants ranking it just under the Southern EU and just above the Western EU (and below every single US region).  The United States as a whole has 13.47 miles of road for every thousand inhabitants ranking it under the Southern US and above the Western US (and above every single EU region).


European Union Road Federation.  2011.  "European Road Statistics 2011."  Accessed March 12, 2018.

Eurostat.  2017.  "Data Explorer."  Accessed December 11, 2017.

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.