Per Capita Rail Coverage in US Regions

May 29, 2018
Chart of Rail per Thousand People in US Regions

The chart above shows miles of rail per thousand people in US regions.  The Midwest has more track per capita than any other region and has double the per capita track of every region except the South.


  • The difference between the region with the most rail per capita, the Midwest, and the region with the least, the Northeast, is 0.50 miles.
  • The Midwest has 3.23 times the rail per capita that the Northeast does.
  • The Northeast is the only region with less than one-quarter mile of track for every thousand people.


  • Population data is from 2010.
  • Rail length data is from 2013.
  • Rail and population data come from different sources.
  • All figures are rounded to the nearest hundredth.
  • Hawaii has no rail network.
  • 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 Northeastern US consists of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Delaware, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont.


The four regions have the exact same ranks when it comes to per capita road coverage, however, the Northeast comes out on top on a geographic basis.

The United States as a whole has 0.45 miles of rail for every thousand inhabitants ranking it just under the South and above the West.


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.  2015.  "State Transportation by the Numbers."  Accessed March 21, 2018.

Filed under: Charts and Graphs