Per Capita Waterway Coverage in US Regions

Jun 25, 2018
Chart of Waterways per Thousand People in US Regions

The chart above shows the miles of waterways per thousand people in US regions.  The South has almost twice as many miles of waterways per capita as the region just below it.


  • The difference between the region with the most waterways per capita, the South, and the region with the least, the Northeast, is 0.11 miles.
  • The South has 4.52 times the waterways per capita that the Northeast does.
  • Only the South has more than one-tenth of a mile of waterways for every thousand people.


  • Waterway data is from 2013.
  • Population data is from 2010.
  • Waterway and population data come from different sources.
  • All figures are rounded to the nearest thousandth.
  • Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming did not have any waterway data.
  • The Southern US consists of Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Louisiana, South Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, and West Virginia.
  • The Midwestern US consists of Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
  • 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 South outranks the other regions in every single waterway metric, it has the most total waterways, the greatest waterway coverage, and the most waterways per capita.

The United States as a whole has 0.088 miles of waterways for every thousand people ranking it under the South and above the Midwest.


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