Mapped: Where America's Truckers Live, by State
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Mapped: Where America’s Truckers Live, by State

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Mapped: Where America's Truckers Live, by State

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A Heatmap of America’s Truckers

In 2021, the U.S. imported $2.8 trillion worth of goods.

This incredible quantity of goods—along with much of what is produced domestically—is handled by the country’s 1.8 million truckers, which represents the 14th most common occupation nationally.

To see how these truckers are distributed across the nation, we’ve visualized data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to create two separate heat maps.

Key Findings from the Data

The relative density of each state’s truckers is measured by their location quotient.

This represents the ratio of truckers in a state compared to the national average (both as a % of total employment). For example, if truckers made up 10% of a state’s employment, and the national average was 2%, the location quotient for that state would be 5.

This data is listed in the table below.

StateLocation Quotient
Arkansas2.4
Nebraska2.2
Wyoming2.1
Iowa2
North Dakota1.9
Tennessee1.6
Mississippi1.6
Idaho1.5
Wisconsin1.4
Indiana1.4
Alabama1.3
South Dakota1.3
West Virginia1.3
Oklahoma1.3
Texas1.3
Maine1.3
Missouri1.2
Kentucky1.2
Utah1.2
Pennsylvania1.1
Kansas1.1
New Mexico1.1
Georgia1.1
Ohio1.1
Michigan1.1
Montana1.1
South Carolina1.1
North Carolina1.1
New Jersey1
Minnesota1
Illinois1
Oregon0.9
Louisiana0.9
Virginia0.9
New Hampshire0.9
Arizona0.8
Delaware0.8
Florida0.8
Vermont0.8
Colorado0.8
Washington0.8
Nevada0.8
Maryland0.7
California0.7
Connecticut0.6
Rhode Island0.6
Alaska0.6
Massachusetts0.6
Hawaii0.6
New York0.5
District of Columbia0.1

There are four states with a location quotient of two or more: Arkansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Iowa. This means that their trucker workforce (as a % of total employment) is at least double the national average.

On the other hand, California and New York have some of the lowest location quotients in the country. Trucking companies have been competing fiercely to attract drivers in these areas, but with limited success.

At a time when the whole American population is aging, truck drivers tend to be older than average. The work is stressful, lonely, exhausting and long plagued by a pay system that can make drivers feel they can’t get ahead of the game.
– Los Angeles Times

To entice more young people to enter the industry, New York recently created a truck driver training program for 18-20 year olds. Some have voiced their concerns about safety, though few alternatives exist. In October 2021, the American Trucking Association (ATA) announced that the national driver shortage had reached a record-breaking 80,000.

A Different Perspective

The location quotient is an effective measure because it controls for the differences in each state’s population. Seeing the raw data, though, can still add useful perspective.

The following image shows the number of trucker’s in each state. As a reminder, the national total is 1.8 million.

distribution of truckers in america

With these numbers, we can gain a more practical understanding of the location quotient. For instance, California has the second highest number of truckers, but it’s dwarfed by the state’s massive population of 40 million.

Occupation Outlook

The BLS expects employment of truck drivers to grow by 6% from 2020 to 2030, which is close to the national average for all jobs. Based on total employment of 1.8 million, this would translate to 108,000 new openings.

Whether these openings will be filled is an entirely different story.

In the American Trucking Association’s latest report, analysts estimate that the industry will need to recruit 1 million drivers just to replace retiring drivers, or those that leave voluntarily.

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Automotive

The Most Fuel Efficient Cars From 1975 to Today

This infographic lists the most fuel efficient cars over the past 46 years, including the current leader for 2023.

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The Most Fuel Efficient Cars From 1975 to Today

When shopping for a new car, what is the most important factor you look for? According to Statista, it’s not design, quality, or even safety—it’s fuel efficiency.

Because of this, automakers are always looking for clever ways to improve gas mileage in their cars. Beating the competition by even the slimmest of margins can give valuable bragging rights within a segment.

In this infographic, we’ve used data from the EPA’s 2022 Automotive Trends Report to list off the most fuel efficient cars from 1975 to today.

Editor’s note: This is from a U.S. government agency, so the data shown skews towards cars sold in North America.

Data Overview

All of the information in the above infographic is listed in the table below. Data was only available in 5-year increments up until 2005, after which it switches to annual.

Model YearMakeModelReal World Fuel Economy (mpg)Engine Type
1975HondaCivic28.3Gas
1980VWRabbit40.3Diesel
1985ChevroletSprint49.6Gas
1990GeoMetro53.4Gas
1995HondaCivic47.3Gas
2000HondaInsight57.4Hybrid
2005HondaInsight53.3Hybrid
2006HondaInsight53Hybrid
2007ToyotaPrius46.2Hybrid
2008ToyotaPrius46.2Hybrid
2009ToyotaPrius46.2Hybrid
2010HondaFCX60.2FCEV
2011BMWActive E100.6EV
2012Mitsubishii-MiEV109EV
2013ToyotaiQ EV117EV
2014BMWi3121.3EV
2015BMWi3121.3EV
2016BMWi3121.3EV
2017HyundaiIoniq Electric132.6EV
2018HyundaiIoniq Electric132.6EV
2019HyundaiIoniq Electric132.6EV
2020Tesla3138.6EV
2021Tesla3139.1EV

From this dataset, we can identify three distinct approaches to maximizing fuel efficiency.

Downsizing

Prior to 2000, the best way for automakers to achieve good fuel efficiency was by downsizing. Making cars smaller (lighter) meant they could also be fitted with very small engines.

For example, the 1985 Chevrolet Sprint was rated at 49.6 MPG, but had a sluggish 0-60 time of 15 seconds.

Hybrids

The 2000s saw the introduction of mass-market hybrid vehicles like the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius. By including a small battery to support the combustion engine, automakers could achieve good MPGs without sacrificing so heavily on size.

While the Insight achieved better fuel economy than the Prius, it was the latter that became synonymous with the term “hybrid”. This was largely due to the Prius’ more practical 4-door design.

The following table compares annual U.S. sales figures for both models. Insight sales have fluctuated drastically because Honda has produced the model in several short spans (1999-2006, 2009-2014, 2018-2022).

YearInsight SalesPrius Sales
2005666107,155
2006722106,971
20073181,221
2008-158,884
200920,572150,831
201020,962140,928
201115,549136,464
20126,619236,655
20134,802234,228
20143,965207,372
20151,458184,794
201667136,629
20173108,661
201812,51387,590
201923,68669,718
202015,93243,525
202118,68559,010
20227,62833,352

Source: goodcarbadcar.net

The Prius may have dominated the hybrid market for a long time, but it too has run into troubles. Sales have been declining since 2014, even setting historic lows in recent years.

There are several reasons behind this trend, with one being a wider availability of hybrid models from other brands. We also can’t ignore the release of the Tesla Model 3, which began shipping to customers in 2017.

Electric Vehicles

We’re currently in the middle of a historic transition to electric vehicles. However, because EVs do not use fuel, the EPA had to develop a new system called MPGe (miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent).

This new metric gives us the ability to compare the efficiency of EVs with traditional gas-powered cars. An underlying assumption of MPGe is that 33.7 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity is comparable to the energy content of a gallon of fuel.

The most fuel efficient car you can buy today is the 2023 Lucid Air, which achieves 140 MPGe. Close behind it is the 2023 Tesla Model 3 RWD, which is rated at 132 MPGe.

Check out this page to see the EPA’s top 10 most efficient vehicles for 2023.

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