Automobility in Flux: More Women and Older Drivers at the Wheel

DIW Weekly Report 8 / 2013, S. 18-28

Uwe Kunert, Sabine Radke, Bastian Chlond, Martin Kagerbauer

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Having barely registered an increase at the beginning of the new millennium, during the economic upturn after 2009, there was significant growth in the mileage by registered motor vehicles in Germany, both in the case of utility vehicles and automobiles. Overall, in 2011, automobiles covered a higher mileage than ever before. Despite more efficient engines, this resulted in fuel consumption stagnating in recent years, although the long-term trend is one of decline. With an 85-percent share of total mileage, automobiles dominate our roads. This transport demand pattern is predominantly created by the needs of private households and it is currently in a state of flux when it comes to gender and age balance. Women's growing presence in education and on the labor market has, in turn, resulted in an increase in their car ownership and mileage. At the same time, men and women are maintaining a more mobile lifestyle by retaining their cars into older age. However, more limited car use has been observed, particularly among young people who, more frequently than previously, seem to be opting for the most suitable form of transport rather than traveling exclusively in their own vehicles.

Sabine Radke

Member of Research Department in the Energy, Transportation, Environment Department

Topics: Transportation

JEL-Classification: L92;Q40;R41
Keywords: Road transport, mileage, fuels, motorized vehicles
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