FAQ Search Results

How many people walk?

There is no clear and absolutely correct number, because walking varies widely - from children walking to school to people commuting to work to walking for fitness and exercise. Collecting pedestrian counts can be time-consuming and expensive, and - unlike as with auto traffic counts - there is no financial incentive for states and local governments to collect pedestrian counts. Despite these limitations, though, there are a number of good estimates of overall levels of walking.

In the 2005 Traveler Opinion and Perception Survey (TOP), conducted by the Federal Highway Administration, about 107.4 million Americans use walking as a regular mode of travel. This translates to approximately 51 percent of the traveling public. On average, these 107.4 million people used walking for transportation (as opposed to for recreation) three days per week.

The United States Census Bureau's 2009 American Community Survey estimates that 2.90 percent, or 3,966,000 workers 16 years and over, are walking to work (data are based on a sample and are subject to sampling variability). These numbers are lower than those for the 1990 (3.90 percent), but higher than 2000 (2.68 percent), and 2005(2.47 percent).

The National Household Travel Survey in 2001 estimated that there were around 35.3 billion walking trips each year (if there is a problem with the previous link, the survey can also be found online at http://nhts.ornl.gov/publications.shtml).

The National Household Travel Survey in 2009 estimated that there were around 40.9 billion walking trips each year.