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National Household Travel Survey (NHTS)

The National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) is a periodic national survey, to assist transportation planners and policy makers who need comprehensive data on travel and transportation patterns in the United States. The 2009 is the latest survey collected by FHWA, in coordination with a private firm who conducted the survey around the country.

Previous surveys included the 2001 NHTS, and the former Nationwide Personal Transportation Surveys (NPTS) of 1969, 1977, 1983, 1990, and 1995.

The NHTS/NPTS serves as the nation's inventory of daily travel. Data is collected on daily trips taken by households and individuals in those households, over a 24-hour period, and includes:

  • purpose of the trip (work, shopping, social, etc.)
  • means of transportation (car, walk, bus, subway, etc.)
  • travel time of trip
  • time of day/day of week

These data are collected for all trips, modes, purposes, trip lengths, and all areas of the country, urban and rural.

Uses of Surveys:

  • quantify travel behavior
  • analyze changes in travel characteristics over time
  • related travel behavior to the demographics of the travel, and
  • study the relationship of demographic and travel over time.

For more information, go to the NHTS website at: http://nhts.ornl.gov/introduction.shtml

Page last modified on November 7, 2014.
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000