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FHWA Home / Policy & Governmental Affairs / Highway Policy Information / National Household Travel Survey (NHTS)

National Household Travel Survey (NHTS)

The National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) is a periodic national survey used to assist transportation planners and policy makers who need comprehensive data on travel and transportation patterns in the United States. The 2017 survey, data along with historical data, are now available at the NHTS website: https://nhts.ornl.gov/

In addition to the 2017 NHTS data, the NHTS website also contains previous survey data from the 2009 and 2001 NHTS, and the former Nationwide Personal Transportation Surveys (NPTS) of 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: https://nhts.ornl.gov/

Moving Forward:

FHWA is looking to transform the current NHTS program into a more robust annual data gathering effort covering "daily travel," "long distance travel," and "origin destination" data. For more information, please visit the FHWA led pooled fund solicitation titled "Moving Forward with the Next Generation Travel Behavior Data Collection and Processing" at http://www.pooledfund.org/Details/Solicitation/1466

Page last modified on April 4, 2018
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