Saturday, February 8, 2014

Saturday Stats: Car Ownership Highest in San Jose

This week's stat is kind of a two-parter. The Wall Street Journal posted an article stating that a larger share of US households do not own a car than in 2007. This is entirely true, but the change in American car ownership over those five years amounted to a measly half of a percentage point (0.5%). Some cities like San Diego, Austin, Ft. Worth, and Denver actually saw car ownership rise. San Jose takes the cake for the highest percentage of car ownership, with 94.2% of households owning a car. Over those five years, households with cars dropped in San Jose by 0.4%, close to the drop for the US Average.

Now part two is an article that bothers me by The Atlantic. They took the same data the Wall Street Journal used and asked the question, "why do the smartest cities have the smallest share of cars?" Let me remind everyone that San Jose was named the Smartest City in America by the TODAY Show a couple weeks ago, and we were at the very bottom of the data set for car ownership (lower means more households with cars in this case) along with cities like Austin and San Diego. Not only do I find this argument very weak, but the writer of this article completely corrupted his points by conveniently removing San Jose from his data set for "Cars and College" showing the correlation between education and car ownership (arguing that people with more education are less likely to own car). Check out the articles and lets us know what you think.

Sources: WSJ, The Atlantic, Hat tip to Tim Reed!


  1. The Atlantic article is a typical example of the circle jerking you get when an author who lives in a city they're overly proud of tries to justify why they're overly proud. Then no one questions it because of course our country's greatest cities are better because they're our greatest cities. It's that kind of pretentiousness that makes me want to live somewhere like SJ that still has a lot to prove.

  2. San Jose is always the victim of this kind of crappy writing. more recently to justify San Francisco being the urban capital Silicon Valley.