What does this measure?
The number of households which do not report having a vehicle kept at the home, available for use, expressed as a percentage of all households.
Why is this important?
A vehicle makes it easier for people to work and to conduct daily business such as doctor's visits and shopping. Ready access to transportation can also make it simpler to be involved in schools, religious organizations, and other forms of civic life.
How is our county doing?
In 2017-21, about 31,600 (10%) of households in Essex County did not have access to a vehicle. This was similar to the state rate of 12% and higher than the national rate of 8%. Rates in Essex County, Massachusetts and across the country have remained steady since 2000. The rates of households without cars were highest in Lawrence (25%), Lynn (18%), and Salem (16%).
How do we compare to similar counties?
Westchester, NY had a higher rate of non-vehicle households (14%) than Essex County, while Middlesex, MA was similar to Essex. Lake, IL had a substantially lower rate than any of the comparison counties, at 5%. There was little fluctuation in rates for comparison counties since 2000.
Notes about the data
The multi-year figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined five years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. However, because the information came from a survey, the samples responding to the survey were not always large enough to produce reliable results, especially in small geographic areas. CGR has noted on data tables the estimates with relatively large margins of error. Estimates with three asterisks have the largest margins, plus or minus 50% or more of the estimate. Two asterisks mean plus or minus 35%-50%, and one asterisk means plus or minus 20%-35%. For all estimates, the confidence level is 90%, meaning there is 90% probability the true value (if the whole population were surveyed) would be within the margin of error (or confidence interval). Data for this indicator is expected to be released annually in December.