Nate Silver: Is American Car Culture on the Skids?

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Nate Silver, the stat-mining fortune teller behind FiveThirtyEight.com, has written a piece for Esquire
suggesting that Americans may be weaning themselves off their
collective auto addiction. Falling gas prices aside, driving has been
on the decline since late 2007, Silver notes. Taking factors like
population and unemployment into account, he wonders:

Could it be that there’s
been some sort of paradigm shift in Americans’ attitudes toward their
cars? Perhaps, given the exorbitant gas prices of last summer,
Americans realized that they weren’t quite as dependent on their
vehicles as they once thought they were.

Silver
also points out that between 2004 and 2008, cities that took the
biggest hit in home prices, like Las Vegas and Detroit, were "highly
car-dependent," while Portland, Oregon had the largest gains.

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