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For young Americans, driving is less the enticing ticket to freedom that it once was
WASHINGTON (AP) ' The share of people in their teens, 20s and 30s with driver's licenses is dropping. It's a trend seen not only in the United States, but in other wealthy nations as well.
Recent studies at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute show the share of 16- to 39-year-olds with driver's licenses declined markedly between 1983 and 2008. The greatest decreases were among drivers in their late teens and early 20s.
For example, among Americans aged 20 to 24 in 1983, nearly 92 percent had driver's licenses. Twenty-five years later, the share fell to 82 percent.
Researchers say that cyber contact may be reducing the need for young people to socialize face-to-face. Other possible factors include the economy and more young people choosing to live in cities.