Who bikes?

Who bikes? pie chart

From April 2011, via Sightlines Daily, using data from John Pucher and Ralph Buehler, who got it from the 2009 National Household Travel Survey.

Contrary to popular convention, the biggest share of bicyclists isn’t yuppies, it’s low income people. In fact, the lowest-earning quarter of Americans make nearly one-third of all bike trips. Among that group, I would expect to find at least some fraction of working poor, students, the unemployed, and retired people of modest means. No doubt there are almost as many reasons to bike as there are cyclists, but it’s clear that bikes are a favored choice among those on a budget.

The big takeaway for me, however, is looking beyond low-income riders. Bicycling is remarkably evenly distributed among the remaining three quartiles. With the exception of the over- represented bottom quartile, bike trips don’t appear to be the province of any one income class more than any other.

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About Steven Vance

Enthusiast for urbanism, bicycling as transportation, and open data. Building a bicycle culture in Chicago.