Most Denver-area millennials still drive to work, census data says

Photo: Bike to Work Day Denver
Colorado native and Olympic skier Bobby Brown celebrates Denver’s Bike to Work Day in June 2014.

We've all seen the headlines: Millennials (like me!) are a car-shunning, transit-hopping, cycle-crazy crowd.

But the latest numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, which covers results from 2009-2013, show the car-less revolution isn't here just yet -- at least in the Denver metro area.

To be sure, commuters in Denver County are more likely than their suburban counterparts to walk, cycle, or take public transit. But the rate in Denver is largely unchanged compared to 1980, as the chart above shows.

And as a whole, the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro area's commuting-by-car rate among 18-34-year-olds is 85.4 percent -- slightly more than the national rate of 84.5.

A new interactive tool from the Census Bureau shows how behavior differs across the country. Here's a screenshot of that, zoomed into Denver. Darker reds show more commuting by car; lighter shades show less. Drag the slider back and forth to see how commuting has changed since 1980.

Here's the full version of the map, which shows how commuting has changed across the state and country:

Click over to the Census Bureau's tool to see how other behaviors have (and haven't) changed among young adults.