America’s transportation system continues to change along with the population, work force, and economy. The following table puts those changes in perspective:

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Context 1980 2002
Resident population (thousands) 226,542 288,369
Total area (thousands of square miles)a 3,619 3,718 (2000)
Total civilian labor force (thousands) 106,940 144,863
Real gross domestic productb $4.9 trillion $9.4 trillion
Median household incomeb, d $32,661 (1984) $38,186
Average household incomeb, c, d $34,189 (1984) $44,507
Average household expendituresb, c, d $32,020 (1984) $36,626
Number of households (thousands) 80,776 109,297
Life expectancy at birth (years) 73.7 P77.2 (2001)

a 1980 data include inland water only. Since 1990, data reflect a new database and include inland water, coastal water, and Great Lakes, but exclude territorial water. The Census Bureau tabulates area data for the decennial census years only.
b Expressed in 1996 chained dollars (see Glossary for definition).
c Earliest year available is 1984.
d BTS computations, December 2003.
Key: P = preliminary data.

Sources: Population, area, number of householdsU.S. Department of Commerce (USDOC), U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2002, available at, as of Oct. 2003. GDPUSDOC, Bureau of Economic Analysis, available at, as of Dec. 2003. Median household incomeUSDOC, Census, available at, as of Oct. 2003. Average household income, average household expenditures, labor forceU.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, available at, as of Dec. 2003. Life expectancyCenters for Disease Control and Prevention, available at, as of Oct. 2003.