04/05/2012 04:34 EDT | Updated 06/08/2012 05:12 EDT

Fewer Young Drivers: Those In Teens, 20s And 30s Not Getting Licenses

WASHINGTON - 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 per cent had driver's licenses. Twenty-five years later, the share fell to 82 per cent.

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.