# What is the total amount of paving in the US?

• CPW
In summary, the amount of paving in the United States, including asphalt on the ground, buildings, and concrete, was reported to be greater than the area of Ohio in 2008. However, more recent statistics are not readily available. In 2019, it was reported that about 61,000 square miles of the US is covered in impervious surfaces, which includes paving. Further research is needed to determine the current situation for the total amount of paving in the US.
CPW
TL;DR Summary
Amount of paving in the United States - surprising stat
While commuting I'm listening to The Great Courses "How the Earth Works" lecture series, and in one lecture the professor stated that the amount of paving (asphalt on the ground, buildings, concrete, etc.) in the United States is now greater than the area of the state of Ohio. The lectures were recorded in 2008.

I was unsuccessful in my short internet search to find a website to update the 2019 version of this statistic. Do any PF members know the current situation for the total amount of paving in the US?

What made me think to post this question to PF was when I heard my iPhone navigation instruct me to "stay in the left 4 lanes", which is telling of how wide the interstate gets during part of my daily commute.

Wow, that's a really interesting statistic! I had no idea that the amount of paving in the US was that extensive. I did some quick research and found an article from 2019 that stated that about 61,000 square miles of the US is covered in impervious surfaces, which includes not just paving but also rooftops and other structures. That's about the size of the state of Georgia. However, I couldn't find any more recent statistics specifically for just paving. It would be interesting to see an updated comparison to the size of Ohio. Maybe someone else on PF has more information on this topic. Thanks for bringing it up!

## 1. What is the definition of paving?

Paving refers to the process of covering a surface with a hard material, typically concrete or asphalt, to create a smooth and durable surface for walking, driving, or other activities.

## 2. How is the total amount of paving in the US measured?

The total amount of paving in the US is typically measured in terms of square feet or acres. This measurement includes all paved surfaces, such as roads, sidewalks, parking lots, and driveways.

## 3. What is the current estimate of the total amount of paving in the US?

According to a report by the Federal Highway Administration, as of 2018, there were approximately 4.18 million miles of public roads in the US, which translates to approximately 61.4 billion square feet of paved surface.

## 4. How has the total amount of paving in the US changed over time?

The total amount of paving in the US has steadily increased over time due to population growth and urbanization. In 1950, there were only 2.5 million miles of public roads, which has more than doubled in the past 70 years.

## 5. What are the environmental impacts of the total amount of paving in the US?

The large amount of paving in the US has significant environmental impacts, including increased urban heat island effect, water pollution from runoff, and loss of natural habitats for wildlife. It also contributes to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the production and maintenance of paving materials.

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