Transportation Economic Trends
Value of Transportation Infrastructure and Other Assets:
Investment in Transportation
The government (public) and private sector invest in transportation infrastructures (referred to as structures in national data on investment) like highways and streets, which have a fixed location, and transportation equipment like motor vehicles, aircraft, and ships. This page discusses public and private transportation investment. Data and discussion on the value of existing transportation infrastructure and equipment (capital stock) are also available.
- In 2021 public and private investment in transportation infrastructure and equipment totaled $383.9 billion, or 7.8 percent of the $4,939.6 billion in investment in all infrastructure, equipment, and intellectual property rights.
in transportation accounted for a smaller share of total investment in
2021 (7.8 percent) than in both 2019 and 2020 (10.3 and 8.1 percent of
total investment, respectively).
investment in transportation equipment accounted for slightly more than
half of the $383.9 billion invested in transportation in 2021 ($224.5
billion, or 58.5 percent). Public and private investment in new
transportation infrastructure accounted for the remainder ($159.3 billion,
or 41.5 percent).
- Adjusted for inflation, investment in transportation increased by 4.9 percent in 2021, but despite the increase, total investment in transportation remained 16.5 percent below the 2019 level. The largest year-over-year increase in total transportation investment (adjusted for inflation) of 36.7 percent occurred in 2010.
- While total investment in transportation increased, public investment in transportation decreased (adjusted for inflation) by 8.1 percent in 2021 — the largest year-over-year decline since 2003. The decline brought public investment in transportation to its fifth lowest over the past two decades and below the level maintained since 2015.
- Adjusted for inflation, private investment in transportation increased by 13.8 percent in 2021 but was not the largest year-over-year increase. The largest increase of 85.5 percent occurred in 2010.