This may account for some of the lower figures people give; they could simply be out of date.
Using the same method for the years 1981-90, for example, we get less than 15 per cent ownership, without taking into account five year passports.
My first few hours in America I got a bus from JFK to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York.
I sat behind the driver who was trying to impress his girl friend with his knowlege of downtown Manahatten.
The closest I’ve found is this page of the number of passports issued per year.
First, lets be generous and say that every passport was issued to an adult and therefore lasts ten years.
Anyway, there's also the fact that it's harder as an American to travel to Canada and Mexico without one: the old 'drivers' license only' rule is increasingly being tightened, so that you need a birth certificate or some other concrete proof.
Add on the fact that the US is big enough for you to travel domestically for a lifetime and still think a) you've seen a hell of a lot of world; and b) you've still a lot of world to see.It was fairly obvious that the girl had only been to manhatten once or twice in her life and she probably didn't live very far away.The equivalent of the costa brava for most Americans is either Florida or Hawaii, depending on where they live.Incidentally, I graphed the statistics for US passports issued per year [updated 24 April 2004].You can see the dramatic rise over the past ten years.They conducted “household surveys” in Canada and the US with the results summarised in a table titled ‘Passport possession in the United States and Canada’ on page 4: The percentages of passport holders among those who travel between the two countries might help to make better comparisons with Europeans travelling between countries.