How Many Truck Drivers In The US? (2024)

Explore the changing numbers of truck drivers in the US from 1997 to 2023. Understand the economic impacts on the industry and the current state of employment.

Research Team


Read in 2 mins

Number of Truck Drivers in U.S. (1997-2023)

*Truck drivers include light, heavy, tractor-trailer truck drivers.


Decade of Growth and Decline of How Many Truckers in the US

Starting in 1997 with about 2.64 million truck drivers, the number grew slightly to peak at around 2.69 million in 1998. However, during the early 2000s, the number of truck drivers slowly dropped to 2.47 million by 2003, mainly because economic downturns reduced the need for freight transportation. Despite these setbacks, the numbers started to slowly improve, reaching 2.52 million by 2004.

Impact of the 2008 Financial Crisis

The 2008 financial crisis hit the trucking industry hard, causing the number of how many truckers in the us to drop to 2.39 million by 2009. This decrease was mainly because there was less manufacturing and a lower need for transporting goods, showing how the number of truck drivers is closely linked to the economy's health.

Post-crisis recovery was slow but steady. By 2014, the numbers had climbed back up to 2.42 million, and growth accelerated in the following years, reflecting a resurgence in economic activity and an increased need for transportation services. The number of truck drivers reached new heights in the late 2010s, peaking at 2.78 million in 2019.

Do I Qualify for

Accident Compensation?
Free Case Review

Resilience and Growth in the Trucking Industry Post-2020

Despite a slight dip in 2020 to 20.73 million, likely influenced by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the industry saw a remarkable recovery. By 2021, the number of truck drivers in us surged to 2.91 million and continued to grow to 3.05 million by 2023. This recent surge can be attributed to the increased reliance on e-commerce, which requires extensive logistics support, and ongoing economic recovery.

Looking Ahead

As of 2023, there are 3,048,360 active truck drivers in the US. This large number shows how important truck drivers are to the US economy and how the industry adapts to new demands, technology changes, and different ways of moving and delivering goods.


The changes in how many truck drivers in the us from 1997 to 2023 show how the industry has managed to keep going and adjust over time. Trucking is still a crucial part of the US economy, changing with the economy and facing new challenges and opportunities. Looking ahead, the number of truck drivers will remain an important sign of how well the economy is doing.

Research Team 's profile picture

Research Team


Meet ConsumerShield Research Team, dedicated to identifying risks in consumer products and championing consumer rights through rigorous research

Stay up to date

Get updates on all of our legal news on lawsuits, research and legal updates.