Average Commute Times
How does your commute time compare to your neighbors & the rest of the country?
To find out, we compiled data from the U.S. Census Bureau, just enter your average commute time & zip code below, or explore our interactive map up above!
Between being caught in traffic on your way to work, and being caught in traffic on your way home from work, you might find that you have tons of time to sit in your car and think. Here at Auto Accessories Garage, we got to thinking about how our commutes compared with other people in the office, and other people in the country. This led us to grab data from the US Census Bureau
, which we were able to sort by zip code and display on this interactive map. You can also view or download the complete data which we've shared as a Google Spreadsheet.
Among our first burning questions, we wondered which major cities had it the best, and which had it the worst. So we took our data and focused on the Top 50 cities based on population.
Our findings can be found below:
An interesting thing we noticed, is of the five largest American cities, (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia,) Houston is the only city not listed here. With an average commute time of 26.2 minutes, Houston manages to rank 8th overall for longest commute. Oddly, Houston is also the largest city in the nation without a major public rail transit system.
However, public transit may have little bearing on traffic congestion as 86% of American workers commute by vehicle, and of those drivers, more than 75% drive alone.
Meanwhile, Miami is only the 44th most populous American city, making its inclusion on the bottom five something of a surprise to - but maybe not to its residents.
While looking at data from city to city, we wondered what the country looks like from a less specific vantage point. With that in mind we compared the overall state averages from all 50 states. Just as we did with major cities, we determined the top five longest commutes by state, and the top five shortest. You can look at the results below:
Surprisingly, of the five least commutable cities, none of their corresponding states’ averages made the bottom five list here. It appears that states like New York, Illinois, and California, while they house deeply congested metropolitan areas, also contain enough easily commutable areas to drag their averages down below the “worst of the worst” threshold.
By far the best state average can be found in Alaska, at nearly half the time of its next closest competitor. This can likely be explained by the rugged terrain of the Alaskan frontier inspiring its residents to live close to where they work. Similarly, both Dakotas make the short list, likely due to their high population of temporary oil field workers, who make up nearly 50% of the population in some areas.
So we’ve seen the best and worst of states, and the best and worst of the top 50 cities, but what about the worst commute in the entire country period? This unpleasant distinction goes to Normantown, WV. Normantown is home to an elementary school, a post office, and the Stumptown Wildlife Management Area.
It’s likely the deer outnumber the people here, and if you don’t work at one of those three places, chances are you’ll have to spend quite a while in the car getting out of Normantown.
It’s hard to beat the average commute times enjoyed by the residents of Liguori, MO. These humble Missourians enjoy an average commute time of under two minutes - no joke. It’s possible their averages are brought down by the large population of Redemptoristine nuns who reside in Liguori - the headquarters of the Redemptorist church.