Zip Code Ranking
What Is This?

A Zip Code’s score is a number between 0 and 99, which represents the average of its percentile rank amongst average commute times amongst all zip codes. The higher the score, the shorter (or better) the commute time.

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 1 , 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. 2

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. 3 Our findings can be found below:

Most Populous Cities with the Longest Commute Times

Rank U.S. City Average Commute Time
1 Chicago 32.4 minutes
2 Philadelphia 31.2 minutes
3 New York 29.5 minutes
4 Miami 29.5 minutes
5 Los Angeles 28.9 minutes

Most Populous Cities with the Shortest Commute Times

Rank U.S. State Average Commute Time
1 Omaha 18.4 minutes
2 Wichita 18.5 minutes
3 Tulsa 18.6 minutes
4 Nashville 19.6 minutes
5 Oklahoma City 19.7 minutes

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. 4 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. 5 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:

Longest Commutes by State:

Rank U.S. City Average Commute Time
1 Maryland 31.9 minutes
2 New Jersey 30.1 minutes
3 West Virginia 30 minutes
4 Virginia 28.6 minutes
5 Louisiana 28.5 minutes

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.

Shortest Commutes by State:

Rank U.S. City Average Commute Time
1 Alaska 11 minutes
2 South Dakota 19.8 minutes
3 Nebraska 21.3 minutes
4 North Dakota 21.3 minutes
5 Kansas 21.5 minutes

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. 6

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. 7 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.

All Time Worst:

Rank U.S. City Average Commute Time
1 Normantown, WV 109.2 minutes
2 California Hot Springs, CA 95.7 minutes
3 Pep, NM 90.2 minutes
4 Hiko, NV 88.5 minutes
5 Pinch, WV 86.2 minutes

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. 8

All Time Best:

Rank U.S. City Average Commute Time
1 Liguori, MO 1.2 minutes
2 Kirkwood, CA 2.1 minutes
3 Chignik Lake, AK 2.2 minutes
4 Crooked Creek, AK 2.2 minutes
5 Adak, AK 2.9 minutes
  1. Commuting (Journey to Work): United States Census Bureau
  2. View or download the raw data: Google Spreadsheet
  3. United States Cities By Population: Wikipedia
  4. In Texas, Two Dramatically Different Transit Philosophies Emerge The Kinder Institute for Urban Research:
  5. Who Drives to Work? Commuting by Automobile in the United States: 2013 American Community Survey Reports
  6. Temporary oilfield workers are major factor in increased water use in N. Dakota Bakken region Argonne National Laboratory
  7. Stumptown Wildlife Management Wikipedia
  8. Liguori, Missouri Wikipedia

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