U.S. Census Bureau releases 2011 commute study

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The United States Census Bureau has just released a their study of America’s commuting habits for 2011. This is something I find particularly interesting, because before moving to the East Bay in California, I grew up in a not-so-little town in the San Joaquin Valley. What really amazed me when moving to the bay area was how much commuting was just a part of daily life. It’s what everyone did to get to work, commuting is apart of the lifestyle. This was realization was quite a shocker coming from a city where anything over 10 minutes was considered a long commute.

Because a “long commute” is such a subjective term, for the study the census bureau define it as 60 minutes or more (one way).

  • Among U.S. workers who did not work at home, 8.1 percent had commutes of 60 minutes or longer in 2011.
  • An estimated 61.1 percent of workers with “long commutes” drove to work alone, compared with 79.9 percent for all workers who did not work at home.
  • New York shows the highest rate of “long commutes” at 16.2 percent, followed by Maryland and New Jersey at 14.8 and 14.6 percent, respectively.
  • The District of Columbia has the highest rate of outof-state commuters among its resident workers at 25.2 percent, followed by Maryland at 18.3 percent.
  • Among all people who work in the District of Columbia, 72.4 percent live outside the District of Columbia.

Of course, not all of this is by car. The census didn’t distinguish how the workers got to work, just how long it took. I can personally confirm a 45 minute commute by train definitely feels shorter and is easier to maintain over a 45 minute commute by car. At least on the bus or train you can read, study, and generally be productive! I know you’re all dying to read the whole study and geek out about it as much as me, so go ahead and click here to do so.

Alright working stiffs, what’s your commute like? Is it just an accepted part of the culture? I’d love to know!

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