How long does it take you to get to work? Five minutes? Twenty? An hour? Most of us can estimate the time we spend on our daily commute — but how does yours compare to the people in your zip code, your state, or the rest of the country? Here's your chance to find out.
The interactive map below was released yesterday by WYNC in concurrence with the U.S. Census Bureau's latest stats on nationwide commute times. The average travel time to work in the United States? 25.4 minutes. If you live somewhere like Dodge City, Kansas, odds are you come in well below the national average. But if you're commuting into Manhattan every day? You sad, sad bastard.
Start by entering your zip code into the applet below, then try exploring by clicking, dragging, and zooming in and out. Hover your mouse over an area to see its commute times. Fair warning: if you're into this kind of thing, this map can be a bit of a rabbit hole.
The most wearisome statistics in the Census Bureau's latest batch of numbers are those attributed to "mega-commuters." Do you travel more than 90 minutes and 50 miles each way to get to work every day? Our sincerest apologies; you're a mega-commuter. According to the Bureau's report, there are 600,000 mega-commuters in America. When you include people who travel at least an hour each way, that number jumps to 10.8 million — a little over 8% of U.S. workers.
More highlights via The U.S. Census Bureau:
23.0 percent of workers with long commutes (60 minutes or more) use public transit, compared with 5.3 percent for all workers. Only 61.1 percent of workers with long commutes drove to work alone, compared with 79.9 percent for all workers who worked outside the home.
"The average travel time for workers who commute by public transportation is higher than that of workers who use other modes. For some workers, using transit is a necessity, but others simply choose a longer travel time over sitting in traffic," said Brian McKenzie, a Census Bureau statistician and author of the brief.
Rail travel accounted for 11.8 percent of workers with long commutes, and other forms of public transportation accounted for 11.2 percent.
Workers who live in New York state show the highest rate of long commutes at 16.2 percent, followed by Maryland and New Jersey at 14.8 percent and 14.6 percent, respectively. The estimates for Maryland and New Jersey are not statistically different from each other. These states and several others with high rates of long commutes contain or are adjacent to large metropolitan areas.
Based on the 2006-2010 American Community Survey, 586,805 full-time workers are mega commuters — one in 122 of full-time workers. Mega commuters were more likely to be male, older, married, make a higher salary, and have a spouse who does not work. Of the total mega commutes, 75.4 percent were male and 24.6 percent women. Mega commuters were also more likely to depart for work before 6 a.m. Metro areas with large populations tend to attract large flows of mega commuters, according to Mega Commuting in the U.S..