The Daily Commute

Visualizing Average Commute Times in all 3,000 + U.S. Counties

According to the 2012 - 2016 American Community Survey, the average one-way commute time for workers in the U.S. is 26.1 minutes.

A quick back-of-the-envelope calculation reveals that the average U.S. worker spends 26.1 minutes x 2 commutes per day x 5 days per week x 50 working weeks per year = 217 hours per year commuting. That's equivalent to nine full days.

But commute times vary significantly from one county to the next in the U.S. Consider Aleutians East Borough County in Alaska, for example. In this county of just over 3,000 people, the average commute time is only 4.9 minutes. (For those interested in moving to this tiny Alaskan county, there are unfortunaely no job openings at this time).

On the other end of the spectrum, Clay County, West Virginia holds the title for longest average one-way commute time at 45.3 minutes. In this county of 9,000 people, the most common jobs are in coal mines and natural gas wells, which could explain why workers have to travel so far for work.

To get a better idea of how commutes vary across the U.S., check out the map below that shows the average one-way commute time for workers in all 3,000+ U.S. counties.

How Does Your County Compare?

The average commute time in is 23.2 minutes.

This is 2.9 minutes less than the national average.

Technical notes: This map was created using D3.js, a javascript library for producing visualizations. Code for this visual is based on this D3.js Block by Mike Bostock.