8 States With the Longest Drive to Work

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

How far do you drive back and forth to work each day? The average person typically spends just over 25 minutes in the car each way when traveling to work. This means that a typical commuter spends 50 minutes per day, 250 minutes per week, and around 12,000 minutes (or 200 hours) per year driving to and from work. During that 200-hour time frame, you could have developed a new skill, painted 50 or so self-portraits, learned a new language using Rosetta Stone, or completed at least one college course.

Driving back and forth to work each day can be such a pain that many people decide where to live based on the corresponding commute time. According to a report by the Census Bureau, “among the 36 million people 1 year and over who moved between 2012 and 2013, 5% said the most important reason for moving was to be closer to work or for an easier commute.”

Would you move to shorten your commute time? What if you had to drive over an hour each way to work every day? The average commute time in some states is much longer than the national average. These are the states where people commonly have to decide whether they want to live in the city, pay more for housing, and have a shorter commute, or live in the burbs, get more bang for their real estate bucks, and drive the long journey to work every day.

We’ve created a list of states with the longest average commute times. We’ve also included data on other transportation options, like public transportation usage statistics, and information on some of the cities and counties within these states where the commute is the longer or shorter than the statewide average. All of our data come from the most recent Census Bureau American Community Survey.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

California

  • Statewide average commute (one way): 27 minutes
  • People driving longer than 60 minutes to work: 1.54 million workers or 9.9% of workers over the age of 16 who work out of the home
  • A few places with long commute times: Some areas across California report average commute times that are higher than 50 minutes each way, including some parts of LA County, Butte County, and Madera county.
  • A few places with shorter commute times: Several areas across Northern California report commute times that are less than 20 minutes, such as the Siskiyou County area. Portions of Inyo and San Bernadino Counties also report shorter commutes.
  • Other means of transportation used: 5.1% use public transportation, 1% ride a bicycle, and 2.8% walk

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

Georgia

  • Statewide average commute: 27 minutes
  • People driving longer than 60 minutes to work: 364,742 workers or 9% of workers over the age of 16 who work out of the home
  • A few places with long commute times: Areas of Paulding County and other areas surrounding Atlanta may have commute times in the 40-minute range.
  • A few places with shorter commute times: Portions of Richmond and Liberty Counties report average commute times of less than 10 minutes.
  • Other means of transportation used: 2.2% use public transportation, 0.2% ride a bicycle, and 1.6% walk

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Illinois

  • Statewide average commute: 28 minutes
  • People driving longer than 60 minutes to work: 622,784 workers or 11% of workers over the age of 16 who work out of the home
  • A few places with long commute times: In some parts of Cook County and McHenry, average commute times exceed 45 to 50 minutes.
  • A few places with shorter commute times: Reported commute times are lower than 20 minutes in some parts of Dupage, Will, and Kane Counties.
  • Other means of transportation used: 8.7% use public transportation, 0.6% ride a bicycle, and 3.1% walk

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

Massachusetts

  • Statewide average commute: 28 minutes
  • People driving longer than 60 minutes to work: 321,489 workers or 10.4% of workers over the age of 16 who work out of the home
  • A few places with long commute times: Several areas across the state report commute times that are longer than 30 minutes, including large portions of Plymouth, Worcester, and Franklin Counties.
  • A few places with shorter commute times: Portions of Hampton and Berkshire Counties report commute times that are less than 15 minutes.
  • Other means of transportation used: 9.2% use public transportation, 0.7% ride a bicycle, and 4.7% walk

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

Virginia

  • Statewide average commute: 28 minutes
  • People driving longer than 60 minutes to work: 363,583 workers or 9.7% of workers over the age of 16 who work out of the home
  • A few places with long commute times: Portions of Westmoreland, Stafford, Spotsylvania, and Orange Counties report average commute times in excess of 50 minutes.
  • A few places with shorter commute times: Northern Stafford County reports an average commute time of 8 minutes. The average commute is as short as 15 minutes in some parts of Richmond City.
  • Other means of transportation used: 4.4% use public transportation, 0.4% ride a bicycle, and 2.3% walk

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

New Jersey

  • Statewide average commute: 30 minutes
  • People driving longer than 60 minutes to work: 565,679 workers or 14.2% of workers over the age of 16 who work out of the home
  • A few places with long commute times: Portions of Monmouth and Middlesex Counties report commute times that are longer than 45 minutes.
  • A few places with shorter commute times: Parts of Burlington and Morris Counties report commute times as short as 9 minutes.
  • Other means of transportation used: 10.7% use public transportation, 0.3% ride a bicycle, and 3.2% walk

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

Maryland

  • Statewide average commute: 32 minutes
  • People driving longer than 60 minutes to work: 398,633 workers or 14.4% of workers over the age of 16 who work out of the home
  • A few places with long commute times: Parts of Charles, St. Mary’s, and Calvert Counties report average commute times of at least 45 minutes.
  • A few places with shorter commute times: Parts of Anne Arundel County and portions of Prince Georges County (especially near Clinton) report average commute times of around 15 minutes.
  • Other means of transportation used: 8.8% use public transportation, 0.3% ride a bicycle, and 2.4% walk

John Moore/Getty Images

John Moore/Getty Images

New York

  • Statewide average commute: 32 minutes
  • People driving longer than 60 minutes to work: 1.38 million workers or 16.2% of workers over the age of 16 who work out of the home
  • A few places with long commute times: Average commute times exceed 60 minutes in some portions of Richmond, Kings, Queens, and Bronx Counties.
  • A few places with shorter commute times: Some portions of Westchester and Nassau Counties reports commute times of less than 15 minutes.
  • Other means of transportation used: 26.8% use public transportation, 0.5% ride a bicycle, and 6.4% walk

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