The maps on how Americans get to work

You can smell the exhaust from here.
You can smell the exhaust from here.
Image: AP Photo/Reed Saxon, file
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New data released by the United States Census Bureau give us an updated view of how Americans get to work and how long it takes them.

The average commute time in the US is 25.7 minutes. Most of the country’s 141 million adult workers, or 76%, get to work by driving alone. But looking more closely at the data reveals more about the American commute.

How long it takes to get to work

Wyoming’s Albany County has the shortest average commute time of all large counties (those with 10,000 residents or more). It takes the average Albany resident just 12.4 minutes to get to work.

Susan Adler, the county’s assistant planner, explained, “We’re a small community and we really don’t have the traffic.” Her own commute is just six minutes by car. She also noted that a large portion of Albany’s working-age population are students at the University of Wyoming, who don’t have much of a commute.

But before you pack up and move out to Wyoming, consider that on average, Americans enjoy fairly short commute times overall. Even the county with the longest average commute, Charles County, Maryland, gets to work in less than 45 minutes.

Where people work from home

You may think the places with highest rate of computer-commuters would be hip, techie places like San Francisco. But that is not the case. Pulaski County, Missouri, has the highest rate of people who work from home, at 34.5%. This could be because Pulaski is home to Fort Leonard Wood military base, where most people live and work in the same place.

Where people take public transportation

New York City is not only #1 in commuting by public transportation; four of its five counties are #1 (Brooklyn), #2 (Bronx), #3 (Manhattan) and #4 (Queens) on the list. Rounding out the top five is Hudson County, New Jersey, just outside New York City.

Where people bike to work

Of the counties with 10,000 residents or more, the one with the highest rate of working-age residents who cycle to work is Yolo County, California, at 9.4%. And of course it is, because YOLO.

Where people live in one state and work in another

There aren’t any big surprises in this dataset, but it’s still pretty neat to look at. As you would expect, the counties along state borders are the ones with the highest rate of residents who commute out of their home state for work. The highest rate among the larger counties, at 63%, is Alabama’s Russell County, on the border with Georgia.