The US cities with the worst commutes to work

TierneyMJ/Shutterstock.com

The distance you drive or take public transit to work can vary dramatically based on where you live.

Analysing location data from commuters in 933 metros with a population of at least 100,000, researchers from StreetLight Data found the places where residents travel the longest distances to work. In total, they looked at the median, round-trip journeys of approximately 20 million commuters in September 2017.

The primary goal was to study the links between three socioeconomic factors – income, education level, and rent prices – and commute length, according to Laura Schewel, CEO of StreetLight Data.

When looking at nationwide averages, there isn’t a strong relationship between high-income, high-cost, college-educated neighbourhoods and short commutes. But if you zoom into certain cities, there are correlations.

In Raleigh, North Carolina, for example, non-college-degree, low-income residents tend to have longer commutes than their college-educated, higher-income neighbours. According to the study, out of the three socioeconomic factors, having a college degree is most highly correlated with having a short commute.

While the study measured commute length for all types of transit (from biking to walking to driving), it doesn’t look at how access to public transport correlates with commute length. However, Schewel does note that places with exceptionally long commutes tend to be in rural areas without access to major public transit systems.

There are a few caveats to the data. The places with the longest commutes are relatively small, and job opportunities might be limited – so residents drive to larger cities nearby. The study also doesn’t consider people who lack smartphones or connected vehicles, people who work from home, or those who work in different places every day.

Take a look at the cities with the longest commutes.


15. East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

Population: 172,936

Median rent: $US1,325

Median commute distance: 14 miles


14. Gallup, New Mexico

Population: 57,295

Median rent: $US613

Median commute distance: 14 miles


13. Aberdeen, Washington

Population: 57,780

Median rent: $US720

Median commute distance: 14.1 miles


12. Morehead City, North Carolina

Population: 69,250

Median rent: $US689

Median commute distance: 14.1 miles


11. Fergus Falls, Minnesota

Wikipedia CommonsFergus Falls State Hospital in Fergus Falls, Minnesota.

Population: 51,785

Median rent: $US589

Median commute distance: 14.1 miles


10. Pecos, Texas

Population: 10,362

Median rent: $US614

Median commute distance: 14.4 miles


9. Hudson, New York

Population: 56,120

Median rent: $US817

Median commute distance: 14.9 miles


8. Walterboro, South Carolina

Population: 40,560

Median rent: $US684

Median commute distance: 15 miles


7. Espanola, New Mexico

Rr0044/Wikipedia CommonsSkyline view from the city’s industrial park.

Population: 37,571

Median rent: $US677

Median commute distance: 15.7 miles


6. Brainerd, Minnesota

Elkman/Wikipedia CommonsNorthern Pacific Railroad Shops Historic District in Brainerd, Minnesota.

Population: 92,839

Median rent: $US616

Median commute distance: 17.4 miles


5. Show Low, Arizona

Population: 82,527

Median rent: $US760

Median commute distance: 18.2 miles


4. Berlin, New Hampshire

Population: 33,160

Median rent: $US667

Median commute distance: 19.8 miles


3. Ocean City, New Jersey

Pixabay

Population: 96,685

Median rent: $US1,076

Median commute distance: 26.6 miles


2. Ocean Pines, Maryland

Population: 50,375

Median rent: $US1,411

Median commute distance: 29.2 miles


1. Bishop, California

Wikipedia CommonsDowntown Bishop, California looking south along US-395.

Population: 4,787

Median rent: $US824

Median commute distance: 70.2 miles

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.