Americans Commute Less

By: Anneken Tappe · October 23, 2023 · Reading Time: 2 minutes

Life in the Fast Lane

The share of workers enjoying shorter commutes has risen notably compared to pre-pandemic times.

To the satisfaction of many employees used to rush hour traffic after a long day of work, journeys of less than 30 minutes have become more common between 2019 and 2022, according to the Census Bureau, indicating a positive trend for millions of working Americans.

Changing Gears

Here’s what the data tell us:

•   <15 minute commutes increased from 24.8% in 2019 to 26% in 2022.

•   15-29 minute commutes increased from 35.6% in 2019 to 36.8% in 2022.

•   30-44 minute commutes decreased to 20.9% in 2022 from 21.2% in 2019.

•   45-59 minute commutes decreased from 8.5% in 2019 to 7.9% in 2022.

•   60+ minute commutes decreased from 9.8% in 2019 to 8.5% in 2022.

And that’s not including remote workers, who would naturally drag the averages down.

However, influencing these changes are factors such as the post-pandemic surge in remote work, as well as the so-called Great Reshuffling, in which employees left jobs and sometimes cities in search of more accommodating work arrangements. Hybrid schedules, and a subsequent decline in road traffic has further sped up these commute times.

Driving Positive Change

Shorter commutes aren’t just about saving time. They’re a gateway to reduced environmental impact, improved mental health, and heightened job satisfaction.

With less time on the road, the average working American has more time to spend on self care and quality moments with friends and family.

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