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Top 10 U.S. States with the Longest Commutes

Name the states of the United States that spend the most time per day traveling to and from work.
2018 data; U.S. Census Bureau
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: September 30, 2019
First submittedSeptember 11, 2017
Times taken16,689
Rating4.19
1:30
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Minutes
State
68.0
New York
66.6
Maryland
64.8
New Jersey
61.0
Massachusetts
60.4
California
Minutes
State
58.8
Illinois
58.0
Georgia
57.4
Virginia
56.8
Washington
56.0
Florida
+1
level 56
Sep 12, 2017
Why no Alaska?
+7
level 70
Sep 12, 2017
Small cities?
+1
level 68
Oct 26, 2017
People probably live closer to the cities.
+9
level 48
Dec 27, 2017
half the state's population lives in Anchorage, and you can get from the edges to downtown in 20 minutes most of the time.
+9
level 78
Dec 27, 2017
From what I can guess and observe this list is more about states with sprawling urban areas (large populous suburbs scattered far from big cities) and very dense population centers than it is about states with a lot of land area. There's plenty of space in Alaska to spread out and you could live as far from work as you wanted to, but when given the option most people prefer to live close to where they work. Low population density means less traffic, too.
+2
level ∞
May 28, 2019
The most obvious correlation is the prevalence of public transport. Driving your own car is usually significantly faster than taking a bus or train. Taking a train involves walking, waiting, riding, and walking. Unless there is a connection in which case it is much longer. In contrast, a car can take you from door to door directly. Of course, when you take the train you are making traffic better for everyone else!
+1
level 76
Oct 7, 2019
Actually, the data support kalbahamut on this one. It's not transit, it's congestion and urban sprawl. There are lots of studies on the matter, but here's a quick explanation on NPR: https://www.npr.org/2018/09/20/650061560/stuck-in-traffic-youre-not-alone-new-data-show-american-commute-times-are-longer
+6
level ∞
Oct 8, 2019
I don't see any data analyzing the correlation between public transit and commute time in the above linked article. Semi-related side note: I feel like statistics should be a required class to get a major in journalism.
+1
level 68
Jan 17, 2020
Yes public transit does take longer than driving, but a lot of time those cities with good public transit infrastructure that people can rely on for work are in the major, densely populated cities. You can certainly drive your car into Manhattan to work, but for a lot of people it is easier to take the train and not deal with trying to find parking, paying out the nose for it, dealing with bridge and/or tunnel traffic. It certainly is a combination of factors.
+2
level 70
Dec 27, 2017
They use planes to get around in Alaska. Very few highways.
+4
level 60
Jan 17, 2020
Excuse me, but I live in Juneau and I drive 36 hours to Kodiak every day!
+1
level 77
Jan 17, 2020
Wow, I knew summer days were longer in Alaska but I didn't realize they became 36 hours long.
+2
level 43
Jan 3, 2018
Nobody there works! Highest unemployment in the nation! You have to work to have a commute! Alaska basically has a negative state tax rate too, for many people, since every Alaskan gets a yearly payout from the government from profits due to exploiting the natural resources. Tends to cut down on the desire to work--according to Republicans, who therefore don't like to mention they are doing this in this red state.
+2
level 73
Jan 17, 2020
That does not commute, I mean compute.
+11
level 84
Sep 12, 2017
Move to Greater New York, get used to audiobooks.
+5
level 79
Nov 30, 2017
I live in NJ and audiobooks keep me sane.
+3
level 76
Sep 23, 2017
Is this all modes of transport? Or just private motor vehicle?
+1
level ∞
May 28, 2019
All modes. Trains and busses are much slower than cars on average in the U.S.
+4
level 78
Dec 27, 2017
wow, Hawaii? Wouldn't have guessed that. Are they traveling to different islands?
+5
level 58
Dec 27, 2017
Considering the fact that two-thirds of Hawaii's population lives in the Greater Honolulu area, I'd blame poor planning and uncooperative terrain
+2
level 58
Dec 27, 2017
A steady flow of tourists, wildly increasing population, and never-ending construction doesn't seem to help
+2
level 45
Dec 27, 2017
Traffic is awful in Honolulu as well.
+1
level 51
Dec 27, 2017
A Metro is under construction.
+1
level 78
Oct 1, 2019
Seems like they're off the list now. Did the metro open?
+2
level 80
Oct 1, 2019
Wikipedia says late 2020. So probably everywhere else just got worse.
+1
level 58
Dec 27, 2017
that was way harder than i thought it'd be.
+1
level 63
Jan 17, 2020
Actually I found it surprisingly easy. Got them all! From little ol' New Zealand on the other side of the world. Where Auckland has the worst traffic of all...
+8
level 53
Dec 27, 2017
Ah, ol' New Hampshire. No one realizes that New Hampshire is just a place for people to live who commute to Massachusetts. :)
+2
level 55
Dec 27, 2017
I live in New Hampshire, and to be honest, most of the traffic isn't going down to Mass. It is the local traffic because of the small two lane highways. Every day I sit in traffic over the same bridge for at least 40 minutes.
+1
level 62
Dec 27, 2017
Not gonna lie, I was expecting to see flyover central on this quiz. I'm very surprised.
+1
level 77
Jan 17, 2020
That's another wonderful thing about the flyover states that we keep secret..er, I mean, our traffic is horrendous! Stay away!
+1
level 51
Apr 1, 2018
Never would have guessed New Hampshire.
+1
level 78
Apr 26, 2018
I'm surprised not to see Texas on here. I don't think that I've ever been to Dallas, Houston, or Austin that I didn't get stuck in traffic for at least an hour - usually for endless construction delays.
+1
level 71
Sep 30, 2019
Sorry but after living in SoCal for decades, I would have been happy with an hour. It's one of a long list of reasons I got out of hell. That just tells you that as bad as you think you have it, it is soooo much worse elsewhere. It should make you content with your hourish traffic.
+2
level 39
Jul 26, 2019
States with high population density and/or big urban areas. Gives you pretty much all of these.
+1
level 76
Oct 1, 2019
I thought everyone in Maine spent at least we an hour each way getting to work.
+2
level 47
Oct 1, 2019
As a New Jersey resident who just took 2 hours to get home today, I can confirm that commuting in this state is just awful.
+1
level 44
Jan 17, 2020
Damnnn imagine taking an hour to drive to work
+1
level 58
Jan 18, 2020
I think this is going both ways. But there will be many people significantly above average in these states so taking an hour is probably not unrealistic.
+1
level 42
Jan 17, 2020
You have no idea how long it takes to drive in and from Atlanta. I live in a suburb maybe 40-50 milea away from it, but it usually takes 2 hours, plus. It seems like it's always rush hour.
+1
level 74
Jan 17, 2020
Couldn't figure out why it wouldn't accept the state of "Atlanta". *facepalm*
+1
level 81
Jan 17, 2020
I'm glad I live in a part of Virginia where traffic is usually pretty decent but every now and then some idiot driver has to cause an accident on the highway.