Counties with the worst commutes in California

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September 26, 2021
MARELBU // Wikimedia Commons

Counties with the worst commutes in California

Commuting easily ranks as one of the least enjoyable parts of a person's day. Commuters encounter more physical health problems, and low-income commuters are less likely to gain financial stability—among a host of other negative impacts. And yet, America’s commutes keep getting longer as people move farther away from the office, according to census data.

Stacker compiled a list of counties with the worst commutes in California using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by longest average commute time in 2019. Think you have a long trip to work? Read on to compare it against the worst commutes statewide.

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SD Dirk // Flickr

#30. San Diego County

- Average commute time: 26.5 minutes
--- #954 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 11.1% shorter than state average
--- 4.0% shorter than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 2.2%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 15.5%
- Worked outside county of residence: 2.1%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (76.2%), carpooled (8.6%), walked (2.9%), public transportation (3%), worked from home (7%)

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EPoelzl // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Mariposa County

- Average commute time: 26.6 minutes
--- #934 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 10.7% shorter than state average
--- 3.6% shorter than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 4.8%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 17.9%
- Worked outside county of residence: 21.5%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (60.8%), carpooled (12.5%), walked (11.4%), public transportation (2%), worked from home (10.1%)

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Bobak Ha'Eri // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Tuolumne County

- Average commute time: 26.9 minutes
--- #886 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 9.7% shorter than state average
--- 2.5% shorter than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 6.5%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 15.2%
- Worked outside county of residence: 16.2%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (82.9%), carpooled (6.7%), walked (2.1%), public transportation (0.6%), worked from home (5.9%)

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#27. Ventura County

- Average commute time: 27.2 minutes
--- #829 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 8.7% shorter than state average
--- 1.4% shorter than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 3.5%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 15.8%
- Worked outside county of residence: 21.1%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (78.7%), carpooled (11.1%), walked (1.7%), public transportation (1.1%), worked from home (6%)

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Ray Bouknight // Wikicommons

#26. Sutter County

- Average commute time: 27.5 minutes
--- #795 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 7.7% shorter than state average
--- 0.4% shorter than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 3.6%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 21.3%
- Worked outside county of residence: 45.2%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (78.9%), carpooled (12.7%), walked (1.6%), public transportation (0.7%), worked from home (4.7%)

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Aaronbrick // Wikicommons

#25. Santa Cruz County

- Average commute time: 27.7 minutes
--- #763 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 7.0% shorter than state average
--- 0.4% longer than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 3.9%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 10.6%
- Worked outside county of residence: 22.2%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (69%), carpooled (9.2%), walked (4.9%), public transportation (3%), worked from home (7.8%)

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#24. Sacramento County

- Average commute time: 27.8 minutes
--- #741 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 6.7% shorter than state average
--- 0.7% longer than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 3.4%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 14.0%
- Worked outside county of residence: 19.1%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (77.1%), carpooled (10.1%), walked (1.8%), public transportation (2.5%), worked from home (6.3%)

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Doug Olson // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Placer County

- Average commute time: 27.9 minutes
--- #724 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 6.4% shorter than state average
--- 1.1% longer than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 3.5%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 13.0%
- Worked outside county of residence: 35.6%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (79.5%), carpooled (6.9%), walked (1.3%), public transportation (1.1%), worked from home (9.9%)

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Hollywood // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Orange County

- Average commute time: 28 minutes
--- #699 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 6.0% shorter than state average
--- 1.4% longer than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 3.0%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 13.6%
- Worked outside county of residence: 14.8%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (78.3%), carpooled (9.6%), walked (1.9%), public transportation (1.9%), worked from home (6.4%)

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Public Domain

#21. Madera County

- Average commute time: 28.3 minutes
--- #663 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 5.0% shorter than state average
--- 2.5% longer than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 4.3%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 26.2%
- Worked outside county of residence: 36.6%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (76.6%), carpooled (13.8%), walked (1.7%), public transportation (0.5%), worked from home (3.6%)

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Mark Miller // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Merced County

- Average commute time: 28.6 minutes
--- #615 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 4.0% shorter than state average
--- 3.6% longer than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 8.6%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 25.7%
- Worked outside county of residence: 29.5%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (79.1%), carpooled (9.4%), walked (2.4%), public transportation (1.2%), worked from home (3.5%)

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Craig Howell // Wikimedia Commons

#19. San Mateo County

- Average commute time: 29.3 minutes
--- #522 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 1.7% shorter than state average
--- 6.2% longer than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 1.9%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 9.0%
- Worked outside county of residence: 42%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (67.8%), carpooled (10.2%), walked (2.6%), public transportation (11%), worked from home (5.3%)

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Uladzik Kryhin // Shutterstock

#18. Santa Clara County

- Average commute time: 29.3 minutes
--- #522 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 1.7% shorter than state average
--- 6.2% longer than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 3.0%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 9.1%
- Worked outside county of residence: 13.2%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (74.7%), carpooled (10.6%), walked (2.1%), public transportation (4.4%), worked from home (5%)

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Public Domain

#17. Stanislaus County

- Average commute time: 29.9 minutes
--- #454 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 0.3% longer than state average
--- 8.3% longer than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 8.6%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 21.9%
- Worked outside county of residence: 25.5%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (81.8%), carpooled (10.1%), walked (1.2%), public transportation (0.8%), worked from home (4.7%)

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Yuba County

- Average commute time: 30 minutes
--- #445 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 0.7% longer than state average
--- 8.7% longer than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 3.3%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 22.1%
- Worked outside county of residence: 56.3%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (79.6%), carpooled (11.6%), walked (1.4%), public transportation (0.9%), worked from home (5%)

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DimiTalen // Wikimedia Commons

#15. El Dorado County

- Average commute time: 30 minutes
--- #445 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 0.7% longer than state average
--- 8.7% longer than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 4.8%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 13.3%
- Worked outside county of residence: 39.1%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (76.9%), carpooled (8.7%), walked (1.8%), public transportation (1.4%), worked from home (9.5%)

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#14. Sierra County

- Average commute time: 30.6 minutes
--- #386 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 2.7% longer than state average
--- 10.9% longer than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 1.9%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 22.4%
- Worked outside county of residence: 33.6%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (72%), carpooled (6.9%), walked (2.3%), public transportation (0.3%), worked from home (18.2%)

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CFang // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Lake County

- Average commute time: 30.7 minutes
--- #371 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 3.0% longer than state average
--- 11.2% longer than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 7.0%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 17.3%
- Worked outside county of residence: 23.6%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (68.8%), carpooled (12.2%), walked (3.3%), public transportation (0.7%), worked from home (14.2%)

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#12. San Bernardino County

- Average commute time: 31.6 minutes
--- #290 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 6.0% longer than state average
--- 14.5% longer than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 6.5%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 23.4%
- Worked outside county of residence: 28.6%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (79.6%), carpooled (11%), walked (1.5%), public transportation (1.4%), worked from home (5.2%)

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BDS2006 // Wikimedia

#11. Los Angeles County

- Average commute time: 31.8 minutes
--- #277 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 6.7% longer than state average
--- 15.2% longer than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 4.0%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 14.5%
- Worked outside county of residence: 7.1%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (74%), carpooled (9.5%), walked (2.7%), public transportation (5.8%), worked from home (5.6%)

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Kglavin // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Marin County

- Average commute time: 32.6 minutes
--- #220 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 9.4% longer than state average
--- 18.1% longer than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 4.3%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 7.9%
- Worked outside county of residence: 36.3%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (64.1%), carpooled (8.2%), walked (3.4%), public transportation (9.6%), worked from home (12.4%)

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Bobak Ha'Eri // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Amador County

- Average commute time: 32.7 minutes
--- #213 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 9.7% longer than state average
--- 18.5% longer than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 7.1%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 21.0%
- Worked outside county of residence: 30.8%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (78.8%), carpooled (8.8%), walked (1.7%), public transportation (0.1%), worked from home (9.4%)

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#8. Solano County

- Average commute time: 33.2 minutes
--- #183 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 11.4% longer than state average
--- 20.3% longer than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 7.4%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 22.5%
- Worked outside county of residence: 41.7%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (76.5%), carpooled (13.2%), walked (1.2%), public transportation (3.2%), worked from home (4.5%)

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#7. San Francisco

- Average commute time: 33.8 minutes
--- #151 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 13.4% longer than state average
--- 22.5% longer than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 3.9%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 5.7%
- Worked outside county of residence: 22.9%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (32.1%), carpooled (6.9%), walked (11.8%), public transportation (34.8%), worked from home (6.6%)

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Daniel Orth // Flickr

#6. Riverside County

- Average commute time: 34 minutes
--- #138 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 14.1% longer than state average
--- 23.2% longer than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 7.7%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 24.2%
- Worked outside county of residence: 29%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (78.3%), carpooled (11.9%), walked (1.4%), public transportation (1.3%), worked from home (5.4%)

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LPS.1 // Wikicommons

#5. San Joaquin County

- Average commute time: 34.2 minutes
--- #131 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 14.8% longer than state average
--- 23.9% longer than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 10.2%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 24.1%
- Worked outside county of residence: 29.2%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (78.8%), carpooled (12.9%), walked (1.4%), public transportation (1.7%), worked from home (4.1%)

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Jennifer Williams // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Alameda County

- Average commute time: 34.3 minutes
--- #127 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 15.1% longer than state average
--- 24.3% longer than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 4.9%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 10.6%
- Worked outside county of residence: 36.8%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (60.9%), carpooled (9.8%), walked (3.5%), public transportation (15.8%), worked from home (6.4%)

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Michael Patrick // Wikimedia Commons

#3. San Benito County

- Average commute time: 35.7 minutes
--- #81 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 19.8% longer than state average
--- 29.3% longer than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 9.3%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 22.8%
- Worked outside county of residence: 54.6%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (80.8%), carpooled (12.3%), walked (1.4%), public transportation (0.6%), worked from home (3.2%)

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#2. Calaveras County

- Average commute time: 38.3 minutes
--- #38 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 28.5% longer than state average
--- 38.8% longer than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 8.4%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 21.0%
- Worked outside county of residence: 45.5%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (76.8%), carpooled (10.7%), walked (1.3%), public transportation (1%), worked from home (9.8%)

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MARELBU // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Contra Costa County

- Average commute time: 38.7 minutes
--- #33 longest among all counties nationwide
--- 29.9% longer than state average
--- 40.2% longer than national average

- Workers with 90+ minute commute: 9.2%
- Left for work from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 16.7%
- Worked outside county of residence: 42.5%
- Means of transportation: drove alone (67.5%), carpooled (11.5%), walked (1.6%), public transportation (10.9%), worked from home (6.6%)

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