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States with the most super commuters

  • States with the most super commuters

    There are nearly 280 million vehicles on the road in the United States, and many of those cars, trucks, vans, and motorcycles are used to ferry people to and from their homes and jobs during their daily commutes. A small but growing number of people are walking and biking to work, particularly in compact college towns. Many more take public transportation, especially in major cities like New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Boston, and Seattle—but nationwide, public transit accounts for only about 5% of daily commutes.

    The overwhelming majority of people still drive to and from work every day, and the vast majority of those car commuters drive alone—fewer than 10% of Americans carpool. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average one-way commute in the United States has grown to a record 27.1 minutes. That’s just shy of an hour a day that average Americans squander behind the wheel, not at home with their families, and instead, burning gas and putting miles on their cars.

    For some Americans, however, the commute to work is far from average. A phenomenon known as super commuting has emerged and grown in recent years. Super commuters spend 90 minutes or more—each way—chasing their paychecks every day. The biggest percentage of super commuters work in the extraction industry, with workers pursuing lucrative jobs in remote mines, oil fields, and other energy operations. Many more, however, have been priced out of expensive housing in urban metro areas where high-paying jobs are located, far away from their less-expensive county of residence.

    Stacker compiled a list of the states with the highest percentage of super commuters using 2018 five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. States are ranked by the percentage of workers with a 90-plus-minute travel time to work. We also highlighted the three counties with the highest percentage of super commuters in each state. Then, we used a variety of sources—including state government data, news reports, government studies, third-party studies, and reports from traffic and highway authorities—to profile the overall commuting situation in each state.

    Keep reading to learn about how Americans get to work.

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  • #50. Nebraska

    - Workers with 90+ minute commute: 1.104%
    - Counties with most 90+ minute commuters:
    --- #1. Loup County (5.5%)
    --- #2. Pawnee County (4.4%)
    --- #3. Logan County (4.1%)

    More than nine in 10 Nebraskans either drive to work or ride in a carpool—only 13 states have a higher share of car-based commuters. The vast majority of Nebraska’s car commuters—more than 80%—drive themselves while fewer than 10% carpool.

  • #49. Kansas

    - Workers with 90+ minute commute: 1.174%
    - Counties with most 90+ minute commuters:
    --- #1. Elk County (6.8%)
    --- #2. Trego County (6.5%)
    --- #3. Linn County (5.0%)

    More people commute into Kansas for work than commute out of it. Those who drive or ride into the state tend to work in retail, warehousing, manufacturing, transportation, and utilities. Those leaving the state to get to their jobs tend to earn more money and work in industries like management, professional and scientific work, and administrative and waste management services.

  • #48. South Dakota

    - Workers with 90+ minute commute: 1.179%
    - Counties with most 90+ minute commuters:
    --- #1. Custer County (4.0%)
    --- #2. Harding County (3.8%)
    --- #3. Bennett County (3.1%)

    Like those in so many other sparsely-populated states, commuters in South Dakota rely mostly on their cars, trucks, and vans to get to work. More than 400,000 South Dakotans commute in a personal vehicle and more than 315,000 of those car commuters drive alone. Only about 1,100 workers rely on public transportation—more residents bike, work at home, and even walk to work there.

  • #47. Iowa

    - Workers with 90+ minute commute: 1.319%
    - Counties with most 90+ minute commuters:
    --- #1. Wayne County (5.3%)
    --- #2. Decatur County (5.3%)
    --- #3. Monroe County (4.8%)

    The average commuter in Iowa zips to work in less than 20 minutes—19.5, to be exact. It’s a car, truck, and van state, for sure, but in places like Ames and Iowa City, a higher percentage of commuters walk to work than in even the most foot-friendly cities like New York and Honolulu.

  • #46. Utah

    - Workers with 90+ minute commute: 1.444%
    - Counties with most 90+ minute commuters:
    --- #1. Sanpete County (5.8%)
    --- #2. San Juan County (5.3%)
    --- #3. Piute County (4.4%)

    The share of Utah commuters who have to travel beyond the county where they live has grown steadily over the last two decades. Even so, the average commute in Utah is just over 21 minutes one way. Only 11 states have a faster average ride or drive to and from work.

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  • #45. Wisconsin

    - Workers with 90+ minute commute: 1.609%
    - Counties with most 90+ minute commuters:
    --- #1. Burnett County (6.8%)
    --- #2. Marquette County (5.1%)
    --- #3. Pepin County (4.0%)

    People who live in and around Milwaukee enjoy a shorter commute than their counterparts in all but four major cities in the United States. Local commuters squander just 44.4 minutes getting to and from work. For context, in #1 New York and #2 Chicago, it’s 83.6 and 69.8 minutes, respectively.

  • #44. Ohio

    - Workers with 90+ minute commute: 1.617%
    - Counties with most 90+ minute commuters:
    --- #1. Adams County (9.6%)
    --- #2. Vinton County (7.1%)
    --- #3. Monroe County (5.9%)

    Generally speaking, commuting times are shortest in the northwest of Ohio and the northern Lake Erie region. Things are worst in the south-central part of the state near Columbus and the southwestern portion near Cincinnati.

  • #43. Minnesota

    - Workers with 90+ minute commute: 1.645%
    - Counties with most 90+ minute commuters:
    --- #1. Pine County (7.7%)
    --- #2. Kanabec County (7.0%)
    --- #3. Clearwater County (4.7%)

    Most employers in Minnesota are concentrated in just a few counties, so out-of-county travel is not unusual there. A dozen counties, in fact, have high out-of-county commuter percentages and, naturally, longer-than-average commute times. In five of those counties, well over half of the people who live there commute out of their counties of residence for work.

  • #42. Arkansas

    - Workers with 90+ minute commute: 1.653%
    - Counties with most 90+ minute commuters:
    --- #1. Searcy County (9.0%)
    --- #2. Cleburne County (5.9%)
    --- #3. Polk County (5.3%)

    About 1 million of Arkansas’ 1.2 million wage earners get to work in a car, truck, or van. About 140,000 carpool. Non-drivers are by far most likely to work from home, followed by much-smaller percentages who walk, take public transportation, or get to work by some other means.

  • #41. Montana

    - Workers with 90+ minute commute: 1.675%
    - Counties with most 90+ minute commuters:
    --- #1. Park County (7.6%)
    --- #2. Musselshell County (6.0%)
    --- #3. Sweet Grass County (4.4%)

    According to Pew, only a few states have witnessed a reduction in super commuters in recent years—Montana experienced the biggest decrease of them all. That has mostly to do with changes in the regional energy industry. Fewer and fewer Montanans are commuting to oil and fracking fields in neighboring North Dakota.

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