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Cities with the Worst Commutes in America

  • Sam Valadi // Flickr
    1/ Sam Valadi // Flickr

    Cities with the Worst Commutes in America

    “Commute” is a dirty word. Commuting affects our physical and psychological well-being, and commutes longer than 31 miles each way can even shorten a person’s lifespan. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American spends over 50 minutes traveling to work and back each day. That is equivalent to more than 18 hours of commuting a month and roughly eight and a half days of a commuting a year. However, as anyone stuck in Atlanta rush hour traffic or the New York City subway at 7 AM will tell you, commuter experiences can vary widely from city to city.

    We used the recently-released 2016 American Community Survey to identify which U.S. cities had the longest median commute times in the nation. Our findings revealed that while the expected heavy-hitters like New York City make the list, it is the suburb-dwellers outside major metro areas who oftentimes suffer the most.

    For our analysis, we focused on urban areas, which is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as densely-populated areas with more than 65,000 people. These urban areas are ranked by the median one-way commute time to help represent the typical commuter. In the event of a tie, the city with a higher percentage of residents with one-way commutes of more than 60 minutes is used to determine which areas have the more frustrating commuter experience.

    We’ll begin our list with the city that has the 50th worst commuter experience and slog our way to the top. Can you take a guess at which cities’ residents spend the most time cursing at their steering wheels?

  • LancasterCA // WikiCommons
    2/ LancasterCA // WikiCommons

    #50. Lancaster--Palmdale, CA

    • Population: 353,643
    • Median Commute Time: 20 to 24 minutes
    • Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 29%
    • Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Los Angeles, CA
  • Adam Moss // Flickr
    3/ Adam Moss // Flickr

    #49. Lee's Summit, MO

    - Population: 89,812

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 4%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Kansas City, MO

  • Rusty Clark // Flickr
    4/ Rusty Clark // Flickr

    #48. Orlando, FL

    - Population: 1,718,406

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 7%

  • ThomasGilmore // WikiCommons
    5/ ThomasGilmore // WikiCommons

    #47. Denton--Lewisville, TX

    - Population: 415,255

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 8%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Dallas, TX

  • Adam Simmons // Flickr
    6/ Adam Simmons // Flickr

    #46. Dallas--Fort Worth--Arlington, TX

    - Population: 5,690,531

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 8%

  • Sanibel Sun // WikiCommons
    7/ Sanibel Sun // WikiCommons

    #45. Cape Coral, FL

    - Population: 614,941

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 8%

  • Richard Masoner // Flickr
    8/ Richard Masoner // Flickr

    #44. San Jose, CA

    - Population: 1,788,846

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 9%

  • Jason Quinn // WikiCommons
    9/ Jason Quinn // WikiCommons

    #43. Texas City, TX

    - Population: 119,398

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 10%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Houston, TX

  • Alejandro Herrera // Flickr
    10/ Alejandro Herrera // Flickr

    #42. Miami, FL

    - Population: 5,992,775

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 11%

  • Scutter // Flickr
    11/ Scutter // Flickr

    #41. McKinney, TX

    - Population: 230,180

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 11%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Dallas, TX

  • TexasDarkHorse // Flickr
    12/ TexasDarkHorse // Flickr

    #40. Houston, TX

    - Population: 5,607,133

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 11%

  • Ian Freimuth // Flickr
    13/ Ian Freimuth // Flickr

    #39. Baltimore, MD

    - Population: 2,292,343

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 11%

  • Nate Lawson // Flickr
    14/ Nate Lawson // Flickr

    #38. Avondale--Goodyear, AZ

    - Population: 221,256

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 11%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Phoenix, AZ

  • Ken Lund // Flickr
    15/ Ken Lund // Flickr

    #37. Aberdeen--Bel Air South--Bel Air North, MD

    - Population: 215,810

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 11%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Baltimore, MD

  • y-a-n // Flickr
    16/ y-a-n // Flickr

    #36. Urban Honolulu, HI

    - Population: 837,906

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 12%

  • Peter & Joyce Grace // Flickr
    17/ Peter & Joyce Grace // Flickr

    #35. Simi Valley, CA

    - Population: 127,137

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 12%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Los Angeles, CA.

  • Canadian Pacific // Flickr
    18/ Canadian Pacific // Flickr

    #34. Seattle, WA

    - Population: 3,387,102

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 12%

  • Doug Kerr // Flickr
    19/ Doug Kerr // Flickr

    #33. Pottstown, PA

    - Population: 109,908

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 12%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Philadelphia, PA

  • 7beachbum // Flickr
    20/ 7beachbum // Flickr

    #32. Philadelphia, PA--NJ--DE--MD

    - Population: 5,555,493

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 12%

  • Luke Jones // Flickr
    21/ Luke Jones // Flickr

    #31. Los Angeles--Long Beach--Anaheim, CA

    - Population: 12,615,510

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 13%

  • SounderBruce // Flickr
    22/ SounderBruce // Flickr

    #30. Marysville, WA

    - Population: 156,645

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 14%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Seattle, WA

  • Daniel Orth // Flickr
    23/ Daniel Orth // Flickr

    #29. Riverside--San Bernardino, CA

    - Population: 2,073,652

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 17%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Los Angeles, CA

  • St0rmz // Flickr
    24/ St0rmz // Flickr

    #28. Petaluma, CA

    - Population: 67,123

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 17%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Areas: San Francisco, CA and Oakland, CA

  • Chris Lewis // Flickr
    25/ Chris Lewis // Flickr

    #27. Poughkeepsie--Newburgh, NY--NJ

    - Population: 434,846

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 18%

  • Ken Lund // Flickr
    26/ Ken Lund // Flickr

    #26. Victorville--Hesperia, CA

    - Population: 340,982

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 23%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Los Angeles, CA

  • Virginia Department of Transportation // Flickr
    27/ Virginia Department of Transportation // Flickr

    #25. Fredericksburg, VA

    - Population: 157,583

    - Median Commute Time: 25 to 29 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 26%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Washington, D.C.

  • Masayuki Kawagishi // Flickr
    28/ Masayuki Kawagishi // Flickr

    #24. Kailua (Honolulu County)--Kaneohe, HI

    - Population: 116,849

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 6%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Honolulu, HI

  • one.juniper // Flickr
    29/ one.juniper // Flickr

    #23. Kissimmee, FL

    - Population: 361,878

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 8%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Orlando, FL

  • emosoda // Flickr
    30/ emosoda // Flickr

    #22. South Lyon--Howell, MI

    - Population: 123,210

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 11%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Detroit, MI

  • Gabriella Yazickr  // Flickr
    31/ Gabriella Yazickr // Flickr

    #21. Deltona, FL

    - Population: 201,009

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 12%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Orlando, FL

  • David Wilson // flickr
    32/ David Wilson // flickr

    #20. Round Lake Beach--McHenry--Grayslake, IL--WI

    - Population: 291,309

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 13%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Chicago, IL

  • Jimmy Emerson, DVM  // Flickr
    33/ Jimmy Emerson, DVM // Flickr

    #19. Slidell, LA

    - Population: 94,136

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 14%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: New Orleans, LA

  • Bobby Hidy // Flickr
    34/ Bobby Hidy // Flickr

    #18. San Juan, PR

    - Population: 1,979,626

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 14%

  • Florent Lamoureux  // Flickr
    35/ Florent Lamoureux // Flickr

    #17. Chicago, IL--IN

    - Population: 8,660,237

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 14%

  • JJBers // Flickr
    36/ JJBers // Flickr

    #16. Boston, MA--NH--RI

    - Population: 4,406,447

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 14%

  • Brett Weinstei // Flickr
    37/ Brett Weinstei // Flickr

    #15. Atlanta, GA

    - Population: 4,970,669

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 14%

  • Daniel Hoherd // Flickr
    38/ Daniel Hoherd // Flickr

    #14. San Francisco--Oakland, CA

    - Population: 3,529,790

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 15%

  • YU-WEN 郁文 LIN 林 // Flickr
    39/ YU-WEN 郁文 LIN 林 // Flickr

    #13. Washington, DC--VA--MD

    - Population: 4,983,485

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 16%

  • Jon Dawson // Flickr
    40/ Jon Dawson // Flickr

    #12. Westminster--Eldersburg, MD

    - Population: 66,403

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 19%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Baltimore, MD

     

  • yosoynome // Flickr
    41/ yosoynome // Flickr

    #11. Santa Clarita, CA

    - Population: 266,721

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 21%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Los Angeles, CA

  • Charlie f // Flickr
    42/ Charlie f // Flickr

    #10. Gilroy--Morgan Hill, CA

    - Population: 110,039

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 21%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: San Jose, CA

  • Servando Miramontes // Flickr
    43/ Servando Miramontes // Flickr

    #9. Vallejo, CA

    - Population: 175,022

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 22%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Areas: San Francisco, CA and Oakland, CA

  • Susan Sermoneta // Flickr
    44/ Susan Sermoneta // Flickr

    #8. New York--Newark, NY--NJ--CT

    - Population: 18,954,313

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 22%

  • Joe Wolf // Flickr
    45/ Joe Wolf // Flickr

    #7. Hemet, CA

    - Population: 184,423

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 23%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Los Angeles, CA

  • TJ Gehling // flickr
    46/ TJ Gehling // flickr

    #6. Concord, CA

    - Population: 666,866

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 23%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: San Francisco, CA

  • forever_carrie_on Follow // Flickr
    47/ forever_carrie_on Follow // Flickr

    #5. Twin Rivers--Hightstown, NJ

    - Population: 70,902

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 24%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: New York City, NY

  • Prayitno // Flickr
    48/ Prayitno // Flickr

    #4. Murrieta--Temecula--Menifee, CA

    - Population: 493,787

    - Median Commute Time: 30 to 34 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 27%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Areas: Los Angeles, CA and San Diego, CA

  • Larry Eiring // Flickr
    49/ Larry Eiring // Flickr

    #3. Antioch, CA

    - Population: 304,063

    - Median Commute Time: 35 to 39 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 30%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Areas: San Francisco, CA and Oakland, CA

  • Shawn Honnick // Flickr
    50/ Shawn Honnick // Flickr

    #2. Waldorf, MD

    - Population: 115,978

    - Median Commute Time: 40 to 44 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 31%

    - Nearby Major Metropolitan Area: Washington, D.C.

  • jestrbob // Flickr
    51/ jestrbob // Flickr

    #1. Tracy, CA

    - Population: 92,140

    - Median Commute Time: 45 to 49 minutes

    - Commuters with 60 Minutes or More of One-Way Travel Time: 39%

    - Nearest Major Metropolitan Areas: San Francisco, CA; Oakland, CA; and San Jose, CA

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