Compare Worst and Best Commutes in America

See who has it worse off and better than you.

My wife grew up where hour-long commutes are normal. Her dad used to leave at 4:00am to beat the morning rush and then nap in the parking lot until work started. On the other hand, I thought my dad’s 15-minute drive to work was a long time. My mom’s work was only five minutes away. It’s all about point of reference.

When all you have is crappy commute to refer to, anything less seems pretty great. The same goes for short commutes. Now you can compare who has it worse and better off than your county. Isn’t that what it’s all about at the end of the day?

In the animation below, with a bit of inspiration from the New York Times, each lane represents a county. The shorter the commute the faster a car moves across the screen.

Aleutians East Borough in Alaska whizzes by. Park county in Colorado creeks along.

Interested in comparing a specific county? Select one in the map above. Counties colored green have a lower average commute time, and brown means a longer average commute time. Gray means about the same.

See also: when people leave for work and mode of transportation used to get there.

Become a member. Support an independent site. Make great charts.

Join Now

Membership

Learn the process of making, designing, and exploring data graphics. Your support goes directly to FlowingData, an independently run site.

What You Get

  • Instant access to tutorials on how to make and design data graphics
  • Source code and files to use with your own data
  • In-depth courses on how to make great charts
  • Hand-picked links to tools and resources
  • Members-only newsletter

Favorites

How You Will Die

So far we’ve seen when you will die and how other people tend to die. Now let’s put the two together to see how and when you will die, given your sex, race, and age.

Shifts in How Couples Meet, Online Takes the Top

How do couples meet now and how has it changed over the years? Watch the rankings play out over six decades.

How We Spend Our Money, a Breakdown

We know spending changes when you have more money. Here’s by how much.

Data, R, and a 3-D Printer

We almost always look at data through a screen. It’s quick and good for exploration. So is there value in making data physical? I played around with a 3-D printer to find out.