Longest & Shortest Commutes by City, State & Metro

Image Depicting Chloropleth of Average Commute for Each US State

Longest Commute by City, over 10,000 population

As shown below, California is home to 8 of the top 10 longest commutes (for cities >10k residents), and 18 of the top 25– with many cities being located in the Southern California-Los Angeles corridor. While California leads the nation in cities with high average commutes– the state average (shown further down this page), is actually 5th among states (6th if you count DC), so the entire state doesn’t have above average commutes. Somewhat related to commuting– California has the 2nd most miles of highway, at over
7,600
miles
(beaten by Texas, with over 13,000 miles). To consider: Brentwood, CA’s average commute of around 46 minutes is over 4.6x higher than the shortest city– Pierre, SD, with an average commute of around 10 minutes.

geography average commute(minutes) geography population
Brentwood, California 45.8 60,446
Antioch, California 45.7 110,730
Pittsburg, California 44 70,492
Snellville, Georgia 44 19,631
Lake Elsinore, California 43.7 64,037
Lathrop, California 43.6 21,393
Tracy, California 43.5 88,806
Los Banos, California 43.2 38,119
Long Beach, New York 42.9 33,509
Canyon Lake, California 42.6 11,106
Patterson, California 42.6 21,783
Palmdale, California 42.5 156,904
Hercules, California 42.4 25,343
Bainbridge Island, Washington 42.3 24,060
Menifee, California 42 88,515
Oakley, California 41.8 40,669
Eastvale, California 41.7 61,337
Clayton, California 41.4 11,967
New York, New York 41.2 8,443,713
Adelanto, California 40.5 33,416
Hoboken, New Jersey 39.6 53,211
Chino Hills, California 39.6 79,298
Manassas Park, Virginia 39.5 16,423
Dublin, California 39.5 59,172

Shortest Commute by City, over 10,000 population

No surprises for shortest commutes– small, sparsely populated cities across the mid-west and south-west dominate the shortest commutes list. Even the longest commute on this list, Klamath Falls, OR is less than a third of many of the longest commutes listed earlier.

geography average commute(minutes) geography population
Pierre, South Dakota 9.6 13,988
Storm Lake, Iowa 9.9 10,672
Mitchell, South Dakota 10.2 15,722
Mountain Home, Arkansas 10.5 12,303
Hays, Kansas 10.6 20,956
Marinette, Wisconsin 10.7 10,678
Alpena, Michigan 10.7 10,086
McPherson, Kansas 10.8 13,041
Fairfield, Iowa 10.8 10,216
Aberdeen, South Dakota 10.9 28,124
Pella, Iowa 11.2 10,273
Scottsbluff, Nebraska 11.2 14,805
North Platte, Nebraska 11.4 24,011
Pullman, Washington 11.8 33,050
Columbus, Nebraska 12.1 22,992
Marquette, Michigan 12.2 20,932
Murray, Kentucky 12.2 19,037
Vernon, Texas 12.3 10,685
Rexburg, Idaho 12.3 27,957
Sheridan, Wyoming 12.3 17,825
Gallup, New Mexico 12.4 22,105
Helena, Montana 12.4 31,212
Norfolk, Nebraska 12.4 24,446
Willmar, Minnesota 12.4 19,618
Klamath Falls, Oregon 12.4 21,138

Longest Commute by Metro, over 50,000 population

Leading the way for longest metro area commutes is the lesser known East Stroudsburg area– an area that is roughly equidistant between Scranton, New York/Newark and Allentown. California is notably less dominant– with only 5 metros cracking the top 10, with the east coast actually claiming the top 3 spots and the two less densely populated (more remote) Stockton and Vallejo metros ranking 4th and 5th.

geography average commute(minutes) geography population
East Stroudsburg, PA Metro Area 39.1 167,586
New York-Newark-Jersey, NY-NJ-PA Metro Area 36.7 19,990,592
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area 34.8 6,138,382
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA Metro Area 33.6 4,673,221
Stockton-Lodi, CA Metro Area 33.2 732,212
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA Metro Area 32.6 438,530
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA Metro Area 32.4 4,518,699
Hammond, LA Metro Area 32 130,504
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA Metro Area 31.9 5,779,463
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI Metro Area 31.9 9,536,428
Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH Metro Area 31.4 4,811,732
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD Metro Area 31 2,793,250
California-Lexington Park, MD Metro Area 30.9 111,531
Winchester, VA-WV Metro Area 30.9 136,305
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA Metro Area 30.7 3,809,717
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT Metro Area 30.7 944,348
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA Metro Area 30.4 13,262,234
Bremerton-Silverdale, WA Metro Area 30.4 262,475
Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV Metro Area 30.1 263,306
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD Metro Area 29.9 6,069,448
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX Metro Area 29.9 6,779,104
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL Metro Area 29.5 6,070,944
Urban Honolulu, HI Metro Area 29.1 987,638
Modesto, CA Metro Area 29 539,301
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA Metro Area 28.9 1,981,616

Shortest Commute by Metro, over 50,000 population

The shortest metro area commutes mirrors the shortest city listing– likely due to metros being more dominated by single cities. Only 2 of these metros have more than 200,000 inhabitants, while most are below 100,000 people.

geography average commute(minutes) geography population
Grand Forks, ND-MN Metro Area 15.4 101,991
Great Falls, MT Metro Area 15.6 81,746
Cheyenne, WY Metro Area 15.8 97,692
Dubuque, IA Metro Area 16.2 96,802
Lewiston, ID-WA Metro Area 16.2 62,492
Manhattan, KS Metro Area 16.3 98,841
Wichita Falls, TX Metro Area 16.5 150,994
Walla Walla, WA Metro Area 16.5 64,237
Casper, WY Metro Area 16.8 80,610
Fargo, ND-MN Metro Area 16.9 237,003
Enid, OK Metro Area 16.9 62,190
Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA Metro Area 17 170,132
Lawton, OK Metro Area 17.2 128,490
Lubbock, TX Metro Area 17.3 313,123
Grand Island, NE Metro Area 17.5 84,729
Pocatello, ID Metro Area 17.5 85,065
St. George, UT Metro Area 17.5 160,537
San Angelo, TX Metro Area 17.7 118,990
Watertown-Fort Drum, NY Metro Area 17.8 114,448
Twin Falls, ID Metro Area 17.8 107,097
Logan, UT-ID Metro Area 17.9 135,615
Abilene, TX Metro Area 17.9 170,009
Ames, IA Metro Area 17.9 96,922
Mankato-North Mankato, MN Metro Area 18 100,105
Sheboygan, WI Metro Area 18 115,205

Longest Commute by State

The northeastern corridor of New York, Maryland, New Jersey, DC, and MA dominate the average commute times. These areas are densely populated– and unfortunately will have difficulty expanding highway capacity without significant efforts. The plus side is that this area has the most developed public transit systems in the country– with rail and bus service available throughout.

geography average commute(minutes) geography population
New York 33.3 19,618,453
Maryland 32.9 6,003,435
New Jersey 31.7 8,881,845
District of Columbia 30.3 684,498
Massachusetts 29.7 6,830,193
California 29.3 39,148,760
Puerto Rico 29.2 3,386,941
Illinois 29 12,821,497
Virginia 28.4 8,413,774
Georgia 28.4 10,297,484
Washington 27.6 7,294,336
Hawaii 27.4 1,422,029
Florida 27.4 20,598,139
New Hampshire 27.3 1,343,622
Pennsylvania 26.9 12,791,181
Texas 26.4 27,885,195
Connecticut 26.3 3,581,504
Delaware 25.8 949,495
West Virginia 25.8 1,829,054
Louisiana 25.5 4,663,616
Colorado 25.5 5,531,141
Arizona 25.3 6,946,685
Tennessee 25 6,651,089
Rhode Island 24.8 1,056,611
Alabama 24.7 4,864,680

Shortest Commute by State

Once again, at the state level rural/remote states dominate the shortest commutes. It is simple civil engineering– less people, less cars, less congestion means higher average speeds. The great plains, mid-west and south are very well represented below.

geography average commute(minutes) geography population
South Dakota 17 864,289
North Dakota 17.1 752,201
Wyoming 17.8 581,836
Montana 18 1,041,732
Nebraska 18.6 1,904,760
Alaska 18.8 738,516
Iowa 19.1 3,132,499
Kansas 19.3 2,908,776
Idaho 20.7 1,687,809
Oklahoma 21.7 3,918,137
Arkansas 21.7 2,990,671
Utah 21.7 3,045,350
Wisconsin 22 5,778,394
New Mexico 22.1 2,092,434
Vermont 22.9 624,977
Kentucky 23.3 4,440,204
Ohio 23.5 11,641,879
Minnesota 23.5 5,527,358
Indiana 23.6 6,637,426
Missouri 23.6 6,090,062
Oregon 23.7 4,081,943
Maine 24 1,332,813
Nevada 24.3 2,922,849
Michigan 24.5 9,957,488
North Carolina 24.5 10,155,624
South Carolina 24.6 4,955,925
Mississippi 24.6 2,988,762

Longest Commutes by City in Each State, over 10,000 population

This is a more fun chart for middling areas who weren’t represented at the city/state/metro levels above– especially noticing how much variation there is between the longest commutes per state. Juneau, AK is the longest commute in Alaska with 16 minutes, while Brentwood, CA (the highest in the nation) is roughly 3x longer– surely there are more bears and moose (meese?) obstructing commutes in Alaska, though.

geography average commute(minutes) geography population
Calera, Alabama 33.2 13,557
Juneau city and borough, Alaska 16.1 32,330
Maricopa, Arizona 35.3 47,314
Bella Vista, Arkansas 26.9 28,328
Brentwood, California 45.8 60,446
Brighton, Colorado 31.3 39,054
Milford city (balance), Connecticut 28.9 52,349
Milford, Delaware 24.2 10,835
Washington, District of Columbia 30.3 684,498
Homestead, Florida 38.7 68,424
Snellville, Georgia 44 19,631
Kuna, Idaho 25.4 18,445
Calumet, Illinois 37.1 36,856
Gary, Indiana 28.1 76,677
North Liberty, Iowa 23.7 18,357
Gardner, Kansas 24.4 21,351
Mount Washington, Kentucky 32 14,433
Central, Louisiana 31.6 28,577
Sanford, Maine 29.6 21,015
Bowie, Maryland 36.8 58,368
Quincy, Massachusetts 36.5 94,121
New Baltimore, Michigan 31.7 12,365
East Bethel, Minnesota 34.5 11,808
Byram, Mississippi 28.5 11,657
Bellefontaine Neighbors, Missouri 31.3 10,613
Billings, Montana 17.1 109,431
Bellevue, Nebraska 21.1 53,225
Elko, Nevada 28.9 20,247
Rochester, New Hampshire 26.9 30,661
Hoboken, New Jersey 39.6 53,211
Rio Rancho, New Mexico 28.4 94,765
Long Beach, New York 42.9 33,509
Elizabeth City, North Carolina 27 17,604
Concord, North Carolina 27 89,729
Minot, North Dakota 19 48,304
Pickerington, Ohio 28.6 20,148
Choctaw, Oklahoma 28.2 12,367
Sandy, Oregon 31.8 10,834
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 33.4 1,575,522
Central Falls, Rhode Island 27.9 19,382
Easley, South Carolina 25.2 20,784
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 16.7 174,151
White House, Tennessee 33.3 11,513
Seagoville, Texas 37.6 16,357
Eagle Mountain, Utah 35 29,919
Burlington, Vermont 18.4 42,513
Manassas Park, Virginia 39.5 16,423
Bainbridge Island, Washington 42.3 24,060
Martinsburg, West Virginia 24 17,497
Muskego, Wisconsin 26.4 24,868
Green River, Wyoming 23.3 12,278

Shortest Commutes by City in Each State, over 10,000 population

Compared against longest commutes in each state, the shortest commutes are somewhat consistent, clustering relatively tightly between 10-15 minutes, typically in less populated cities– nearly every city on this list has less than 50,000 residents, with a large number having less than 25,000 residents.

geography average commute(minutes) geography population
Mountain Brook, Alabama 17.1 20,466
Fairbanks, Alaska 13.3 31,677
Show Low, Arizona 15.5 11,014
Mountain Home, Arkansas 10.5 12,303
Eureka, California 13.1 27,020
Durango, Colorado 15.1 18,321
New London, Connecticut 18.2 27,032
Dover, Delaware 21.5 37,331
Washington, District of Columbia 30.3 684,498
Key West, Florida 12.7 25,085
Douglas, Georgia 16.2 11,556
Rexburg, Idaho 12.3 27,957
Macomb, Illinois 12.7 18,118
Warsaw, Indiana 13.4 15,062
Storm Lake, Iowa 9.9 10,672
Hays, Kansas 10.6 20,956
Murray, Kentucky 12.2 19,037
Ruston, Louisiana 13.7 22,055
Bangor, Maine 16.1 32,098
Cumberland, Maryland 18.2 19,845
Pittsfield, Massachusetts 16.9 43,058
Alpena, Michigan 10.7 10,086
Willmar, Minnesota 12.4 19,618
Oxford, Mississippi 14.2 23,037
Marshall, Missouri 13 13,001
Helena, Montana 12.4 31,212
Scottsbluff, Nebraska 11.2 14,805
Mesquite, Nevada 14.8 17,904
Keene, New Hampshire 16.5 23,165
Pleasantville, New Jersey 20.8 20,374
Gallup, New Mexico 12.4 22,105
Dunkirk, New York 12.9 11,950
Jacksonville, North Carolina 15.2 73,226
Jamestown, North Dakota 13 15,368
Athens, Ohio 14.8 24,771
Altus, Oklahoma 13.3 19,034
Klamath Falls, Oregon 12.4 21,138
Williamsport, Pennsylvania 14.5 28,757
Newport, Rhode Island 18.8 24,762
Beaufort, South Carolina 15.3 13,336
Pierre, South Dakota 9.6 13,988
Paris, Tennessee 13.6 10,042
Vernon, Texas 12.3 10,685
Cedar City, Utah 13.9 31,009
South Burlington, Vermont 16.4 18,975
Harrisonburg, Virginia 16.1 53,391
Pullman, Washington 11.8 33,050
Morgantown, West Virginia 16.1 30,539
Marinette, Wisconsin 10.7 10,678
Sheridan, Wyoming 12.3 17,825

 

That’s a wrap for this study. If you have ideas for a study you’d like to read, or need to easily perform market research like this on any city (or even zip code), check out the
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