by Pete Julius

The National Household Travel Survey (NHTS), which was conducted by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, estimates that nearly 3.3 million people commute at least 50 miles one-way to work each day. Even more interesting is that 1 out of 5 people commute greater than 100 miles one-way and 1 out of 20 commute more than 200 miles one way to work. However, this survey was completed in 2002. Times have changed since this survey was conducted. The rapid increase in the number of home-based businesses and the popularity of entrepreneurialism probably has had a tremendous impact on these statistics.

Jobs are just one reason why people commute.

The descriptive analyses presented above clearly indicates that while commuting is closely linked to locational and industrial characteristics, migration is more strongly affected by general economic conditions that are present in the sending and receiving areas.

Sources & References:

Journal of Transport Economics & Policy

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Department of Revenue


Department of Transportation

Bureau of Economic Analysis


Commuting Patterns and the Housing Stock

Average Travel Time to Work of Workers 16 Years and Over Who Did Not Work at Home (Minutes)
Workers 16 years and over (State level)

3.3 Million Americans are “Stretch Commuters” Traveling at Least 50 Miles One-Way to Work