A recent report from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute uncovered the “who, when, how and how time-consuming” aspects of commuting in the 30 largest U.S. cities. The study pulled data from the 2013 American Community Survey, an annual survey commandeered by the U.S. Census Bureau, to compare cities in commuting tendencies, including what percentage of people ride a bicycle to work and what city carpools the most.
Dr. Michael Sivak, a research professor in UMTRI's Human Factors Group, headed the project, which provides "a broad overview of commuting to work in the largest U.S. cities,” according to the final report. The information analyzed is for workers aged 16 and older.
The examined cities held a combined population of around 39.4 million in 2013, representing just 12.5 percent of the approximately 317 million people living in the United States two years ago.
The cities Sivak studied range in population from New York City’s 8.4 million to Las Vegas’ 603,000. The 30 cities span from 21 different states with California cities cracking the list four times, while Texas is the top state with five cities in the dataset.
To simplify the data completed by Sivak, TriplePundit used infographics designed on infogr.am to display the results. With each graph, we’ve taken the the top five and bottom five cities from each category in order to analyze the extremes of each topic.
Interestingly enough, the average age for all U.S. workers (42.2 years) is older than the average worker from Louisville, Kentucky, the oldest city of the metropolitans studied.
In comparison, males constituted 52.9 percent of all workers in the United States as a whole.
Detroit ($22,888), El Paso, Texas, ($25,021) and San Antonio, Texas, ($27,500) find themselves on the wrong side of the median income earnings chart, ranking lowest among the 30 cities studied. Washington, D.C., ($52,310), San Francisco ($51,329) and Seattle ($46,125) all hold claim to the highest earning cities in the country.
Workers in the U.S. average $32,625 annually, a salary sandwiched between Charlotte, North Carolina, ($31,979) and Austin, Texas ($33,304).
Residents of 19 of the 30 cities studied drove alone less than the U.S. average (76.4 percent).
These numbers were lower than I had anticipated, but once again reflected the culture of workers living in cities where underground transportation is accessible. The percentage for United States’ workers carpooling was 9.4 percent.
The United States average was 5.2 percent, while two cities on the list (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Fort Worth, Texas) didn’t even crack 1 percent of workers using public transportation as a means to get to work.
These workers are already getting their day started by the time New York (39.7 minutes), Chicago (33.7 minutes) and Philadelphia (32 minutes) workers even got to the office. The U.S. worker’s average commute took about 25.8 minutes, according to the study.
Image credits: 1) Kevin Utting-Flickr
All graphs were created by Grant Whittington on infogr.am
Based in Atlanta, GA, Grant is a nonprofit professional and freelance writer passionate about affordable housing and finding sustainable approaches to international development. A proud graduate of the University of Maryland, Grant spent four months post-grad living in Armenia where he worked for Habitat for Humanity and the World Food Programme. He enjoys playing trivia with friends but is still seeking his first victory - he ceaselessly blames his friends lack of preparation.