Thursday, 17 September 2020 18:58

Oklahoma has the #9 best commute in America Featured

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Study by coverage.com

Written by Nicole Caldwell

Multiple studies have found that commuters traveling more than 90 minutes one way have a significantly higher rate of psychosomatic disorders than those with shorter commutes. The problem has only gotten worse, with the number of commuters with 90-minute, one-way trips to work doubling in one decade from 1990 to 2000. In addition to the mental stress, commuting contributes to climate change, traffic jams, and overall vehicle congestion. 

Coverage.com used data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to rank the states and Washington D.C. according to their average one-way commute time to work, with ties broken by the percentage of U.S. workers age 16+ who do not work at home and commute 60 minutes or more. Each slide includes the average commute time for different modes of transportation, as well as how many people commute outside their county or state of residence to get to work. Finally, the cities with the longest and shortest commute times are included in the slides for each state except Washington D.C. (as it is a city itself). Please note that average commute time was not available for the state of Wyoming, so it is the last entry on this list.

How dramatically (and permanently) the pandemic will shape worker commutes remains to be seen, but initial research shows a decreased use of public transit, a higher reliance on bicycles, scooters, and e-bikes, and decreased travel overall as more people work from home. That could spell good news for the 50% of commuters who characterize their trip to work as stressful.

As Americans reevaluate their relationship with commuting, Coverage.com used data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, released in December 2019, to analyze which states have the roughest rides to work. States along with Washington D.C. were ranked according to their average one-way commute time to work for workers age 16 and older who don’t work at home, with ties broken by the percentage of workers who commute 60 minutes or more.

Oklahoma has the #9 shortest average one-way commute time compared to all other states and Washington D.C., with an average time of 21.7 minutes. Within Oklahoma, Lincoln County has the longest average commute among all counties (29.0 minutes) while Woods County has the shortest (13.7 minutes). 

Oklahoma statistics:

- Average one-way commute time to work: 21.7 minutes (18.4% lower than national average)
--- Driving alone in car, truck, or van: 21.5 minutes
--- Carpool: 23.9 minutes
--- Public transportation: 36.7 minutes
- Counties with the longest average commutes: 
--- #1: Lincoln County (29.0 minutes)
--- #2: Pushmataha County (28.7 minutes)
--- #3: Okfuskee County (28.1 minutes)
- Counties with the shortest average commutes: 
--- #1: Woods County (13.7 minutes)
--- #2: Cimarron County, Texas County (14.8 minutes)
--- #3: Jackson County (15.2 minutes)
- Additional commute characteristics:
--- Workers with commutes over 60 minutes: 4.6% (#44 among states)
--- Workers with commutes over 90 minutes: 1.7% (#41 among states)
--- Workers who commute outside their county of residence: 23.2%
--- Workers who commute outside their state of residence: 2.4%
 

Nationally, there were 143,148,111 workers aged 16 and older who worked out of the home in 2018. Out of these workers, most drove alone to get to work (80.4%), but some chose to carpool (9.6%) or take public transportation (5.3%). The average one-way travel time to work for Americans is 26.6 minutes, but that number nearly doubles when looking at the average travel time for those who take public transportation, which is 50.1 minutes.

Some American workers (12.5%) are lucky enough to have a commute that only takes 10 minutes or under. Less fortunate are the 9.1% of workers that need at least 60 minutes to get to work, and the 2.8% of them who are super commuters—traveling 90 minutes or more to their jobs. 

Multiple studies have found that commuters traveling more than 90 minutes one way have a significantly higher rate of psychosomatic disorders than those with shorter commutes. The problem has only gotten worse, with the number of commuters with 90-minute, one-way trips to work doubling in one decade from 1990 to 2000. In addition to the mental stress, commuting contributes to climate change, traffic jams, and overall vehicle congestion.

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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