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Cities with the Worst Commutes in America

Stacker Logo By Lillian Podlog of Stacker | Slide 1 of 51: <p>“Commute” is a dirty word. Commuting affects our physical and psychological well-being, and commutes longer than 31 miles each way can even <a href="https://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/this-is-how-a-30-minute-plus-commute-affects-your-health-a3438841.html">shorten a person’s lifespan</a>. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American spends <a href="https://project.wnyc.org/commute-times-us/embed.html#5.00/42.000/-89.500">over 50 minutes</a> traveling to work and back each day. That is equivalent to more than 18 hours of commuting a month and roughly eight and a half days of a commuting a year. However, as anyone stuck in Atlanta rush hour traffic or the New York City subway at 7 AM will tell you, commuter experiences can vary widely from city to city.</p><p>We used the recently-released 2016 American Community Survey to identify which U.S. cities had the longest median commute times in the nation. Our findings revealed that while the expected heavy-hitters like New York City make the list, it is the suburb-dwellers outside major metro areas who oftentimes suffer the most.</p><p>For our analysis, we focused on urban areas, which is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as densely-populated areas with more than 65,000 people. These urban areas are ranked by the median one-way commute time to help represent the typical commuter. In the event of a tie, the city with a higher percentage of residents with one-way commutes of more than 60 minutes is used to determine which areas have the more frustrating commuter experience. </p><p>We’ll begin our list with the city that has the 50th worst commuter experience and slog our way to the top. Can you take a guess at which cities’ residents spend the most time cursing at their steering wheels?</p>

Breaking down the 50 worst commutes in the US

“Commute” is a dirty word. Commuting affects our physical and psychological well-being, and commutes longer than 31 miles each way can even shorten a person’s lifespan. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American spends over 50 minutes traveling to work and back each day. That is equivalent to more than 18 hours of commuting a month and roughly eight and a half days of a commuting a year. However, as anyone stuck in Atlanta rush hour traffic or the New York City subway at 7 AM will tell you, commuter experiences can vary widely from city to city.

We used the recently-released 2016 American Community Survey to identify which U.S. cities had the longest median commute times in the nation. Our findings revealed that while the expected heavy-hitters like New York City make the list, it is the suburb-dwellers outside major metro areas who oftentimes suffer the most.

For our analysis, we focused on urban areas, which is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as densely-populated areas with more than 65,000 people. These urban areas are ranked by the median one-way commute time to help represent the typical commuter. In the event of a tie, the city with a higher percentage of residents with one-way commutes of more than 60 minutes is used to determine which areas have the more frustrating commuter experience.

We’ll begin our list with the city that has the 50th worst commuter experience and slog our way to the top. Can you take a guess at which cities’ residents spend the most time cursing at their steering wheels? Click ahead to find out.

© Sam Valadi // Flickr
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