Special Report

This Is the City With the Worst Traffic in Alabama

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The number of people working from home in the United States more than tripled during the pandemic. According to the Census Bureau, 27.6 million Americans worked primarily from home in 2021, up from just 9 million in 2019. While having a makeshift office in the house makes it difficult for some remote workers to separate themselves from their work at the end of the day, one nearly universally recognized benefit is the elimination of a commute.

The average commuter in the United States spends about 27 minutes getting to work. For the typical, full-time worker, this adds up to about 4 hours and 30 minutes each week, and over 230 hours annually.

For some – particularly those who live and work in densely-populated urban areas – much of that time is spent sitting in traffic. Of the seven cities in Alabama with available data, Birmingham ranks as having the worst traffic, according to INRIX, a traffic data and analytics company.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 76,153 people in the city who either drive or carpool to work. Among them, the typical commuter lost an average of 24 hours to traffic in 2022, up 33% from 2021. Of all 280 U.S. cities covered in the INRIX report, Birmingham ranks 46th for traffic delays.

All traffic delay data in this story is from the 2022 Global Traffic Scorecard, from INRIX. Supplementary data on the number of commuters who drive are five year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey.

 

State City with the worst traffic Typical hours spent in traffic, 2022 Avg. commute time (minutes) Commuters who drive or carpool (%)
Alabama Birmingham 24 22 92.8
Arizona Phoenix 26 26 93.0
Arkansas Little Rock 4 18 95.6
California San Francisco 97 33 43.8
Colorado Denver 54 26 84.0
Connecticut Stamford 73 28 80.0
Delaware Wilmington 19 23 79.4
Florida Miami 105 28 81.8
Georgia Atlanta 74 28 79.4
Hawaii Hilo 29 19 94.6
Idaho Boise 7 19 91.4
Illinois Chicago 155 34 62.7
Indiana Indianapolis 24 24 94.8
Iowa Des Moines 7 19 93.7
Kansas Topeka 0 17 95.8
Kentucky Lexington 22 21 92.6
Louisiana New Orleans 77 23 82.7
Maine Bangor 8 17 89.2
Maryland Baltimore 55 31 73.9
Massachusetts Boston 134 31 47.3
Michigan Detroit 23 26 85.9
Minnesota Minneapolis 26 23 74.4
Mississippi Jackson 4 21 97.1
Missouri St. Louis 17 23 85.5
Montana Missoula 22 16 85.8
Nebraska Omaha 14 19 94.9
Nevada Las Vegas 41 26 92.2
New Hampshire Manchester 13 24 95.1
New Jersey Ocean Township 17 34 88.6
New Mexico Albuquerque 20 22 94.3
New York New York City 117 41 30.0
North Carolina Charlotte 25 25 92.8
North Dakota Fargo 0 16 92.4
Ohio Cleveland 20 23 84.3
Oklahoma Oklahoma City 14 22 96.2
Oregon Portland 72 26 74.5
Pennsylvania Philadelphia 114 33 62.9
Rhode Island Providence 42 24 84.1
South Carolina Greenville 23 20 92.1
Tennessee Nashville 41 25 93.8
Texas Houston 74 28 91.0
Utah Ogden 14 21 93.0
Virginia Fredericksburg 24 30 87.6
Washington Seattle 46 28 59.4
West Virginia Wheeling 12 19 92.8
Wisconsin Milwaukee 32 22 87.5

 

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