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 (%)|
|New Jersey||Ocean Township||17||34||88.6|
|New York||New York City||117||41||30.0|
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