Key findings

November 9, 2018

Across the entire U.S., and excluding those who work from home, only 12.2 percent of workers live within 10 minutes from their job. In America’s largest cities, it’s even less common to live close to work, where that same number is just 7.7 percent. The mean one-way travel time to work in the U.S. is just shy of 27 minutes—and slightly longer in major metros—meaning that the average American spends just under an hour getting to and from work each day.Driving is undoubtedly the most common form of transportation among commuters both in and out of major urban areas, with 85.3 percent of Americans and 73.3 percent of city-dwellers making their daily commutes in cars, trucks, or vans. Less than 3 percent of America’s workforce walks to work and approximately 0.5 percent rides a bike. Even in the cities listed below, alternative forms of transportation are largely unpopular.Across all major cities, longer commute time are associated with higher rents, more expensive homes, and also larger paychecks. Some of the most expensive and in-demand cities like New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. have long commutes and extremely small subsets of their populations that travel less than 10 minutes to work each day.

To avoid lengthy commutes and high living costs, consider the 15 cities below—many of which are in the Midwest—where it’s still possible to live close to where you work.

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