Census data released Tuesday spotlights a group called “mega commuters,” people who travel 50 or more miles and spend 90 or more minutes getting to work. As city centers get more expensive to live in, it’s reasonable to assume that people with less money will have longer commutes. But for people with really long commutes, the data tell a different story. Here’s what today’s mega commuter is most likely to look like:
1. He’s a man.
Over 70% of “mega” commuters are men, compared with less than 60% of normal commuters.
2. He’s middle-aged.
Just 10.6% of mega commuters are under 30 — 18.1% of normal commuters are.
3. And married.
71.6% of mega commuters are married, compared to just over 60% of other commuters.
4. He has a stay-at-home spouse.
Mega commuters are significantly more likely than normal commuters to have spouses who stay home or work part time. Almost 25% of mega commuters have spouses who don’t work full-time, compared with about 15% of non-megas.
5. He makes a middle income.
Mega commuters are more likely to make between $40,000 and $79,999 than either more or less than that — ordinary commuters are more likely to make less than $40,000. The US median household income from 2007-2011 was $52,762.
6. His house is slightly nicer than average.
The mega commuter’s average property value is $50,184.62, compared with $41,298.32 for normal commuters.
7. But not too nice.
The average mega commuter’s house is still worth significantly less than the national median home value of $186,200.
8. Basically, he’s this guy.
A fifties dad.
The Census Bureau says that the number of very long commutes is increasing — it’s possible that to get reasonably-paying jobs that can support a stay-at-home spouse and decent home, workers now have to travel farther than ever. It’s also possible that it’s very difficult to handle a 90 minute commute unless you have a stay-at-home or part-time working partner. Whatever the case, a look at America’s longest commuters also reveals a sector of American society that looks a lot like a certain version of the past — except for the part where Dad spends three hours of his day on the road and probably can’t be home for dinner.
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- MsKelly65 thinks 8 Facts About America's Craziest ... is Cute
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The chart in the source says the “mean property value over by number of bedrooms” for the average American home is $41,298.32. The average house has at least 2 I warrant. Everyone, cool your jets and read the source material. http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/pdf/poster_megacommuting_in_the_u.s.pdf
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I’m a single 30 y/o female and I’m a mega commuter. I work in Manhattan but I live 60+ miles away in the Hudson Valley in upstate New York. I work in the fashion industry so finding something closer to home isn’t likely and I still have student loans. The city is too costly for me right now so this is my life. I get up at 5:00 am catch a bus at 6:15 am and I don’t home until 8:00 pm. Sigh.
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Actually, 6 and 7 are wrong in their assumptions. The point of traveling so much is to live in a very nice, INEXPENSIVE property. A $50k house in the boonies where the commuter lives may be much nicer than a $150k house in the crowded city where he works at. I know from experience. The $600k house I used to own in the city was by far more modest and much smaller than the large $80k home that I live in now, which is well outside the city. None of my buddies, even those with salaries much more substantial than mine, have houses that come close. Oh, and carpooling plus telecommuting are what make the mega-commute feasible. Those are definitely not ’50s things.
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