8 Facts About How Americans Get To Work

Most people drive to work, but that may be changing, according to a new U.S. Census Bureau report on commuting. The report came out of the government’s first comprehensive look at “active” commuting, or transportation that involves some physical activity.

1. 1. The vast majority of people still drive to work.

http://U.S. Census Bureau

2. 2. The number of people who walk to work has fallen over the last 30 years, but bicycle commuting is getting more popular.

http://U.S. Census Bureau

About 786,000 people biked to work between 2008 and 2012. That’s a tiny slice of the total workforce — only 0.6 percent — but it’s a big jump from 2000, when only 488,000 people biked to work.

4. 3. Younger workers walk and bike to work more than older workers.

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http://U.S. Census Bureau

Active commuting is much more common among workers ages 16-24, with 6.8 percent walking and 1 percent cycling. The numbers go down in other age groups, the report explains, which may happen because older workers tend to live in different places, have higher incomes, and experience changing physical abilities.

6. 4. People making the least money bike and walk the most.

http://U.S. Census Bureau

Workers making less than $10,000 walk and bike to work more than anyone else. Walking and biking also increases slightly at the top end of the income spectrum.

7. 5. More men ride bikes to work than women.

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The report states that 0.8 percent of men bike to work, while only 0.3 percent of women ride. A separate study shows an even more extreme gender divide: in New York City, 76.3 percent of all Citi Bike trips are taken by men.

8. 6. Walking to work is popular in northeastern cities.

http://U.S. Census Bureau

9. 7. But biking is most popular in western cities.

http://U.S. Census Bureau

Medium-sized cities with strong bike cultures — Davis, Calif., Boulder, Colo., Eugene, Ore., — give the west higher percentages of bicycle commuters. These cities have invested heavily in bike infrastructure, but may also excel because smaller cities are less stressful to ride in.

11. 8. People who walk and bike to work have the shortest commutes.

http://U.S. Census Bureau

The average commute time for people who walk is 11.5 minutes. For cyclists, it’s 19.3 minutes. For everyone else, commuting times average 25.9 minutes.

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Jim Dalrymple is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Jim Dalrymple II at jim.dalrymple@buzzfeed.com.
 
 

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