People who commute 3-plus hours a day (or not at all) tend to be more affluent

Super-commuters have increased by 31.7%. Currently, there are 2.5 million super-commuters which makes them 2.9% of the full-time working population.

Fikri Rasyid / Unsplash

The average commute in America is 26 minutes. But there are two extremes in the commuting workforce: those that gear up for a hero’s journey, “super-commuting” over 90 minutes each way, and those who don’t commute at all but simply log in – the remote workers.

Since 2005, both categories have increased significantly, according to a report about commuting by Apartment List.


Follow Ladders on Flipboard!

Follow Ladders’ magazines on Flipboard covering Happiness, Productivity, Job Satisfaction, Neuroscience, and more!


Super-commuters have increased by 31.7%. Currently, there are 2.5 million super-commuters which makes them 2.9% of the full-time working population. As well, the number of Americans who work from home has increased by an astounding 76%. This growth was created by changing workplace trends, new technology like collaborative tools that make working from home possible, and the lack of affordable housing in some of the country’s most vibrant job markets that force workers to live far from their jobs.

The biggest cities for super-commuters

  1. Stockton, CA
  2. Modesto, CA
  3. Riverside-San Bernadino, CA
  4. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ
  5. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwark, CT
  6. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
  7. Washington, D.C.-Arlington-Alexandria, VA
  8. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD
  9. Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA
  10. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH

The biggest cities for remote workers

  1. Raleigh, NC
  2. Austin-Round Rock, TX
  3. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
  4. Portland, ME
  5. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL

Both super-commuters and those who work from home are usually in industries with above-average wages. The median wage of a super-commuter is 20.9% greater than that of those who spend less than 90 minutes commuting each way. Meanwhile, those who work from home make 28% wage premium.

Top five job categories for super-commuters

  1. Extraction (11%)
  2. Construction (5.8%)
  3. Protective service (3.7%)
  4. Computer and mathematics (3.5%)
  5. Transportation and material moving (3.4%)

Top five job categories for remote workers

  1. Arts, design, entertainment, sports, media (13.9%)
  2. Personal care and services (10.5%)
  3. Business operations specialist (10.3%)
  4. Computer and mathematics (10.1%)
  5. Management, business, science, and arts (7.5%)

Both commuters and work-from-homers are increasingly affluent. Americans earning six-figure salaries are nearly twice as likely to be remote workers. Super-commuters are also 14% less likely than regular commuters to be renters. Remote workers are 27% less likely to be renters. Indeed, much of super-commuting was born out of workers wanting to own a home where they could afford one, no matter how far out.

If you’re interested in more on super-commuting, click over to see an up-close look of a Stockton, California woman’s three-hour commute.


You might also enjoy…

Sheila McClear|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at smcclear@theladders.com.