Interactive Monday: What's the average commute time in your town or city?

Oct 20, 2019
Interactive, Budgeting

Interactive map from the Census Bureau allows students to scroll over their metro/nearest metro area to find out how long the average commute is:

When you scroll over a given metro area, you get the average commute time and also the various modes of transportation to get there.

Here's my county (Santa Clara, CA): 

This would be a good resource to include when students are completing a post-high school or post-college budget. Good starting point for a conversation about the tradeoffs between commute time (and cost to commute) and cost to rent an apartment. And yes, people with longer commutes do tend to be less happy. 


  • What is the average commute time in your metro area (or the nearest metro area) if you don't live in a metro area)?
  • What are the various ways the workers commute to their jobs? Do you have a personal preference on how you would like to commute? 
  • As you think about working after high school or college, how important is the commute time as you think about where to live and work? 
  • Imagine you get a job in a major city and want to be able to walk to work instead of having a commute. This will reduce your commuting cost significantly. How do you think the cost of apartments in cities compare to those further out in the suburbs? 


Like this interactive? We have an entire library of them here. 

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.