What's A 'Mega-Commuter?' 600,000 Americans Spend 90 Minutes To Get To Work

Los Angeles Interstate 405
Traffic crawls along Interstate 405 in Los Angeles. Reuters

Here’s a scary fact: Nearly 600,000 Americans are “mega-commuters.”

Don’t know what that is? If you spend nearly 90 minutes and travel about 50 miles one way to get to work, then you’re a mega-commuter. Unlucky you.

This is the first time the U.S. Census Bureau has reported such a demographic category, according to the Associated Press, and the agency found that mega-commuters make up 8 percent of the population.

The average commuter spends 25.5 minutes getting to work, with one out of four leaving the county they live in for their job, the Census reported.

"The average travel time for workers who commute by public transportation is higher than that of workers who use other modes. For some workers, using transit is a necessity, but others simply choose a longer travel time over sitting in traffic," said Brian McKenzie, a Census Bureau statistician and author of the brief.

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In other words, people would generally rather have a longer commute than sit it traffic.

Workers who live in New York State have the highest rate of long commutes at 16.2 percent, but San Francisco is the city with the most mega-commuters per capita.

The routes leading into Manhattan have some of the highest number of mega-commuters in the country since they receive an influx of workers into the Big Apple from all directions, with Suffolk County, N.Y., and Fairfield County, Conn., nearing the top of the list.

The following are the top 10 worst mega commutes:

10. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash.

9. Philadelphia-Camden, N.J.-Wilmington, Del.

8. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga.

7. Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill.

6. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif.

5. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.

4. Washington, D.C.-Arlington-Alexandria, Va.

3. Trenton-Ewing, N.J., Metropolitan Statistical Area

2. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island

1. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif.

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