Short commutes are relatively rare in Maryland
If you are a Marylander who can get from home to work in less than 15 minutes, consider your self lucky. You are a part of the 19.3 percent of the work force that can -- compared with a national average of 28.7 percent.
We're still crunching the numbers from the U.S. Census American Community Survey released this week, but it appears that Maryland lags most other states in easy commuting times. At the same time, it's close to the top in the percentage of people that need more than an hour to get to work -- 13.7 percent, or more than double the national figure of 6.3 percent.
The numbers at the extremes help explain why Maryland, with an average of 31.1 minutes of travel time to work, is second to only New York's 31.4 minutes. New York achieves that dubious distinction thanks to its high percentage of long-slog commuters, with 16.3 percent taking more than an hour to get to work. But even the Empire State has a significantly higher percentage of its work force with short commutes than Maryland. In New York, 22.7 percent have commutes of less than 15 minutes.
The numbers illustrate just how different Maryland is from other parts of the country. For instance, the state with the population closest to that of Maryland is Wisconsin. There in the heartland, almost a million Wisconsin residents can leave home and arrive at work in less than 15 minutes. In Maryland slighly more than half a million can do so.
The driving times reflect Marylanders' penchant for seeking employment ooutside the state's borders -- especially in Washington. Census figutes show 17.1 percent of Marylanders draw their paychecks from an out-of-state workplace -- twice the percentage in Virginia and far greater than in Connecticut or New Jersey in the orbit of New York City. Only tiny Rhode Island and Delaware come remotely close.
If you represent either of the extremes in Maryland -- making a quite jaunt or an ultra-long trek -- we's like to hear from you. Drop a line, with a phone number where we can contact you, at firstname.lastname@example.org.