If you hate your commute, you're not alone. One study found that adding 20 minutes to your commute makes you as miserable as taking a 19 percent pay cut. Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman and economist Alan Krueger once surveyed 900 people and found that commuting was their least favorite activity of all, behind work, child care and home chores.
Unfortunately, Americans are commuting longer than ever before and it's having a serious impact their lives. Vox's Kimberly Mas points out that commuting has been linked to obesity, stress, anxiety, depression, higher blood pressure, higher rates of divorce, neck and back pain and shorter lifespans.
And yet, commute times have modestly but steadily increased over the past several decades. According to the U.S. Census, in 1990 the average commute time was less than 22 minutes. Today, Americans spend just over 26 minutes commuting to work each way.
These four extra minutes spent on commuting equates to eight minutes a day (4 x 2) round trip, 40 (8 x 5) extra minutes each week and 2080 (40 x 52) extra minutes of commuting each year. This means that commuters now are spending 34.6 more hours in transit — a whole work week — than workers in the 1990s.
Of course, where you live dramatically impacts how long it takes you to travel to work. Check out which states have it off the best — and the worst — when it comes to getting to and from the office:
The five states with the longest commute:
Average travel time to work: 29.9 minutes
Average travel time to work: 29 minutes
Average travel time to work: 31.2 minutes
Average travel time to work: 32.4 minutes
Average travel time to work: 32.6 minutes
Here are the five states with the shortest commutes:
Average travel time to work: 18.3 minutes
Average travel time to work: 18.1 minutes
Average travel time to work: 17.9 minutes
Average travel time to work: 17.3 minutes
Average travel time to work: 16.9 minutes
Workers in South Dakota can brag that they have the shortest commutes in the country. The average South Dakotan spends just 16.9 minutes commuting to work each day.
Neighboring states North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Nebraska rounded out the list of the states with the five shortest commutes.
When it comes to the longest commute times, states that are home to major cities seem to suffer the most. New Yorkers, for instance, endure the longest commutes — 32.6 minutes on average.
Long commutes like these are just one of the reasons more Americans are working remotely than ever before. A 2017 Gallup study found that 43 percent of Americans spend some time working from home, and Quartz estimates that remote workers save $444 on average just by cutting their commute costs.
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