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National Household Travel Survey "Stretch Commute" Quick Facts

"Stretch Commute" trips are at least 50 miles one way.

Commuting in America

  • In a year, 3.3 million Americans "stretch-commute"
  • More than one out of 10 (13 percent) long-distance trips are for commuting
  • Just over one out of five (22 percent) long distance trips between 50 and 99 miles are for commuting

How Far We Travel When Stretch Commuting

  • About three out of five (62 percent) stretch commutes are 50-74 miles
  • One out of five (19 percent) stretch commutes are 75-99 miles
  • Less than one in 10 (7 percent) stretch commutes are 100-124 miles
  • More than one out of 20 (6 percent) stretch commutes are 125-199 miles
  • More than one out of 20 (6 percent) of stretch commutes are 200+ miles

How Often We Stretch Commute in a Four-Week Period

  • Commuters who travel 50 to 99 miles one-way
    • More than six out of 10 (65 percent) commute 16 or more days
    • More than two out of 10 (25 percent) commute five to 15 days
    • Just over one out of 10 (11 percent) commute one to four days
  • Commuters who travel 100 to 199 miles one-way
    • More than three out of 10 (33 percent) commute 16 or more days
    • Almost three out of 10 (27 percent) commute five to 15 days
    • Four out of 10 (40 percent) commute one to four days
  • Commuters who travel 200 miles or more miles one-way
    • More than one out of 10 (12 percent) commute 16 or more days
    • More than two out of 10 (23 percent) commute five to 15 days
    • More than six out of 10 (65 percent) commute one to four days

How We Stretch Commute

  • 24 out of 25 (96 percent) stretch commutes are done by personal vehicle
  • One out of 100 (1 percent) stretch commutes are done by air travel
  • Air travel increases to almost one out of four (24 percent) when the stretch commute is 200+ miles

Who Stretch Commutes

  • By Gender
    • Fewer than one out of five (16 percent) stretch commuting trips are made by females
    • 274 million stretch commuting trips are made by males
  • By Income
    • Almost three out five (58 percent) stretch commuting trips are made by individuals living in households with total incomes of $50,000 or more (43 percent of population)
    • Almost one out of three (29 percent) stretch commuting trips are made by individuals living in households with total incomes of $25,000-49,000 (28 percent of population)
    • More than one out of 10 (13 percent) stretch commuting trips are made by individuals living in households with total incomes of less than $25,000 (29 percent of population)
  • By Occupation
    • Almost half of (44 percent) stretch commuting trips are made by those in manufacturing/construction jobs (21 percent of population)
    • Two out of every five (40 percent) stretch commuting trips are made by those in professional/managerial/technical jobs (39 percent of population)
    • More than one out of 10 (13 percent) stretch commuting trips are made by those in sales/service jobs (28 percent of population)
    • Less than one out of every 20 (3 percent) stretch commuting trips are made by those in clerical/administrative jobs (12 percent of population)

SOURCE: National Household Travel Survey, 2001-2002. 

Updated: Wednesday, May 31, 2017