Ah, the dreaded commute. It's the bane of every employee's existence: traffic congestion, stalled trains, packed buses with no place to sit. It takes the average American 24.6 minutes to get to and from work each day, but it can sometimes feel far longer. While a lucky 4.2 million households – or 3.2 percent – have a commute of less than five minutes, on the other end of the spectrum are the "super commuters." Far from having superpowers, as the name might suggest, the 2.5 percent of Americans in this category are exceptional due to the sheer amount of time they spend in transit: 90 minutes or more each day.
The numbers are fairly stark, and concentrated, as the figure below shows – New Yorkers and Maryland residents spend the most time heading to and from work, at close to 31 minutes per day, while those in North and South Dakota spend the least, at an average of around 16 minutes each. Five percent of New Yorkers, and 4.3 percent of Maryland residents are super commuters. But that's not the whole story: 27.4 percent of Maryland residents spent 45 minutes or more on their commute, compared with 7.5 percent of North Dakotans. That adds up to a lot of people just trying to get home.