Fact #946: October 10, 2016 Driving Alone in a Private Vehicle is the Most Common Means of Transportation to Work

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According to data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census, driving alone in a private vehicle is by far the most common mode of transportation to work in the United States and accounted for 76.4% of all commuters in 2014. The percentage of those driving to work alone increased in each decade from 1980 to 2014. Conversely, carpooling decreased in that same time frame. In 2014, 9.6% of workers carpooled, down from 19.7% in 1980. Public transit was used by 6.4% of workers in 1980 and thereafter remained at about 5%. Working at home reduces the need to travel. In 1980, 2.3% reported working at home and that number nearly doubled by 2014, likely aided by the proliferation of technology that makes telework convenient.

Means of Transportation to Work, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010, 2014

Bar graph showing means of transportation to work (drove alone, car pool, public transit, worked at home, and other) in 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010, and 2014.

Fact #946 Dataset

Supporting Information

Means of Transportation to Work, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010, and 2014

Means of transportation19801990200020102014
Drove alone64.4%73.2%75.7%76.1%76.4%
Car pool19.7%13.4%12.2%10.4%9.6%
Public transit6.4%5.3%4.7%4.9%5.2%
Worked at home2.3%3.0%3.3%4.1%4.4%
Other7.2%5.2%4.1%4.5%4.5%

Note: Until the annual American Community Survey began, data on the means of transportation to work were only available once every ten years, provided by data collected during the decennial census. As of 2010, the decennial census no longer collects these data.

Sources:
1980-1990 data - provided by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, Journey-to-Work and Migration Statistics Branch, Population Division.
2000 data - U.S. Bureau of the Census, Journey to Work: 2000, Tables 1 and 2, March 2004.
2010 -2014 data - U.S. Bureau of the Census, American Community Survey Five-Year Estimates, Tables B08301 and GCT0801.

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