The Census Bureau has released new figures from its 2011 American Community Survey, revealing work commute trends among the American population that could be of keen interest to radio and outdoor advertisers. Among the highlights, of US workers who did not work at home, 8.1% had commute times of 60 minutes or longer, with 23% of this group reporting use of public transportation, compared to 5.3% of commuters overall. The leading states in terms of longer commutes were New York (16.2% of workers living in the state commuting for longer than 60 minutes), Maryland (14.8%), and New Jersey (14.6%).
Workers with long commute times on public transport are potentially exposed to numerous outdoor and transit ads, according to a 2012 study from the Outdoor Association of America. Meanwhile, according to Arbitron, 84% of drivers and passengers report use of AM/FM radio in-car. The Census Bureau data indicates that more than 9 in 10 workers with travel times of 1-59 minutes either drive alone (81.5%) or carpool (9.9%) – and that residents of Nebraska (97.1%), Kansas (96.7%), and Iowa (96.3%) are among the most likely to have a commute time of less than 60 minutes.
The Census Bureau also released figures pertaining to “mega-commuters,” who spend more than 1 hour traveling to work each way. Based on results from the 2006-2010 American Community Survey, these commuters are more likely to be male, older, married, make a higher salary, and have a spouse that doesn’t work.