This Is the Worst Place to Commute from in the United States

Many residents in this area leave before 6 a.m. to try to get a jump on the commute.

Top view of numerous cars in a traffic jam in Dubai, United Arab EmiratesMichael Gancharuk/Shutterstock

While you’re sitting in traffic on the way to work, you may think that you’ve got it bad. But you may be surprised to find out that the most arduous commute isn’t to and from huge city hubs like New York City or San Francisco.

The worst place for people to commute from? Charles County, Maryland. In 2017, residents of southern Maryland county outside of Washington D.C. spent an average of 388 hours getting to and from work, according to a recent analysis by Bloomberg. That’s the equivalent of about two-and-a-half weeks! Thankfully, though, while Maryland houses the county with the longest commute, it’s not one of the states with the most dangerous commutes.

Using data from the 2017 U.S. Census, Bloomberg calculated the opportunity costs of commuting, based on how expensive it was, the percentage of income people spend on getting to and from work, and the percentage of commuters who leave before 6 a.m. to try to beat the crowds.

Commuters from Charles County earned an average of $75,254, and spent 19.4 percent of their income on commuting, Bloomberg found. That’s the equivalent of about $14,612. And 27.8 percent of commuters in Charles County started their journey to work before 6 a.m.

Four of the other counties that made the top five for highest commuting costs were also in the Washington, D.C. area: Fauquier and Stafford counties in Northern Virginia, and Calvert County in Maryland. (Contra Costa County outside San Francisco also made the list.) Commuters in these areas should probably find out these ways to make your commute go faster.

After Washington D.C., the other top metro areas people spent the most time commuting to were:

  • New York City
  • Atlanta
  • Dallas
  • Chicago
  • Philadelphia
  • Minneapolis

That said, you can make good use out of some of that travel time—just check out what successful people do on their commutes.

Popular Videos

Jen McCaffery is an associate editor for Reader’s Digest. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Prevention, Rhode Island Monthly, and other publications and websites. When she’s not writing or editing, she’s growing veggies or trying to figure out the way home from assorted trails.