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Data Dashboard: Mode and Average Time of Commute


Mode and Average Time of Commute

Trend at a Glance

At last count

26.1 minutes

Current Through




What does this measure?

This indicator provides insight into how Wake County citizens choose to get around, and how land development patterns affect road network use. The average time of commute is the amount of time a person typically spends traveling one way between home and work, regardless of transportation mode. The negative impacts of long commute times are far-reaching, affecting the financial self-sufficiency and productivity of individuals, the economic output and desirability of the community, and the environment and the industries that depend upon its health, such as tourism and recreation. A community that provides a rich multimodal infrastructure (such as public transportation, greenways, and bike lanes) takes steps to reduce the number of automobiles weighing on the roadways, decrease congestion, and increase transportation options for citizens. Of course, commute time is not dependent on infrastructure alone; it is also reliant upon an adequate balance between residential and commercial districts, as well as the habits and choices of citizens.

How is Wake County performing?

Average commute times in Wake County tend to be slightly higher than the state average but lower than the national average.

About 78.4% of Wake County residents drove alone to work in 2019, which is similar to state and national averages.

Did you know?

Working from home is the second most common means of transportation to work at 11%. Driving is most common at 78.4% while public transportation is least common (0.9%). 

Data Source

American Community Survey (1-year estimates)

Data Considerations


Charts & Maps

Average Commute 2017.jpgWCBTN Mode of Transport 2020.jpg

Data is updated:

The United States Census Bureau publishes official population estimates and population estimate revisions for prior years annually. County, state, and national data are released in March.

Related Resources


October 2020; Revised to reflect 2019 ACS estimates




Created at 1/3/2014 3:44 PM by Lori K. Neumeier
Last modified at 10/5/2020 4:29 PM by Jason Horton

Wake County Departments & Agencies: