on the road again?
Houston drivers have the 4th worst commute in America, study finds
For better or for worse, it's finally been confirmed – Houston traffic is among the worst in the nation, according to a new study by Forbes Home.
Houston ranked No. 4 in the Forbes study, which analyzed 25 of the largest U.S. cities to discover the average commute times for workers. Using 2021 U.S. Census data, the report determined the average time spent traveling to work in Houston is 30 minutes, which is only the ninth worst commute time out of all cities on the list.
"No amount of personal playlist songs, audiobooks, podcasts, commuter coffee, or glove compartment snacks can make a tough commute more pleasant," the report said.
While the COVID-19 pandemic brought commuting to a halt for most workers, about 74 percent of Americans are back to making those early morning and afternoon drives to-and-from their employers. Work-from-home rates have continuously dropped since 2020, which isn't helping the rise in commute times.
Houston has nearly 1.75 million workers over the age of 16 living within the area, and only 4.6 percent of households don't have access to a car. Unless workers live very close to their jobs, it's otherwise pretty difficult to walk or bike to work in such a gridlock-stricken city.
It surely doesn't help that the study cites Houston's (unfortunate) fame for being the No. 1 most stressful U.S. city for workers as having a hand in its overall ranking. Add commuting to that list of stressors, and it all equals an unhealthy effect on the working population.
"Research by the National Library of Medicine has found that the longer the commute time, the less satisfaction with work and life as hours spent commuting daily can contribute to a decline in mental and physical health," the report said.
Elsewhere in Texas, Dallas (No. 9) and Fort Worth (No. 10) both made it into the top 10 with their respective commute times of 29.70 and 26.80 minutes. San Antonio ranked No. 16 with an average commute time of 25.40 minutes. Austin, surprisingly, ranked No. 18 overall with an average of 27.90 minutes.
The top 10 U.S. cities with the hardest commutes are:
- No. 1 – Nashville, Tennessee
- No. 2 – Charlotte, North Carolina
- No. 3 – Jacksonville, Florida
- No. 4 – Houston, Texas
- No. 5 – Washington, D.C.
- No. 6 – New York City, New York
- No. 7 – Boston, Massachusetts
- No. 8 – Los Angeles, California
- No. 9 – Dallas, Texas
- No. 10 – Fort Worth, Texas
This article originally ran on CultureMap.