Skip Main Navigation Skip To Navigation Content

Commuting (Journey to Work)

Skip top of page navigation
You are here: Census.govPeople and HouseholdsCommuting (Journey to Work) Main › About Commuting (Journey to Work)

About Commuting (Journey to Work)

Commuting (Journey to Work) and Place of Work

Commuting (Journey to Work) refers to a worker’s travel from home to work. Place of work refers to the geographic location of the worker’s job. A worker is defined as a person 16 years old and over, who were employed and at work during a reference period.

There are several surveys conducted by the Census Bureau that ask questions regarding commuting and place of work, such as the American Community Survey (ACS), Decennial Census (2000 and prior), American Housing Survey (AHS), and the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). Some of these questions include: mean travel time, means of transportation, time of departure, vehicles available, distance traveled, and expenses associated with the commute.

The ability to link information about commuting to socio-demographic characteristics and geography allows planners to forecast local peak travel demand, gauge the amount of pressure placed on transportation infrastructure, and address unmet transportation needs more accurately. Federal, state, and local planners and policymakers use the ACS and other Census Bureau surveys to guide decisions about how to allocate limited public resources devoted to transportation.

Work at Home

Work at home refers to a worker’s lack of travel from home to a separate workplace. On the ACS, there isn’t a specific question regarding work at home; rather, the respondent answered “Worked at home” to the question, “How did you usually get to work LAST WEEK?” The SIPP does ask specific questions regarding home-based work.

Daytime Population

Daytime population refers to the number of people who are present in an area during normal business hours, including workers. This is in contrast to the “resident” population present during the evening and nighttime hours. Daytime population estimates are calculated using resident and workplace population estimates.

Information on the expansion and contraction experienced by different communities between nighttime and daytime populations is important for many planning purposes, including those dealing with transportation, land use, disaster, and relief planning and operations.


Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Commuting (Journey to Work) |  Last Revised: 2012-05-22T14:06:53.181-04:00