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Census Bureau Reports 342,000 Workers Commute into Suffolk County, Mass., Each Day


Census Bureau Reports 342,000 Workers Commute into Suffolk County, Mass., Each Day

Release Number CB13-R.25

Suffolk County, Mass., has among the highest number of commuters coming from another county in the nation, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today in new estimates released from the American Community Survey. Nationally, 27.4 percent of workers commute outside the county where they live.

Among workers in Suffolk County, 341,657 live outside the county, according to 2006-2010 estimates from the American Community Survey. For example, 133,068 workers commute in from Middlesex County, 89,931 from Norfolk County and 41,170 from Essex County.

Meanwhile, 114,078 residents of Suffolk County leave the county for work, with 64,336 going to Middlesex County, 31,018 to Norfolk County and 7,675 to Essex County.

"It is well known that Suffolk County draws a lot of commuters to work. The detailed information in the American Community Survey tells us where Suffolk County workers are coming from, where its residents work, and how its commuting patterns compare to those of other large counties," said Brian McKenzie, a Census Bureau statistician who studies commuting. "This information shapes our understanding of the boundaries of local and regional economies, as people and goods move across the nation's transportation networks."

The American Community Survey also provides annual estimates about how commuters in Suffolk County travel to work and how long it takes them to get there.

Means of Transportation

  • In 2011, 41.4 percent of workers in Suffolk County drove to work alone, compared with 76.4 percent nationally.
  • Meanwhile, 7.9 percent of Suffolk County workers carpooled in 2011, while 9.7 percent in the nation carpooled to work.
  • In 2011, 31.3 percent of all workers in Suffolk County used public transportation -- excluding taxicab -- to get to their job, compared with 5.0 percent in the nation as a whole.
  • About 1.5 percent of all workers in the county biked to work in 2011, compared with 0.6 percent nationally.

Travel Time to Work

  • In 2011, the average one-way commute to work for people living in Suffolk County was 28.7 minutes. The average commute nationally was 25.5 minutes.
  • About 10.7 percent of all workers had a commute of 60 minutes or more in 2011, compared with 8.1 percent in the nation as a whole.

View more commuting statistics for Suffolk County online: //

The American Community Survey provides a wide range of important statistics about people and housing for every community across the nation. The results are used by everyone from town and city planners to retailers and homebuilders. The survey is the only source of local estimates for most of the 40 topics it covers, such as education, occupation, language, ancestry and housing costs for even the smallest communities. Ever since Thomas Jefferson directed the first census in 1790, the census has collected detailed characteristics about our nation's people. Questions about jobs and the economy were added 20 years later under James Madison, who said [PDF - 3.9 MB] such information would allow Congress to "adapt the public measures to the particular circumstances of the community," and over the decades, allow America "an opportunity of marking the progress of the society."



Melanie Deal
Public Information Office

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