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About Commuting

Component ID: #ti825914453

Commuting (Journey to Work) refers to a worker’s travel from home to work. Several Census surveys including the American Community Survey (ACS), Decennial Census (2000 and prior), American Housing Survey (AHS), and the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) include questions about the working population’s commutes. Some of these questions include: travel time, means of transportation, time of departure for work, vehicles available, and expenses associated with the commute. The ACS also asks workers about their place of work, the geographic location of their job.   

The ability to link information about commuting to socio-demographic characteristics and geography allows planners to forecast local 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.

Component ID: #ti1610655262

Work at Home

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

Component ID: #ti942785153

Commuter-Adjusted Population Estimates

Commuter-adjusted population estimates, often-referred to as 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. Commuter-adjusted 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.

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