Every State’s City With The Worst TrafficSeptember 16, 2023
The number of Americans working from home surged during the pandemic. Many of those who still work remotely are likely reluctant to return to the office, if for no other reason that eliminating the daily commute.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average commute time in the United States is about 27 minutes. Over the course of a week, this adds up to around four hours and 30 minutes, and more than 230 hours in a single year for the typical full-time worker.
Of course, commute times are not only a product of distance, but also of roadway congestion. Rush hour traffic can add significantly to commute times and lead to increased fuel consumption and travel expenses. Many of those with jobs that take them in and out of densely-populated urban areas are all too familiar with this reality. (Here is a look at every major automaker’s plan to go electric.)
Using traffic and analytics company INRIX’s traffic data and analytics company, 24/7 Wall St. identified the city in every state with the worst traffic. Cities are ranked on the average number of hours commuters lost due to traffic congestion in 2022. Due to a lack of available data, Alaska, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming are not included in this analysis. Washington, D.C., is one of six places on this list that is home to only one city with available data. In these places, which are noted, the city listed ranks as having the worst traffic by default.
Depending on the state, average time lost to traffic congestion each year ranges from only a few hours to well over 100 hours in the city with the worst traffic.
While many of the cities on this list are also the largest in the state by population, there are some notable exceptions. For example, though Los Angeles is the largest city in California and second largest in the country – and also notorious for its congested roadways – there is another California city where traffic is even worse.
In nearly every city on this list, the average number of hours commuters spend sitting in traffic increased in 2022 compared to the previous year. This is likely largely due to easing pandemic restrictions and more workers returning to the office. In all but three cities on this list, traffic delays worsened from 2021 to 2022, by anywhere from 3% to 380%. (Here is a look at the worst city to drive in in each state.)
Click here to see the city in every state with the worst traffic.
Click here to see our detailed methodology.
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