The Time Americans Leave For Work, Mapped

When you're sat at the steering wheel stuck in traffic of a morning, you probably think you know when everyone leaves for work: exactly the same time as you do. But digging into data about the great American commute, it turns out that we're not all that predictable.

The animated map, put together by Nathan Yau for his wonderful Flowing Data site, shows when people leave home for work all across the country. The data comes from the American Community Survey, and includes people who have jobs and are 16 years or older—but doesn't include people who work from home.


While many Americans do leave home between 7:00am and 8:00am as you might expect, the spread is much broader in some places. States with high populations and long commutes like southern California start travelling closer to 6:00am, for instance.

In some spots, like Humboldt county in Nevada and LaGrange county in Indiana, many people leave for work in the dark at 4:59am, while in the Aleutians East Borough in Alaska, the main commute kicks off in the late afternoon. What happens where you live? [Flowing Data]

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