Long Commute-Driving Alone

Among workers who commute in their car alone, the percentage that commute more than 30 minutes.
The 2019 County Health Rankings used data from 2013-2017 for this measure.

Measure Tabs


Reason for Ranking

2012 study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that the farther people commute by vehicle, the higher their blood pressure and body mass index. Also, the farther they commute, the less physical activity the individual tends to participate in.[1] Our current transportation system contributes to obesity - each additional hour spent in a car per day is associated with a 6 percent increase in the likelihood of obesity.[2]

Key Measure Methods

Long Commute - Driving Alone is a Percentage

Long Commute - Driving Alone is the percentage of workers who drive alone (via car, truck, or van) with a commute longer than 30 minutes.


The numerator is the number of workers who drive alone for more than 30 minutes during their commute.


The denominator is the number of workers who drive alone during their commute.

Can This Measure Be Used to Track Progress?

This measure can be used to track progress with some caveats. It is important to note that the estimate provided in the County Health Rankings is a 5-year average. However, for counties with a population greater than 20,000 individuals, single year estimates can be obtained from the resource listed below.

Data Source

Years of Data Used


American Community Survey, 5-year estimates

The American Community Survey (ACS) is a nationwide survey designed to provide communities with a fresh look at how they are changing. It is a critical element in the Census Bureau's reengineered decennial census program. The ACS collects and produces population and housing information every year instead of every ten years, and publishes both one-year and five-year estimates. The County Health Rankings use American Community Survey data to obtain measures of social and economic factors.

Digging Deeper

Subcounty Areatrue

This measure can be calculated for census tracts and census block groups using table S0802. These tables can be accessed through the American Factfinder.


[1] Hoehner, Christine M., et al. "Commuting distance, cardiorespiratory fitness, and metabolic risk." American journal of preventive medicine 42.6 (2012): 571-578.
[2] Frank, Lawrence D., Martin A. Andresen, and Thomas L. Schmid. "Obesity relationships with community design, physical activity, and time spent in cars." American journal of preventive medicine 27.2 (2004): 87-96.

See how this measure fits into our model