A Study of U.S. Census Data by Bloomberg Shows the DMV Area Has the Most Expensive Work Commutes in the Nation

by Sean Riley


When you think about long and pricey commutes, you probably think of New York City or Los Angeles. You’re not wrong. These cities do have long commutes, but workers in the Washington, D.C., area have actually taken the top spot. A study of U.S. census data by Bloomberg showed that workers from cities in Maryland and Virginia have the most expensive commutes in the nation.

The cost was calculated by figuring time spent in the car divided by the average income. It also factored in an “opportunity cost,” the time and experiences lost out on because of that commute. Workers that commute early in the morning or late into the evening spend less time with family and friends and miss out on activities like going to the gym or attending special events.

The worst of the worst, coming in at No. 1, is the commute from Charles County, Maryland, to Washington, D.C. These workers spent an average of two and a half weeks of 2017 just driving to and from work.

Commuters driving into D.C. from Fauquier and Stafford counties in Virginia came in as having the No. 2 and No. 3 worst commutes, respectively. In fact, out of the top 20  most expensive commutes, DMV counties took up 10 spots: Calvert County, MD (No. 5), Prince William County, VA (No. 6), Spotsylvania County, Virginia (No. 7), Frederick County, MD (No. 8), Carroll County, MD (No. 9), Loudoun County, VA (No. 14), and Prince George’s County, MD (No. 15).