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Visualizing the Average Commute Time in U.S. States and Cities

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Visualizing the Average Commute Time in U.S. States and Cities

Average Commute Time in U.S. States and Cities

View the high resolution version of today’s graphic by clicking here.

The average person is awake for 15.5 hours per day, but once you subtract hours committed to work, eating, chores, personal care, and errands, there’s only so little much free time leftover.

That’s why the amount of time spent commuting, either in a car or via transit, can be a massive difference maker towards a person’s quality of life.

The Average Commute

Throughout the United States, the average commute time works out to about 26 minutes one-way.

However, as today’s infographic from TitleMax shows, the average commute varies considerably between individual states, and also between major cities as well.

In South Dakota, a state with fewer than one million people, congestion is not a problem for most. The state is home to the shortest average commute in the country at just 16.6 minutes one-way.

Meanwhile, as you may imagine, New York is the polar opposite of South Dakota for getting to work. The Empire State has the longest average commute in the country, which is double the length at 33.6 minutes.

Commutes by City

Every city is different, which means that data can have high amounts of variability within each state.

New York again is a great example for this: NYC has the longest average commute in the nation at 34.7 minutes, but go upstate and Buffalo actually has the shortest average commute for all major cities at 20.3 minutes per trip.

Here are the 10 shortest commutes in the country, for major cities:

RankCityState or DistrictAvg. Commute (Mins)
#1BuffaloNY20.3
#2ColumbusOH21.8
#3HartfordCT22.3
#4MilwaukeeWI22.3
#5Las VegasNV22.5
#6MemphisTN22.5
#7Virginia BeachVA22.6
#8San DiegoCA23.0
#9West Palm BeachFL23.0
#10CincinnatiOH23.2

Many people living in places like Buffalo or San Diego are able to hop to their place of the work in 20 minutes or less, giving them a little extra flexibility with their free time in comparison to bigger cities in the country.

Here are the 10 longest commutes in the country, for major cities:

RankCityState or DistrictAvg. Commute (Mins)
#1New York CityNY34.7
#2Long IslandNY33.3
#3WashingtonDC32.8
#4NewarkNJ31.1
#5ChicagoIL30.8
#6BostonMA30.4
#7OaklandCA29.9
#8Riverside-San BernardinoCA29.8
#9BaltimoreMD29.4
#10AtlantaGA29.2

While it’s surprising to see that Los Angeles didn’t make it onto the list of cities with ultra-long commutes, the largest city in California does have the distinction of being the most congested city in the world.

It’s there that citizens spend an unfortunate 104 hours each year stuck in traffic jams.

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Business

Flying High: The Top Ten Airline Routes by Revenue

This visualization tracks the high-value routes that generate the most revenue for airlines โ€“ primarily links between the world’s financial centers

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Flying High: The Top 10 Airline Routes by Revenue

The airline industry is a tough business. Profit margins are narrow, airplanes are expensive to run and maintain, and government regulation and taxation can be onerous and unpredictable.

In addition, demand can stall by the outbreak of disease, recession, war, or terrorism. So when a company has a winning airline route, it makes all the difference to a company’s bottom line.

Todayโ€™s visualization uses data from OAG Aviation Worldwide, which tracked the airline routes that generated the most revenue from April 2018 to March 2019.

Top 10 Highest Revenue Routes by Airline

North American routes dominate the global rankings. However, it is the connections from the U.S Northeast and Europe that generate the most revenue and often the most delays.

Only one route breaks the billion dollar barrier: British Airways’ service between London Heathrow Airport (LHR) and New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK).

AirlineAirport PairCountriesTotal Revenue US$ 2018/19
British AirwaysJFK-LHR๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง$1,159,126,794
Qantas AirlinesMEL-SYD๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ$849,260,322
EmiratesLHR-DXB๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ช$796,201,645
Singapore AirlinesLHR-SIN๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ$735,597,614
United AirlinesSFO-EWR๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ$689,371,368
American AirlinesLAX-JFK๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ$661,739,368
Qatar AirwaysLHR-DOH๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ถ๐Ÿ‡ฆ$639,122,609
Cathay Pacific AirwaysHKG-LHR๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง$604,595,063
Singapore AirlinesSYD-SIN๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ$549,711,946
Air CanadaYVR-YYZ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ$541,122,509

Air Canadaโ€™s route between Vancouver and Toronto bottoms out the list with $541 million of revenue in 2019. Low population density, high infrastructure costs, and an aviation industry that is essentially an oligopoly, are all factors driving up ticket costs in Canada.

North America, Top 10 Highest Revenue Routes by Airline

Here’s a look at only the top-grossing routes connected to North America, including the prior ones that made the global list.

AirlineAirport PairCountriesTotal Revenue US$ 2018/19
British AirwaysJFK-LHR๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง$1,159,126,794
United AirlinesSFO-EWR๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ$689,371,368
American AirlinesLAX-JFK๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ$661,739,788
Air CanadaYVR-YYZ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ$541,122,509
British AirwaysBOS-LHR๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง$523,527,241
Air FranceJFK-CDG๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท$486,378,698
United AirlinesLAX-EWR๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ$479,908,312
Cathay Pacific AirwaysJFK-HKG๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ$475,514,451
Delta Air LinesLAX-JFK๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ$465,130,366
British AirwaysLAX-LHR๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง$452,136,502

Transcontinental routes dominate the domestic market with LAXโ€“JFK appearing twice in the ranking for both American and Delta Air Lines.

Asia, Top 10 Highest Revenue Routes by Airline

Despite Asiaโ€™s rise as an economic superpower, there are no routes that break the billion dollar barrier. Singapore Airlinesโ€™ Singapore (SIN) to Londonโ€™s Heathrow (LHR) tops the list, generating $736 million in 2019.

AirlineAirport PairCountriesTotal Revenue US$ 2018/19
Singapore AirlinesSIN-LHR๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง$735,597,614
Cathay Pacific AirlinesHKG-LHR๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง$604,595,063
Singapore AirlinesSIN-SYD๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ$549,711,946
Vietnam AirlinesSGN-HAN๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ณ$488,487,259
Cathay Pacific AirlinesHKG-JFK๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ$475,514,451
Japan AirlinesOKA-HND๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต$447,224,346
Singapore AirlinesCGK-SIN๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ$436,905,694
Japan AirlinesFUK-HND๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต$431,457,469
Singapore AirlinesSIN-MEL๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ$414,276,407
Cathay Pacific AirlinesHKG-SIN๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ$389,910,239

The routes that dominate Asia connect the financial hubs of London, New York, Singapore, and Hong Kong. There are also two domestic routes in Japan, connecting both Fukuoka (FUK) and Okinawa (OKA) to Tokyoโ€™s Haneda (HND) airport.

Africa, Top 10 Highest Revenue Routes by Airline

At the top of the ranking in Africa is Johannesburg (JNB) to Dubai International Airport (DXB) with revenues of $315 million. Dubai has become an important hub for high value flights arriving and departing Africa, a position that may prove profitable as air traffic on the continent increases in coming years.

AirlineAirport PairCountriesTotal Revenue US$ 2018/19
EmiratesJNB-DXB๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ช$315,678,326
British AirwaysJNB-LHR๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง$295,167,492
Saudi Arabian AirlinesCAI-JED๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฆ$242,155,949
TAAG Angola AirlinesLAD-LIS๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ด๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น$231,155,949
South African AirlinesJNB-CPT๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ$184,944,128
EmiratesCAI-DXB๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ช$181,392,011
EmiratesCPT-DXB๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ช$176,743,498
Air FranceABJ-CDG๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท$174,986,272
British AirwaysCPT-LHR๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง$174,605,201
EmiratesMRU-DXB๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ช$163,952,609

Despite the smaller earnings compared to larger markets, some airline companies see the potential for growth in Africa. Virgin Atlantic will fly a route between Londonโ€™s Heathrow and Cape Town in South Africa, while Qatar Airlines acquired a stake in RwandAir.

Financial Hubs

The cities that appear in the top revenue ranking are revealing. Since business and first class travelers are such an important revenue driver, it makes sense that connections between the worldโ€™s financial hubs are delivering big value to airlines.

As Asian and African economies continue to evolve, what route could be the next billion dollar route for airlines?

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China

Meet Chinaโ€™s 113 Cities With More Than One Million People

China has the same amount of 1 million+ population cities as both North America and the EU combined. Here they all are, from biggest to smallest.

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In 2010, China’s urban-dwelling population surpassed its rural population, marking a monumental demographic milestone in the country’s history.

Just three decades prior, China looked markedly different. Only 20% of Chinese citizens lived in urban areas, and many of today’s metropolises were still small villages.

Since then, huge swaths of the population have moved from farmland into cities, a shift that is still causing many urban areas to swell in size. Case in point is the growth of Guangzhou, which lays just north of Hong Kong. From 1980 to today, more than 18 million people moved into the city. A 40-year-old born in Guangzhou will have seen their small, regional city mushroom into one of the largest urban amalgamations on Earth.

Of course, this is just one example of a process that has been altering the landscape of cities from the coast of the South China Sea out to the Eurasian Steppe.

The One Million+ Club

According to Demographia’s World Urban Areas report, there are now 113 urban areas in China that surpass the one million population threshold. In comparison, North America and the EU combined have 114 urban areas that surpass one million people.

Below is a full breakdown of China’s one million+ club:

Meet Chinaโ€™s 113 Cities With More Than One Million People

Unparalleled Urbanization

The massive scale of rural-to-urban migration isn’t just a major development within China, it has no parallel in modern history.

Since 1980, over half a billion people have moved from the countryside to an urban center. The construction of these new cities took a staggering amount of raw materials. Few data points highlight the scale of construction better than China’s cement production in recent years.

china cement production

In 2018, Chinese construction used about 8x the amount of second place India, which has a similar population size.

Megacities on Megacities

Cities with over 10 million inhabitants are defined as megacities. China is already home to six megacities, with another three urban areas well on the way to achieving that status.

In fact, some megacities within close proximity have grown so large that they are merging into contiguous urban areas. The most prominent example of this phenomenon is in the Pearl River Delta region of China.

The Pearl River Delta region is not only home to the megacities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen, but also a number of other sizable cities that are quickly merging into a unified continuous entity containing up to 50 million people. Demographia still considers most of these cities to be separate labor markets โ โ€” but as more connections form across the region, the Pearl River Delta could be poised to become the largest unified urban area in human history.

Westward Migration

As megacities like Shanghai and Shenzhen have grown and developed, they’ve also become more expensive places to live and do business. The economic evolution of these cities has created opportunity for smaller, less developed cities to woo both residents and businesses.

This natural reshuffling has led to impressive growth in cities further inland like Zhengzhou, which sits 350 miles (630 kms) east of the coastline where many of the country’s largest cities reside.

Using the “build it and they will come” approach, the city converted a 160 square mile (410 sq km) patch of empty land into the Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone (ZAEZ). The project has proven wildly successful, and the city even has the nickname “Apple City” thanks to the presence of Foxconn (which produces the iPhone) and a cluster of other smartphone manufacturers.

This airport-centered zone was developed with the full political and economic backing of Beijing as part of a broader effort to increase economic activity in China’s interior cities. Zhengzhou has nearly tripled in size over the last decade, a powerful testament to the shift in economic momentum.

China’s Inland All-Stars:

Urban AreaPopulation 2010Population 2019Change (2010-19)
Chengdu4.8M12.1M+152%
Xi'an4.0M7.1M+77%
Wuhan5.2M8.5M+63%
Chongqing5.4M8.3M+53%

Compare the numbers above to fast-growing cities in the U.S., such as Las Vegas or Phoenix, which managed 33% and 12% growth respectively over the last decade.

If this trend continues, China’s one million+ club will most likely expand once fresh census data is released in 2021.

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