WASHINGTON DC – Outsiders need only look at the daily traffic backlog on U.S. Route 422 stretching from Pottstown east to King of Prussia to know that Montgomery County is a commuting capital, but on Tuesday (March 5, 2013) the Census Bureau offered statistical proof.
Almost a quarter (60,159 workers; 23.9 percent) of the 253,071 people who the bureau estimates commuted daily between 2006 and 2010 into jobs from outside Philadelphia were Montgomery County residents, according to results of its just-released American Community Survey. Another 51,457 (20.3 percent) lived in Delaware County, and 33,877 (13.3 percent) in Bucks County, it added.
That mass migration ranks Center City and surrounding Philadelphia County as tops in the nation with the number of commuters coming from elsewhere, the survey indicated.
What else do we know about the recurring ride? The survey shows:
- We don’t do lonely. During 2011, half the workers in Philadelphia County drove to work alone, compared with a much-higher 76.4 percent nationally. Slightly more than 9 percent of them were in a carpool, not much different than the national figure of 9.7 percent.
- Your life’s behind that wheel. About 12.5 percent of all workers had a commute of 60 minutes or more in 2011, compared with 8.1 percent in the nation.
- SEPTA’s a star. During 2011, 25.6 percent of all workers in Philadelphia County used public transportation — excluding taxicab — to get to their jobs. That compares with only 5 percent in the nation as a whole.
- We’re healthier too. About 1.8 percent of all workers in Philadelphia County biked to work in 2011, compared with 0.6 percent nationally.
“This information shapes our understanding of the boundaries of local and regional economies, as people and goods move across the nation’s transportation networks,” bureau commuting statistician Brian McKenzie said of the survey.
Survey results are used by everyone from town and city planners to retailers and home builders. The bureau claims it is the only source of local estimates for most of the 40 topics it covers, such as education, occupation, language, ancestry and housing costs for even the smallest communities.
Graphic from the Census Bureau