American Community Survey

Transportation Nation

Census Data Show Public Transit Gender Gap

Sunday, December 09, 2012

(Photo CC by Flickr use NYC Arthur)

Women are more likely to ride public transportation to work than men. Men are more likely to drive to work.

The latest data from the American Community Survey of the U.S.  Census show: Of the people who take public transportation to work, 50.5 percent are women and 49.5 percent are male. That might not seem like a difference worth mentioning until you consider the workforce overall.

The American adult workforce is mostly male, and by a decent amount: 53 percent male to 47 percent female.

One theory is that type of occupation is correlated with gender, and women are more likely to be in mid-level jobs (so earning less, and looking to spend less on commuting) in offices, which tend to be more likely to be in city centers serviced by transit.

Interestingly, men are slightly more likely to carpool than women in the U.S. and women are slightly more likely drive to work alone relative to the general population of workers.

For solo drivers nationally it's 52.6 percent male (slightly less than their 53 percent share of the workforce).

For carpoolers it's 54.7 percent (a touch more than their 53 percent of the workforce.) Meaning it's men who tend to carpool more than women among those who drive. But just by a hair.

It's transit where the gender gap spikes.

The gap is especially wide in cities where transit is more readily available than it is nationally.

New York City public transportation commuters are 52 percent female, 48 percent male according to the American Community Survey. That's despite the fact that the general workforce in New York City is 51.5 percent male and 48.5 percent female. For drivers, that flips.

Of those who drive to work alone in the five boroughs, 60 percent are male.

Mitchell Moss, the Henry Hart Rice Professor of Urban Policy and Planning at NYU, says, it is "a reflection of the gender differences in occupations. Sole drivers include commuters to high income managerial and financial positions, as well as self-employed craftspeople that require a vehicle to carry equipment and materials." Those workers are more likely to be men. 

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The Many Languages of New York City

Friday, December 07, 2012

Just 51 percent of New Yorkers speak only English at home, according to recent data from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. As for the other 49 percent, well, the languages span the globe.

Comments [12]


Manhattan Lures the Newest New Yorkers

Thursday, December 06, 2012

The newest New Yorkers are doing pretty well and many of them are moving into high-priced parts of Manhattan, like the West Village, Tribeca and midtown, mostly from other states.

Comments [10]

Transportation Nation

Commuter Nation: How America Gets to Work (INTERACTIVE MAP)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Click the map. 

(Matt Berger and Katie Long -- Marketplace) America is a nation of drivers, particularly when it comes to how we get to work.

Across the country, the vast majority of us commute by car, and most of the time we’re alone, according to the latest data from the Census Bureau. But in some pockets of the U.S. there's a growing population of commuters taking public transportation, carpooling, walking, and even riding a bike.

To get a better look at how Americans get to work, TN partner Marketplace sifted through data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Surveys to create an interactive map.

Here's what they wrote about the findings:

Using data from the 2010 survey (view data), we identified the number of people in each state who drive alone, carpool, and take public transportation. From the 2008 survey (view data), we identified the number of people in each state who walk or ride a bike.

Then we added up the total number of people represented in both surveys to determine the "total commuter population" for each state; There is a margin of error we didn't account for, maybe some people who still commute by horse-and-buggy, and the surveys are from different years, but you get the idea. A quick calculation gave us the share of commuters in each category by state.

I drive alone
In 43 states, more than three-quarters of the commuter population drive alone to work. Only New York was significantly lower -- with almost half of Empire State commuters saying they get work in other ways. The least carpool-friendly states by percent are Alabama, Tennessee, and South Carolina.

Share the road
Hawaii and Alaska lead the nation in carpool commuting. About 14 percent of their commuter populations share a ride to work. Most states reported somewhere between 8 percent and 11 percent in this commuter category.

More of us take the bus
Not surprisingly, states with major metropolitan populations and large public transit systems have the highest use of public transit: New York leads by a wide margin with about 28 percent of its commuter population taking a train, subway or bus. Massachusetts and Illinois came in at a distant second and third with about 9 percent of their respective commuter populations taking public transportation.

Meanwhile Alabama, Arkansas, Maine, and Mississippi are among 17 states with less than 1 percent of their commuter population on public transit.

Foot-powered commuters are few
In our data set, bicycling and walking remain the least-popular methods for commuting to work. No state reported more than 5 percent of their commuter population on bikes. Thanks to its bike-friendly city of Portland, the state of Oregon topped the list - but still its bike population is only about 4.63 percent of the total. The majority of states didn’t break 1 percent in this category (Full disclosure, this is how I get to work).

Those who walk to work, meanwhile, are more common than bike-to-work commuters in almost every state, but still represent only a small slice of each state's commuter population. New York had the second-highest number of walking commuters, along with the other top states – Alaska (#1), Vermont (#3) and Montana (#4).

Explore the complete data in our interactive map, and tell us how you get to work. Post a comment or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

The Un-Marrying Kind

Friday, September 30, 2011

Senior writer at the Pew Research Center, D'Vera Cohn, talks about the census numbers that show New York City as having a high percentage of unmarried women, and what it says about changing gender and marriage roles.

Comments [36]

Transportation Nation

New Census Data: For Commutes, Car Use Up, Transit Down, NYC Shows Opposite Trend

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Transit use is down. Carpooling is down. And driving to work alone is up. That’s according to data just out this morning from the American Community Survey.

The U.S. Census Bureau released detailed survey data showing how commuting habits have changed in recent years. As we begin to parse the numbers, here's an initial look at how Americans are getting to work, and how New Yorkers are different from the rest of the country when it comes to rush hour habits.

Between 2006 and 2010, the data show, the percentage of Americans driving to work alone rose from 76.0 percent to 76.6 percent. During the same period, the number of Americans taking public transportation rose just a tenth of a percentage point – but declined last year to 4.9 percent, down from 5.0 percent in 2009.

The U.S. Census says those number are statistically significant.

Carpooling nationally dropped more dramatically from 2006, down from 10.7 percent to 9.7 percent. Meanwhile, walking to work has hovered around 2.8 or 2.9 percent. And people getting to work by other means, including bike or motorcycle, has remained steady at 1.7 percent.

The American Community Survey measures the primary way of getting to work not combinations of different modes.

The data also show what an outlier New York City is -- more than eleven times as many New Yorkers take public transportation to work as do their counterparts nationwide. Click around on the map above for a sampling of the numbers by neighborhood.

New Yorkers by and large take transit or walk to work, with the notable exceptions of Eastern Queens and the entire borough of Staten Island.

A big chunk of Lower Manhattan residents -- more than a third in some census districts -- walk to work. No other neighborhood in the five boroughs fields close to that number of walkers.

Bucking the national trend, transit use in New York City has been steadily rising since 2006 -- from 54.2 percent of New Yorkers in the five boroughs in 2006 to 55.7 percent in 2010. In some neighborhoods, more than 70 percent of people commute by transit. New York City had previously estimated that 76.7 percent of people commute without the use of a private car.

These new ACS figures show the figure is even higher. Just 22.7 percent of New Yorkers drive to work, down from 23.6 percent in 2006.

Despite the changes in how New Yorkers get to work, commute times have held more or less steady over this period. The median commute nationally is about 25 minutes -- and 40 minutes in the New York area. All the more time to read the paper on the subway.

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City Residents More Likely to Walk to Work, Use Transit: Survey

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Yorkers fret about finding parking spots and traffic congestion, but it turns New Yorkers are most likely griping about this while they’re getting to work on a train or bus. You can also view a regional map of commuting preferences.

Comments [4]


More City Families Are Falling Into Poverty

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New York City families are making less money, struggling to pay rent and falling into poverty — and, with poverty increasing in all boroughs except Manhattan, nearly a fifth of families on the city are on food stamps. 



New York Leads in Never-Married Women

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New York state has the highest percentage of women who have never been married. That's according to the U.S. Census Bureau, which released the results of its annual American Community Survey Thursday.

Comments [2]


Puerto Ricans in New York Struggling...Still

Friday, November 20, 2009


Puerto Ricans are some of the most prominent figures in New York politics and culture, so some people are surprised when they hear that, overall, Puerto Ricans are among the poorest and least educated New Yorkers. Almost a third in New York ...

Comments [42]