Houston leads in "super-commuters" with 250,000

Houston leads in "super-commuters" with 250,000

By: Erin Mulvaney

Houston Chronicle

Despite the rising prices at the pump, the number of "supercommuters" has risen 98 percent in Harris County in the last decade, according to a recent study.

According to New York University's Rudin Center for Transportation, the number of people who work in Houston but live in cities as far away as Dallas, Austin, Corpus Christi and McAllen has risen sharply over the past decade.

The study defined a supercommuter as a person who works in a metropolitan area but they live beyond the official boundaries of that metro area.

New York University's Rudin Center for Transportation study used census data to find Harris County has about 250,000 supercommuters that work in the city and live in another. This trend is growing in the major cities in the U.S., the study found.

Eight of the 10 largest metro areas saw an increase in supercommuters, the study found. Harris County showed the greatest growth at 98 percent over the last decade, but primary jobs only grew by a meager 9 percent over the same time period.

The study found supercommuters accounted for 13 percent of the workforce in Dallas and Harris counties in 2009. The two Texas counties found had the greatest percentage of the workforce in the nation.

According to the study, supercommuters are more likely to be under 30 and less likely to earn more than $40,000 per year than the average worker.

The study listed top 10 sources of Harris County's supercommuting workforce and the increase in the last decade:

  • Dallas-Fort Worth, TX 51,900 +218 percent
  • Austin, TX 35,400 +115 percent
  • San Antonio, TX 31,100 +116 percent
  • Beaumont, TX 5,600 +0.0%
  • College Station-Bryan, TX 4,400 -3.5 percent
  • Corpus Christi, TX 4,100 +32.2 percent
  • El Campo, TX 4,000 +0.0 percent
  • Victoria, TX 2,730 +34.0 percent
  • Killeen-Temple, TX 2,660 +50.4 percent
  • McAllen, TX 2,500 +219 percent


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