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Several commutes in Northern Virginia have gotten worse in recent years, according to nearly a decade of survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

In the latest American Community Survey, residents of counties and large cities were asked questions on a wide range of topics, including the time it takes to get to work.

Virginia drivers have one of the worst commutes in the country, tied at 8th place with an average commute time of 28.5 minutes. Maryland drivers face a 32.8-minute commute on average and Washington motorists are commuting 30.8 minutes.

All of the commute times in Northern Virginia were worse than the state’s average. Arlington had the best average commute at 28.6 minutes and Stafford County had the worst at 41.3 minutes.

Below are the median commute times for each community, along with the earliest data available. The study includes two unincorporated communities: Dale City and Centreville.

  1. Arlington: 28.6 minutes (25.3 minutes in 2007)
  2. Fairfax County: 32.4 minutes (30.8 minutes in 2007)
  3. Alexandria: 32.6 minutes (29.3 minutes in 2007)
  4. Loudoun County: 35 minutes (33.6 minutes in 2007)
  5. Centreville: 35.8 minutes (35.9 minutes in 2010)
  6. Dale City: 36.7 minutes (41.1 minutes in 2009)
  7. Spotsylvania County: 38 minutes (39.8 minutes in 2007)
  8. Prince William County: 39 minutes (37.1 minutes in 2007)
  9. Fauquier County: 39.1 minutes (36.4 minutes in 2007)
  10. Stafford County: 40.2 minutes (41.3 minutes in 2007)

Census data for more Northern Virginia communities will be released in October.

(9) comments

Amy Wilson

Takes me about the same amount of time, or less, to get to the Navy Yard from Woodbridge as my coworkers in Fairfax, Arlington & Bethesda. Slugs are a great thing. :-)


Don't blame the author, blame the Census Bureau. It asks "How long does it take for you to get to work?" regardless of where you work. That way everybody can answer the question. But the data are basically useless for serious planning purposes. People working for a major employer in their county drive shorter trips to work, but their neighbors may drive twice as far if their job is farther away, e.g., Dulles Airport or Columbia, MD. You're better off asking Google Maps for drive times to your work from possible new home locations.


This is a terribly written article. The author wants to say that things are getting worse, but the data does not fully support the narrative.

Joe Normandy

Attention all elected Supervisors, keep approving more and more growth and development so you can get greater kickbacks and PAC money. Clearly you are doing a wonderful job stealing precious family time from your voters, polluting more and stressing out more and more drivers. But on the plus side, your developer friends who live in huge insulated homes can pay you, help your PAC and you get the love from the Chamber of Commerce as they endorse land rape.
Good job Supervisors!

What a crock. Where do these commuters work...around the corner from where they live? It takes an hour or more to get to DC even if you live just outside the beltway and sometimes when you live inside the beltway. I live in PWC near I 95 and can't even drive to Alexandria in NON rush hour in less than 45 minutes.

Joseph George

When I commute northbound during the week rush hours, it only takes me 35-40 minutes via the HOT/HOV Lanes.

Allen Muchnick

"Median commute time" means that half the commutes are longer than stated. Most job holders in the outer suburbs do not work in DC, plenty of people hold jobs that are fairly close to home, and ridesharing or transit can be faster than driving solo.

Joseph George

Sounds about right.


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