In 2017, workers in mainland state capitals (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth) had consistently longer commute times than those living elsewhere. These city workers typically spent more than an hour travelling to and from work each day. The average was about 66 minutes. This is a 20% increase from the average of around 55 minutes in 2002.
As in past surveys, Sydney had the longest average daily commutes (71 minutes). In 2017, it was followed by Brisbane (67 minutes), Melbourne (65 minutes), Perth (59 minutes) and Adelaide (56 minutes). Reasons for the increasing commute time vary among different cities but may include increased road congestion, urban expansion and poor public transport services.
Average daily commuting times across Australia also increased from about 49 minutes in 2002 to almost one hour in 2017.
Workers in the Northern Territory had the shortest commutes in 2017, averaging close to 35 minutes per day.
The HILDA analysis covers all workers aged 15 years and older. This includes those with commuting times of zero (that is, who work from home).
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