Approximately 1.7 million people spend more than 90 minutes commuting each way, and approximately 2.2 million workers travel at least 50 miles in each direction. Either qualify as "extreme," according to the Census Bureau, which authored the study.
Then there are those poor souls who do both – about 600,000 Americans who spend more than 90 minutes traveling at least 50 miles in one direction. They are "megacommuters," the study says.
They make up less than 1 percent of the U.S. workforce.
Three quarters of megacommuters are male. They are likely to be older, married, make a higher-than-average salary and depart for work before 6 a.m., and live in San Francisco, Washington D.C., Los Angeles or New Jersey.
Data for the study was culled from the American Community Survey, a nationwide survey designed as part of the census that provides demographic, social, economic and housing information.
Some other notable highlights that emerged on American commuters:
- The average commute for a U.S. citizen is 25.5 minutes.
- Approximately 8.1 percent of Americans had commutes of 60 minutes or more. On the flipside, 13.4 percent of Americans who work outside the home traveled less than 10 minutes to their job.
- Between 1997 and 2010, the number of Americans who work from home has increased 45 percent, from 9.2 million to 13.4 million.
- Of those with commutes of 60 minutes or more, 23 percent of commuters use public transportation compared with 5.4 percent of all workers.
Pete Bigelow is an associate editor at AOL Autos. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @PeterCBigelow.