The Countries with the Longest and Shortest Commutes

As part of our global mobility study, Dalia asked 52 countries around the world about their daily commute. Think your daily commute is bad? Check out rankings below to see how your country compares.

Top 5 Countries with the Longest Commutes

5. Kenya – 1 hour and 20 minutes

How is it that the country that once had a 30 mile long traffic jam lasting 3 entire days only comes fifth on this list? According to Bloomberg, road infrastructure has failed to match Kenya’s rapid development, particularly in the capital, Nairobi, where $570,000 in productivity is lost due to traffic jams each day. Hopefully, these jams will be a thing of the past, as Kenya currently has multiple large-scale projects to address transport needs.

4. Hong Kong – 1 hour and 30 minutes

In Hong Kong, congestion, traffic and a recent surge in vehicle ownership leaves workers with an hour and a half long commute each day. However, the growing culture of cycling and bike sharing could make Hong Kong cleaner and less stressful for commuters.

3. India – 1 hour and 31 minutes

In 2011, two Indian cities, Bangalore and New Dehli were ranked among the top 10 worst cities on IBM’s commuter pain index. It looks like traffic in India hasn’t improved much since that survey was conducted.

2. United Arab Emirates – 1 hour and 36 minutes

With an average travel time of 96 minutes, it’s no wonder commuters in the UAE are stressed out. Most of the heaviest traffic comes from the UAE’s most populous city, Dubai, where there is estimated to be one car for every two residents.

1. Israel – 1 hour and 37 minutes

Our survey finds Israelis have the longest commute in the world at 1 hour and 37 minutes of travel time each day. Last year, a Smith Group poll conducted with Job Karov found that 73% of Israeli workers would change jobs and take a pay cut just for a shorter commute. An OECD report also found that Israel’s roads are 3.5 times more crowded than the OECD average. And, for Palestinians traveling through Israel with work permits, the commute is even longer, as waiting in checkpoints can take up to several hours each way. The Best Commute?

On the other end of the spectrum, Japan came in first place with the shortest daily commute of just 39 minutes each day. But shorter doesn’t mean better. Although Japanese transportation is incredibly efficient (if your train is late by even a few minutes you can get a certificate from the train company to give to your employer), the price is comfort. Japan’s notorious train pushers, or oshiya, have no reservations in forcibly cramming passengers in the train before it leaves.

Check out the full ranking here to see how your country compares:

So what are people doing to reduce their commute time? Check out our mobility website and find out what the future of mobility technology might look like around the world.