More than 20,000 Merced County residents commute out-of-county for work, according to Census

March 6, 2013 

Just how far will people travel to get a job?

Astonishingly far.

Commuting from Merced to Stanislaus County is bad enough, but just-released Census Bureau statistics show more than 200 Merced County residents work far away as Sacramento County.

According to the data, more than 21,000 of Merced County's workers commute out of the county for jobs. Their top destination is neighboring Stanislaus County, where 10,053 of them earn a living. Santa Clara County came in second for the place most Merced County residents travel to for work, with 4,118 commuters.

The data showed 1,610 Merced County commuters travel to San Joaquin County, 1,362 to Fresno County, 1,198 to Madera County, 755 to Alameda County, 653 to Monterey County, 640 to San Benito County, 340 to Santa Cruz County, 284 to San Mateo County, 241 to Contra Costa County and 207 to Sacramento County.

The Census Bureau says the United States has nearly 600,000 such "megacommuters" — those who travel more than 90 minutes and 50 miles each way to work. Only one in 122 workers makes such a commute.

Nationwide, 27.4 percent of workers commute to jobs in another county, according to the Census Bureau.

The report also found nearly 22 percent of Stanislaus County’s workers — about 44,000 of them — commute out of the county for jobs. Their top destination is San Joaquin County, where 17,000 of them earn a living.

An additional 16,000 Stanislaus residents routinely trek west, over the hills and into the Bay Area for work.

Bee staff writer J.N. Sbranti can be reached at jnsbranti@modbee.com or (209) 578-2196.

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