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Long commutes lead to higher divorce rates

Traffic in Vegas by Mitmall, courtesy of Flickr

A Swedish study has found that a 45 minute or longer commute to work also creates a 40 percent greater risk of divorce.  The researchers combed through data from more than 2 million Swedes between 1995 and 2005 (a period during which  the average trip to the office increased in Sweden by 17 percent from 23 minutes to 27 minutes) to find the connection between long commutes and broken marriages.

According to the last census, commute times in the United States average about 25 minutes. Residents of New York’s outer boroughs have the longest commutes in the nation, averaging 40 minutes one way.

Study author Erika Sandow, Ph.D, asserts that too much time on the road is stressful for the commuter and takes its toll on families. She explains that more households expect men to play their part in family duties, but if they’re not there, then those burdens fall back on everyone else.

On the bright side, Sandow found that people with long commutes earned more money, most likely because someone who’s willing to travel a long distance to get to work can choose the best-paying job from a larger job market.  On the other hand, studies have shown that a divorce ends up costing a person an average of 77 percent of their net worth, compared to couples who stay married.