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Mobile Danes: We now commute 42.5 kilometres to and from work

On average, Danes commute 42.5 kilometres to and from work, shows a new analysis. That is 9 per cent more than 10 years ago, and it indicates that Danes have become more willing to take on jobs further from home - to the benefit of both companies and workers themselves.

Publiceret: 15.02.2018
Af Peter G. H. Madsen mail

Danes have become more willing to spend time and energy travelling to work over the past 10 years. Whereas Danish salaried workers commuted just under 39 kilometres in 2008, the average commute distance has increased to 42.5 kilometres today.

These are among the results of an analysis that the think tank Kraka has carried out upon the request of the Danish Transport Federation.
Director of the Danish Transport Federation Michael Svane sees the development as a sign that Danes are willing to travel to the job where their competences will be most useful.

“There are a lot of companies that have difficulty finding qualified employees these days. That is precisely why it is so important that there are many people who are willing to drive a bit further to and from work,” says Michael Svane, and draws attention to a study by DI showing that four out of ten companies have unsuccessfully tried to recruit in the past year.

“The further Danes are willing to commute to and from work, the greater the chance of finding the job best suited for them,” says Michael Svane.

Read also: Young Danes have long commutes to the nearest vocational college

More commuting in the future

Kraka has also examined how much time car commuters spend travelling to and from work annually. In total, drivers spend 146 hours per year - equivalent to six days and two hours in the car. That is an increase of 11 hours since 2008.

Commute distances could potentially continue to increase. This may happen in step with expansion of infrastructure and innovation of transportation methods - for example in the form of self-driving cars. This could get Danes to travel even further, says Michael Svane.
Kraka’s analysis suggests that if recent developments continue, the average commute distance in 2025 will be around 46 kilometres - 3.5 kilometres longer than it is today.

“The decisive question is whether it will also mean that Danes spend more time commuting. As Kraka’s analysis shows, the increase in commute distance in recent years has gone hand in hand with longer travel time. The question is whether this will still be the case in the future,” says Director of the Danish Transport Federation Michael Svane.

He points out that the optimal situation would be that Danes are able to travel further in the same amount of time. That would benefit both commuters and businesses.

“But it will require investment in both roads and public transportation to prevent longer commute distances from leading to increased travel time,” says Michael Svane.

The further Danes are willing to commute to and from work, the greater the chance of finding the job best suited for them.

DIRECTOR MICHAEL SVANE, DI
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PUBLISHED: 2/15/2018 LAST MODIFIED: 2/15/2018