Thursday, January 15, 2015
People Walking or Biking to Work Are Mostly Low Income Workers Making Less Than $10,000 A Year
Data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that most of the walking and biking used in the U.S. as a way of commuting to work is done by low-income workers. As income levels increase, the levels of walking and biking decrease.
What the numbers show
The study looked at wage earners in 10 different progressive wage levels. Those who did the most walking and bicycling to work made less than $10,000 a year. Interestingly, in the wage category of $25,000-$34,999, the amount of walkers and bicyclists dropped almost in half. The numbers keep dropping as income levels increase, until the $150,000 and over category. Then the amount of people walking or riding their bicycles to work begins to increase again.
What the study tells us
Whether or not workers owned a vehicle was a big factor in the study. The study showed that the more vehicles people own, the less they are to walk or bike to work. In fact, workers who had no vehicle at all walked four times as much and biked 3.5 times more than workers with one vehicle. While it is true that more people in general walk and bike for health benefits, many low-income wage earners walk and bike out of necessity because they are unable to afford a vehicle.
In addition to income levels, other results showed men and women on an equal basis with walking to work but more men biking to work; more young people age 16-24 walk and bike to work; and people with children are less likely to walk or bike to work.