More than two in three drive to work, Census reveals

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MEDIA RELEASE
23 October 2017
133/2017

More than two in three drive to work, Census reveals


Driving remains the dominant method of travel to work in Australia, according to new data from the 2016 Census of Population and Housing, which counted 69 per cent of the working population (over 6.5 million people) commuting by car.

A further 5 per cent (490,000 people) travelled as a passenger on Census day, Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Train travel was the most common method of public transport in 2016, continuing this trend since 2011 as the third most common method of travel to work.

Nearly half a million people (488,000) caught the train as their only method of travel to work, while a further 104,000 people took a train and bus, and 86,000 who drove a car and caught the train.

While 404,000 people used multiple methods to travel to work in 2016 (up from 357,000 in 2011), more than 500,000 people worked from home in 2016 (up from nearly 444,000 in 2011).

Census Program Manager, Bindi Kindermann said the results show interesting insights into how Australians start their work day, helping governments, councils, business and other organisations plan for the future.

“Australians are still very much primarily reliant on cars, with the Census revealing that car was the most common method of travel to work in all states, territories and capital cities,” Ms Kindermann said.

“When we look at the capital cities individually, the data tells us some interesting stories. Unsurprisingly, residents of Sydney were significant users of public transport, with one in five single-method trips by either train, bus, tram or ferry.

“Residents of Adelaide recorded the highest rate of people who drive to work, accounting for 80 per cent of single-method trips while residents of Canberra recorded the highest rate of people walking or cycling to work, reflecting perhaps Canberra’s smaller size, and town planning.

“This latest Census release shows how and where we work as well as important information relating to internal migration, education and method of travel to work.”

Census data is available free online. Use one of our easy tools such as QuickStats and Community Profiles to access the latest data for your area or topic of interest.

Data from the 2016 Census is now available on the ABS website, www.abs.gov.au/census


METHOD OF TRAVEL TO WORK

Method of travel to work
2016
2016 (%)
2011
2011 (%)

Car, as driver
6,574,571
68.7%
6,059,971
68.2%
Car, as passenger
489,922
5.1%
537,637
6.1%
Motorbike/scooter
64,580
0.7%
64,342
0.7%
Truck
85,892
0.9%
104,746
1.2%
Taxi
19,725
0.2%
22,076
0.2%
Train
488,012
5.1%
388,012
4.4%
Bus
323,201
3.4%
301,187
3.4%
Tram
58,736
0.6%
46,500
0.5%
Ferry
11,858
0.1%
10,889
0.1%
Bicycle
107,756
1.1%
103,913
1.2%
Other
73,512
0.8%
66,616
0.7%
Multiple methods
404,220
4.2%
356,634
4.0%
Walked only
370,427
3.9%
377,043
4.2%
Worked at home
503,582
5.3%
443,941
5.0%

* Excludes “Not stated” and “Did not go to work”


Method of travel to work – by Greater Capital City1
Car, as driver (%)
Train, bus, tram or ferry (%)
Bicycle or walked only (%)

Sydney
65.5%
20.9%
5.9%
Melbourne
74.4%
13.4%
5.4%
Brisbane
75.3%
10.5%
4.9%
Adelaide
79.9%
8.3%
4.0%
Perth
79.3%
8.1%
3.8%
Hobart
76.0%
5.3%
8.1%
Darwin
75.2%
6.8%
7.1%
Canberra
74.9%
7.1%
8.4%

1 - Single method of travel only. Excludes “Worked from home”, “Not stated”, “Did not go to work” and all multi-response categories