Commutes in NL getting longer as more people don't live where they work

Residents of the Netherlands travel ever greater distances between their homes and their work, according to a new study by the Netherlands' environmental assessment agency PBL into the daily journeys made by people in the Netherlands between 1995 and 2016.

The researchers found that more and more people don't live where they work. A third of Netherlands residents now travel back and forth between different cities, compared to 27 percent in 1995. An increasing number of people are traveling back and forth from Utrecht or The Hague to Amsterdam, or from Noord-Brabant and Gelderland to the Randstad. And that increased the average commute from 14.6 kilometers in the mid 90s to 19 kilometers now.

Highly educated people are more likely to commute between cities than people with a lower education. People with a higher education more often work in a place other than where they live - 40 percent of highly educated people don't live where they work, compared to 25 percent of less well educated people. 

The longer commutes mean more traffic jams and air pollution. But on the plus site, the fact that more people are commuting between cities means that people can more often find a job that matched what they are good at or what they want to do, even if that job is not in the municipality where they live.

PBL also looked into how far people travel to go shopping or visit someone, and found that for these things Netherlands residents prefer to stick close to home. Compared to 20 years ago, these distances hardly changed.