Couples with Long Commutes 40% More Likely to Separate

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A new study finds people who engage in longer commutes to work may also be putting extra mileage on their relationship.

Conducted by Umea University social geographer Erika Sandow, the findings show long-distance commuters have a 40 percent higher risk of separation compared with typical commuters.

Sandow also identified the first few years of a long commute as being the most challenging for a relationship.

The research was compiled using survey data collected from 60,000 married or cohabiting Swedish adults. Sandow wanted to compare longer travel distances against the impact made to their relationships and lifespans.


“Long-distance commuters have a 40

percent higher risk of separation.”

“Long-distance commuting” in the study was defined as more than a 30-mile journey one way.

The risk to a relationship was found to be greatest in the first five years of a new commute. Beyond that period, the study found partners no longer had a greater chance of separating compared with non-commuters.

“Even though expanding job market regions are good for growth, there are social costs tied to long travel times that should be factored into the debate about broader regions,” Sandow said.

Source: Umea University. Photo source: