Indicator: Percent of residents aged 16 years and older that walk to work, alternative to Annual number of walk trips per capita
Description: Active modes of transport – bicycling and walking alone and in combination with public transit – offer opportunities for physical activity, which is associated with lowering rates of heart disease and stroke, diabetes, colon and breast cancer, dementia and depression. This indicator presents data from the American Community Survey (ACS) from the US Census Bureau on the percent of residents aged 16 years and older that walk to work. This indicator can provide some indication of the walkability of a community for those that commute to work.
Data Limitations: The denominator of the indicator is limited to individuals with paid work. Commute trips to school are not included. Only the principal mode based on daily frequency or longest distance was used in the case of multi-modal trips on the same day or during the sample week.
Indicator Source: US Census Bureau, ACS tables DP03 “Selected Economic Characteristics” from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml
Indicator Calculation Methodology: The ACS tables B08006 were downloaded from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml for California counties and the state. The data on commuting to work for workers 16 years and over, mode of transportation “walked” was selected from the tables. Estimates for males and females were aggregated to obtaine a total population estimate and standard error. The denominator was the total population aged 16 years and older that had a paid job in the week previous to the survey, and the numerator was the number of people within that population that walked to work.
Data Collection Methodology: “The American Community Survey (ACS) is a national survey that uses continuous measurement methods. In this survey, a series of monthly samples produce annual estimates for the same small areas (census tracts and block groups) formerly surveyed via the decennial census long-form sample.” The ACS question related to means of transportation asks respondents “How did the person usually get to work last week?” Although commutes may involve multiple transportation modes (e.g., walking to a train station and then taking a train), respondents are restricted to indicating the single travel mode used for the longest distance. (Source: https://www.census.gov/hhes/commuting/about/faq.html#Q3).
The ACS prevalence estimates are period estimates that describe the average characteristics of the population in a period of data collection. The multiyear estimates are averages of the characteristics over several years. Multiyear estimates cannot be used to say what was going on in any particular year in the period, only what the average value is over the full time period. More information can be found here: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/methodology.html.
Program URL Link: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/Pages/HealthyCommunityIndicators.aspx
Geographic Granularity: County
Reporting Cycle: 3 Years
Reporting Lag: 4 Years
1. Peck, C., Logan, J., Malzlish, N., & Van Court, J. (n.d.). The Burden of Chronic Disease. Retrieved November 16, 2015, from www.cdph.ca.gov: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/Documents/BurdenReportOnline%2004-04-13.pdf
2. Let’s Get Health California Task Force. (2012). Let’s Get Healthy California Task Force Final Report. Let’s Get Healthy CA Task Force. Weblink: https://www.chhs.ca.gov/pages/LGHCTF.aspx
3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Step It Up! The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General; 2015. Weblink: https://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/calls/walking-and-walkable-communities/call-to-action-walking-and-walkable-communites.pdf
4. Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Branch. (2014). Obesity in California: The Weight of the State. California Department of Public Health. Weblink: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/cpns/Documents/ObesityinCaliforniaReport.pdf
5. California Department of Public Health. (2013, November 20). CDPH Healthy Communities Data and Indicators Project. Retrieved November 17, 2015, from www.cdph.ca.gov: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/Documents/HCI_Transportation_to_work_42_Narrative_and_examples_10-2-13.pdf
6. Office of Health Equity. (August 2015). Portrait of Promise: California Statewide Plan to Promote Health Equity and Mental Health Equity. California Department of Public Health. Weblink: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/Documents/CDPHOHEDisparityReportAug2015.pdf
7. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Step It Up! The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General; 2015. Weblink: https://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/calls/walking-and-walkable-communities/call-to-action-walking-and-walkable-communites.pdf
8. California Department of Public Health. (2012, March 12). Health Co-Benefits and Transportation-Related Reductions in Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Bay Area. California Department of Public Health. Weblink: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/Documents/ITHIM_Technical_Report11-21-11rev3-6-12.pdf