Population, Employment Trends and Commuting Patterns

By bringing together the two demographic factors of population (where people live) and employment (where people work), transportation planners can begin to understand the commuting needs that exist throughout the region. Historically, workers within the eight counties of the OKI region have exhibited varying commuting patterns.

Commuting Destination by County

Over time, commuting patterns in the OKI Region have been relatively stable. However, up until about 2010, commuters in the outer counties have been increasingly more likely to commute within their residence county. Moreover, commuters in Hamilton County have been increasingly more likely to leave their residence county. This decade, however, that trend has stabilized, as job growth has been strong within Hamilton County. Also of note: The growth of residents in the surrounding counties staying in their home county for work has slowed. Today, Hamilton County remains the county where commuters are most likely to stay in their county of residence for work. Campbell County continues to have the most commuters to other counties—with many of them traveling across the river to Cincinnati jobs. The following pie charts show the commuting breakdown for each county in the OKI Region for the 2011-2015 time period.

Commute Transportation Mode

Within the OKI region, 82.7 percent of the population drives to work alone—down from 86 percent at the beginning of the decade. Regionally, 7.8 percent of the population carpools and about 2 percent uses public transit. However, these numbers vary by county. In Hamilton County, only 79.8 percent of the population drives alone to work, while 3.8 percent of the population commutes by public transit. On the other hand, in Warren County, 86.7 percent of the population drives alone to work. Dearborn County residents have the longest mean travel time to work at 28.7 minutes, while Campbell County residents have the shortest average commute at 22.4 minutes.

While 86 percent of the total population of the OKI region drove alone to work, less than 75 percent of African American, Hispanic, low-income populations and people with disabilities did so. The Hispanic population was most likely to carpool. African American and low-income populations were the highest percent of commuters who used transit. Those living in poverty walked to work with the greatest frequency.

Environmental Justice Groups

The concept of Environmental Justice (EJ) is rooted in Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discriminatory practices in programs and activities receiving federal funds. Transportation planning regulations issued in October 1993 require that metropolitan planning processes be consistent with Title VI. In February 1994, President Bill Clinton signed an executive order which amplified the provisions of Title VI by requiring federal agencies to make “achieving environmental justice part of its mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, policies and activities on minority and low income populations” (Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low Income Populations).

In compliance with this directive, OKI incorporated EJ evaluation into its long-range planning process. Specific groups in the OKI region identified for EJ evaluation include the elderly, minority populations, people with disabilities, populations in poverty and zero car households.

EJ Group Definitions

Elderly: Persons aged 65 or older
Minority Population: Persons from every racial category except White Alone plus all Hispanic persons
People with Disabilities: Non-institutionalized persons with any disability
Population in Poverty: Persons below the poverty level
Zero Car Households: Occupied housing units for which no car is available

EJ Concentrations

Concentrations of EJ groups within the OKI region were identified by establishing thresholds equal to the regional averages for the various target populations according to Five Year American Community Survey 2013 to 2017 data.

OKI classified geographic areas both equaling or exceeding the threshold values and having a numerical incidence of more than 250 as target zones for impact assessment purposes. Block groups or tracts were used as the basis for these geographic areas, depending on the variable and availability of data. Maps of these geographic areas and how they related to projects in the plan can be found in the Socio-Economic section.

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