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County residents are commuters by necessity

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Photo by Kayla Faria. Traffic builds on Interstate 95 during rush hour Tuesday, June 7.

Photo by Kayla Faria. Traffic builds on Interstate 95 during rush hour Tuesday, June 7.

Published on: Friday, June 21, 2013

By Kayla Faria

Prince George’s County residents Deborah Allen, 57, and Wafaa Hussein, 53, would have worked in the county if they could have found jobs in the area.

The county loses more than 50,000 residents to a daily commute that increases the Washington, D.C., population by 79 percent, according to the first commuter-adjusted population estimates published by the U.S. Census Bureau.

“There isn’t any jobs out here,” said Hussein, an administrative assistant at Northwestern University’s Medill News Service on G Street in the District. “I couldn’t find anything locally.”

The Census data shows that Prince George’s County has about 68 jobs for every 100 residents, while the District offers 258 jobs for every 100 residents. The District has the second highest employment to residence ratio behind New York County in New York.

“I’ve always worked (in the District). If I could find a job in Prince George’s County, I would because I hate the commute,” Allen said.

Living in Greenbelt, Allen takes the 8:30 a.m. Metro train from College Park into Washington, D.C. to work at a law firm. Allen’s Metro ride is sometimes delayed because trains are broken down or running late. She used to hit a lot of traffic in Rockville when she drove to work.

Hussein said she isn’t surprised by the Prince George’s County commuter phenomenon. Jobs are “usually in Montgomery County,” she added. 

While Montgomery County loses between 25,000 and 49,999 of its residents to commuting, Bethesda’s population increases by more than 75 percent with the daily commute. It is the largest population percentage increase among all Maryland cities.

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