- High levels of commuting are mainly concentrated in densely populated areas, including capital cities and large metropolitan areas at the core of Europe
- Green transport policies are among the most obvious in these areas. Equally important is the development of clean technologies
- Low accessibility in many peripheral, rural and disadvantaged regions suggests that commuting between regions is somehow scarce
Observations for policy
High levels of commuting are mainly concentrated in densely populated areas, including large metropolitan areas and capital cities across the many core areas in Europe.
Green transport policies are among the most obvious in these areas. Equally important is the development of clean technologies. As such, these initiatives support the targets defined by the Europe 2020 strategy.
Commuting represents a major challenge for transport policies, especially at the metropolitan scale. The ability to tackle this problem is central to developing a sustainable transport system.
Europe 2020 is the growth strategy of the European Union. The focus is on smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. These three mutually reinforcing priorities shall help to deliver high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion. At EU level, and within each Member State, concrete objectives, targets, and flagship initiatives have been defined to boost growth and jobs.
Transport is repeatedly quoted in the Europe 2020 strategy as a major source of GHG emissions, but also an obstacle to the development of energy efficiency across Europe.
The map shows the number of people commuting as a share of total employment. The higher shares of commuters are mainly to be found in the urban cores, particularly in Central and Northern Europe encompassing cities that are important global nodes. Among the reasons claimed to justify this situation, literature says that capital cities normally concentrate power, job opportunities, and transport networks.
In other words, major metropolitan areas extending beyond regional and national borders. The same applies to regions and countries that are subject of intense exchanges with neighbouring areas. In contrast, many peripheral, rural and disadvantaged regions with low accessibility also demonstrate low levels of commuting.
Concepts and methods
This indicator derives from Eurostat’s employment and commuting among NUTS 2 regions. It represents the ratio between total employment and people commuting to another region or country. As such, this variable measures the relation between population commuting to other regions or countries, and population employed in the same region or country. This means that those who work in a different NUTS 2 region than the place of residence are commuters.