One may be the loneliest number, but it’s the number of people most Americans haul to work each day.

New research has found that 76% of people age 16 and older drove to work by themselves last year. That’s nearly equal to the all-time high of 77% who admitted such in 2005.

Other popular forms of transportation for getting to work have dipped considerably over the years. Carpooling, public transit and walking have all dropped since 1980, with carpooling, in particular, going belly-up at a quicker rate than your neighborhood Blockbuster Video. In 2012, a hair under 10% of people squeezed into sedans with neighbors and co-workers and endured chit-chat about "last night's game" as a means of getting to the office – that’s down 12% from 1980, the biggest drop of any mode of transportation.

How People Got to Work in 2012
  • Drive alone – 76%
  • Carpool – 9.7%
  • Public transit – 5%
  • Walk – 2.8%
  • Work from home – 4.4%

Aside from driving alone, working from home is the only other trend that grew since 1980. It nearly doubled, which makes sense given the technological capabilities that exist, enabling people to hang out in their jammies on the clock and get a jump on all the housework they need to do.

[The Wall Street Journal]