What Time Do You Arrive At Work? (Nate Silver Knows.)

Nate Silver

What time do you arrive to work in the morning? How about the rest of America? Those are the questions Nate Silver and his team at fivethirtyeight.com set out to find the answer to in a recent study. And, based on their past results, these guys typically find the correct answers. You may recognize the name Nate Silver — he is the guy (nerd?) who correctly predicted the winner in 49 of the 50 states correctly in the 2008 U.S. Presidential election... and 50 out of 50 states in the 2012 election.


Silver uses loads of data and secret proprietary algorithms to arrive at his precise political predictions. He has used similar mathematical models to forecast the value and career path of Major League Baseball prospects — just like something out of the film Moneyball. This time, Silver skips making predictions, instead mining loads of data in order to produce a visualization of the median start times for workers in cities all across America. Here is the graph of the 35 "metro areas with the largest population of workers" neatly illustrating what he came up with:

work time

As you can see, the data is grouped according to U.S. region. Minneapolis had a median start time of 7:54, which is tied with Indianapolis for the earliest start time in the Midwest. (And also happens to be my approximate median start time at work...) Among all U.S. cities studied, Hinesville, Georgia was the earliest of all the birds, arriving at a median time of 7:01 in order to get the worm. The latest rising city in America? New York — the city that never sleeps apparently also sleeps in frequently. The data indicates those office-ing in Manhattan don't arrive until a median time of 8:24. So Minnesota Connected readers: What time do you get to work? Do you make it before or after 7:54 am?   Photos via: fivethirtyeight.com — Wikipedia  

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