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One of the benefits of pandemic shutdowns was not having to sit in traffic. 

With many people stuck at home, driving fell significantly in 2020, dropping 40% in April 2020, but largely rebounding by the end of the year, according to the INRIX 2021 Global Traffic Scorecard.

Traffic is a sign of economic recovery. Since 2020, traffic patterns have mostly shifted back toward pre-Covid levels, but most cities have not quite returned to the levels of congestion seen in 2019.

Less congestion means drivers saved money in terms of time lost compared to before the pandemic. In 2021, the average U.S. driver spent $564 thanks to traffic misery, in 2020 it was just $168, but in 2019 it was $812. Despite the savings over 2019, drivers in the U.S. are spending as much as 60% more on gas. Nationally, traffic congestion in the U.S. cost drivers more than $53 billion in 2021, a 41% increase from last year.

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In the U.S., drivers lost an average of 36 hours in 2021 due to congestion, up from 26 hours last year but still down from 99 hours in 2019. New Yorkers lost 102 hours, Chicagoans lost 104 hours, and in Philadelphia drivers lost 90 hours of precious time to traffic congestion, and that's still a drop of 27%-37% since 2019.

But American drivers are lucky compared to those in London, which tops this year's list of cities with the worst traffic. London drivers lost an average of 148 hours to congestion, at a cost of $1,211 per driver.

To determine the cities that have the worst traffic, INRIX collects billions of anonymous data points daily from an array of sources, including connected vehicles, mobile devices, navigation units, fleet vehicles, road and garage infrastructure, and publicly available information on incidents.

Economic costs are calculated based on a riveting report by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration which determines your time is worth $15.60 an hour. INRIX calculates time loss as the difference between driving during commute hours versus driving at night with little traffic. 

Based on the 2021 Global Traffic Scorecard, these are the cities that have the worst traffic in the world. The financial cost of congestion was only available for cities in the U.S., U.K., and Germany.

london england uk sh
6 paris champs elysees sh
25 brussels belgium sh
4 moscow russia kremlin sh
3 new york traffic sh
2  illinois chicago sh
rome traffic sh
1 bogata colombia sh
19 Palermo sicily sh
istanbul traffic turkey sh
2 bucharest romania sh
Lyon France sh
18 Philadelphia sh
28 Rostov-on-Don, Russia sh
27 hungary budapest sh
20 dublin ireland sh
turin italy sh
6 Boston sh
bursa turkey sh
11 st petersburg russia sh
poznan poland sh
22 toronto Lucky-photographer : Shutterstock
26 mexico city sh
munich germany sh
wroclaw poland sh
ufa russia sh
nimes france sh
8 marseille france sh
samara russia sh
15 Athens Greece parthenon sh