Average US Household Spent 4% of Income Before Taxes on Gasoline Last Year

Gas Prices - Sucking up DollarsAccording to a recently released report from the department of Independent Statistics and Analysis of the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average US household spent $2,912 on gasoline in 2012.

According to the report, $2,912 works out to roughly 4% of the average US household's income before taxes. Excluding 2008 (in which US households also spent roughly 4% of their pre-tax income on gasoline), this was the highest percentage of household income to be spent on gasoline in nearly three decades. You would have to go all the way back to the early '80s (when stagflation was ravaging the country) to find a time when Americans spent so much of their paychecks on gasoline.

In the late '70s/early '80s, American households were spending roughly 5% of their pre-tax incomes on gasoline. This percentage slowly dropped throughout the '80s and '90s, hitting a low of around 2% in the late '90s, thanks to a combination of high household incomes and lower gasoline prices.

Average household expenditures vs. Percent of mean household income

US gasoline consumption is decreasing, thanks, in large part, to efficiency gains in automobiles. The problem? Gasoline prices continue to rise, up 3.3% in 2012 and 26.1% the year before.

According to the report, gasoline expenditures were up 26.1% in 2012, increasing at six times the pace of nominal household income.

Source: EIA.gov - US household expenditures for gasoline account for nearly 4% of pretax income

Filed under: General Knowledge

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