August 1, 2013

Gas Costs Versus Median Income by State

Some friends on Facebook were talking about the higher cost of gasoline where they live and I concluded that yes their gas is higher but their wages are higher too so it evens out.   Then I wondered if the local cost of gas might be at least somewhat proportional to the local wage level.  

The data below is from the sources : Average gasoline prices by state from AAA site and household median income for 2010-2011 from the Census.    I estimated annual gasoline costs based on a typical 12,000 annual miles driven and 25 MPG.    Then I figured the % of median income that this annual gas spending represents.   Of course I assume that annual miles driving and MPG vary some by location as well but I'm ignoring that for simplicity.

Here are all the numbers :



Gas  Median income  Annual gas gas / income
Alabama  $3.37 $44,191 $1,619 3.7%
Alaska  $4.07 $65,720 $1,955 3.0%
Arizona  $3.55 $48,484 $1,705 3.5%
Arkansas  $3.43 $39,832 $1,645 4.1%
California  $3.99 $59,209 $1,913 3.2%
Colorado  $3.55 $61,154 $1,704 2.8%
Connecticut  $4.01 $67,784 $1,923 2.8%
Delaware  $3.66 $53,805 $1,755 3.3%
District of Columbia  $3.88 $56,895 $1,860 3.3%
Florida  $3.59 $47,353 $1,724 3.6%
Georgia  $3.49 $46,867 $1,675 3.6%
Hawaii  $4.37 $61,308 $2,097 3.4%
Idaho  $3.82 $49,293 $1,833 3.7%
Illinois  $3.84 $55,534 $1,841 3.3%
Indiana  $3.62 $47,526 $1,737 3.7%
Iowa  $3.61 $52,781 $1,732 3.3%
Kansas  $3.58 $48,451 $1,717 3.5%
Kentucky  $3.57 $43,860 $1,714 3.9%
Louisiana  $3.48 $44,484 $1,671 3.8%
Maine  $3.76 $49,572 $1,807 3.6%
Maryland  $3.67 $66,928 $1,760 2.6%
Massachusetts  $3.73 $62,634 $1,792 2.9%
Michigan  $3.68 $50,118 $1,764 3.5%
Minnesota  $3.58 $58,094 $1,720 3.0%
Mississippi  $3.39 $37,427 $1,628 4.3%
Missouri  $3.47 $49,615 $1,665 3.4%
Montana  $3.71 $43,607 $1,778 4.1%
Nebraska  $3.64 $52,498 $1,746 3.3%
Nevada  $3.72 $55,559 $1,783 3.2%
New Hampshire  $3.68 $68,187 $1,766 2.6%
New Jersey  $3.58 $68,071 $1,718 2.5%
New Mexico  $3.56 $44,819 $1,707 3.8%
New York  $3.92 $52,683 $1,880 3.6%
North Carolina  $3.52 $44,393 $1,690 3.8%
North Dakota  $3.70 $52,176 $1,776 3.4%
Ohio  $3.54 $48,567 $1,698 3.5%
Oklahoma  $3.50 $48,137 $1,681 3.5%
Oregon  $3.87 $52,758 $1,859 3.5%
Pennsylvania  $3.66 $52,103 $1,756 3.4%
Rhode Island  $3.80 $54,879 $1,825 3.3%
South Carolina  $3.30 $43,566 $1,586 3.6%
South Dakota  $3.70 $50,977 $1,777 3.5%
Tennessee  $3.41 $41,979 $1,635 3.9%
Texas  $3.51 $49,172 $1,683 3.4%
Utah  $3.74 $63,329 $1,794 2.8%
Vermont  $3.75 $53,914 $1,800 3.3%
Virginia  $3.46 $64,095 $1,662 2.6%
Washington  $3.93 $61,241 $1,884 3.1%
West Virginia  $3.63 $41,073 $1,741 4.2%
Wisconsin  $3.66 $53,605 $1,756 3.3%
Wyoming  $3.67 $55,367 $1,760 3.2%

Overall I don't see all that much of a correlation between gas prices and incomes at the state level.

Here are the states listed with their respective ranks as far as gas costs and incomes and then the delta between the gas cost and income rankings :



gas income delta
Alabama  50 44 -6
Alaska  2 5 3
Arizona  37 35 -2
Arkansas  47 50 3
California  4 12 8
Colorado  38 11 -27
Connecticut  3 3 0
Delaware  26 20 -6
District of Columbia  7 14 7
Florida  31 39 8
Georgia  43 40 -3
Hawaii  1 9 8
Idaho  10 32 22
Illinois  9 16 7
Indiana  29 38 9
Iowa  30 22 -8
Kansas  34 36 2
Kentucky  35 45 10
Louisiana  44 42 -2
Maine  12 31 19
Maryland  22 4 -18
Massachusetts  15 8 -7
Michigan  21 29 8
Minnesota  32 13 -19
Mississippi  49 51 2
Missouri  45 30 -15
Montana  17 46 29
Nebraska  27 25 -2
Nevada  16 15 -1
New Hampshire  20 1 -19
New Jersey  33 2 -31
New Mexico  36 41 5
New York  6 24 18
North Carolina  40 43 3
North Dakota  19 26 7
Ohio  39 34 -5
Oklahoma  42 37 -5
Oregon  8 23 15
Pennsylvania  25 27 2
Rhode Island  11 18 7
South Carolina  51 47 -4
South Dakota  18 28 10
Tennessee  48 48 0
Texas  41 33 -8
Utah  14 7 -7
Vermont  13 19 6
Virginia  46 6 -40
Washington  5 10 5
West Virginia  28 49 21
Wisconsin  24 21 -3
Wyoming  23 17 -6

Again I don't see much consistent correlation between gas cost and income.   Sometimes its pretty close with 19 states having ranks within 5 places.   However theres 15 states where the ranks are 10 or more apart.   Connecticut and Tennessee are exactly the same ranks.   Virginia has the widest difference with the 46th cheapest gas and 6th highest income.

Clearly you can't just assume that gas prices are proportional to incomes.

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2 comments:

  1. I live in NJ. I just filled up today and the gas was 3.479 per gallon, and 68K average income for NJ seems high. I guess the big time ballers are driving that figure up, cause most people are in the 40-50K range.

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  2. Rich Uncle, The income amounts are median household incomes. SO 50% of households make more and 50% make less. Very high income people wouldn't skew that number upwards since its the median rather than the mean. And its household figure so combines incomes from anyone working in the home.

    Jim

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