U.S Families Spent Almost $3,000 on Fuel On Average in 2012
According to the United States EIA (Energy Information Administration), the average U.S household spent $2,912 refueling their vehicles last year. That is 8.8% of the average American’s income, a record high.
According to the EIA, that is the highest amount of money spent on fuel in almost 30 years, except for 2008 due to a massive oil price spike (to $147 per barrel) that took place during that year. Oil prices plummeted after that in December 2008, and in 2009 to the ~$35 per barrel range because oil demand decreased significantly. People simply could not afford $147 per barrel of oil and gas prices that exceeded $5 per gallon in some areas.
We know that high fuel demand is often the cause of high fuel expenditure, however, this time, it is high fuel prices. Gasoline consumption actually decreased to it’s lowest level since 2001. Gas prices, however rose 26.1% in 2011 (partly due to conflicts in the Middle East), and another 3.3% in 2012, which is a bit higher than the 2.9% increase of average household income.
There are so many statistics to take into consideration, making this a complex issue. We should also add that automobiles in general have become more efficient. Even SUVs and pickup trucks have seen their fuel economy increase. That said, they still consume considerably more gasoline than sedans, and with the economy making a comeback, gas costs seem set to only go up.