Which States Are Most Affected by Soaring Gas Prices?

Lack of money for gasoline and fuel.
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With inflation rising to 7.9% last month and consumer prices the highest in 40 years, Russia’s widely condemned invasion of Ukraine has upset global energy markets that were already weakened by the COVID-19 pandemic. These shocks have been felt most poignantly (and most vocally) at the gas pumps.

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According to AAA, the national average for unleaded gasoline jumped to a high of $4.33 a gallon on March 11 and the consumer price index says that the price of gasoline surged 6.6% in February 2022, up 38% from a year ago.

SmartAsset — the financial technology company headquartered in New York City that publishes articles, guides, reviews, calculators and tools to help people make decisions about personal finance — has undertaken an extensive study of the impact of gas prices on all 50 states and the District of Columbia to see where and who will be the most impacted by lofty gas prices.

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Using data from AAA, the Census Bureau and the Federal Highway Administration, the study used six weighted metrics for each state, including estimated gas spending as a percentage of income, one-month change in average gas price, one-year change in average gas price, percentage of households with at least one car, percentage of households with two or more cars, and average annual vehicle miles traveled per capita.

SmartAsset found the Sun Belt states of the southern U.S. are affected more by the current high gas prices, with seven of the top ten states located in this general area. Conversely, seven of the ten states the least impacted by high gas prices are in New England and the Mid-Atlantic regions. Higher median household incomes and lower one-month changes in average gas prices are given as deciding factors.

According to the study, the ten states where individuals are most affected by gas pricing hikes are Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, New Mexico, Idaho, Montana, Indiana, Louisiana, Arizona, and Nevada.

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Regardless of where you live, gas prices remain high and volatile. This current gas price surge will affect you personally, so it might be wise to put some gas-saving tips recommended in conclusion by SmartAsset into practice. Better maintenance of your vehicle, fueling up during non-peak days and times, traveling with a light vehicle, paying with cash, using gas price apps, and being financially frugal will help to relieve some spending stress in this time of price suffering.

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About the Author

David Nadelle is a freelance editor and writer based in Ottawa, Canada. After working in the energy industry for 18 years, he decided to change careers in 2016 and concentrate full-time on all aspects of writing. He recently completed a technical communication diploma and holds previous university degrees in journalism, sociology and criminology. David has covered a wide variety of financial and lifestyle topics for numerous publications and has experience copywriting for the retail industry.
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