About five percent of the average Pennsylvania resident’s paycheck goes toward fuel costs. That’s one of the lowest totals in the United States, according to a new national study. In fact, just nine states had lower percentages.
Connecticut comes in last – or first, depending on how you look at it – at 3.51 percent. Mississippi residents pay the most, with an 8.98 percent average.
“Our study paints a picture of two Americas, with drivers in some states paying twice as much as a percentage of their income for gasoline as drivers in other states,” said Peter Lehner, executive director of the Natural Resources Defense Council, which commissioned the analysis. “America as a whole is still addicted to oil. States can actually do a lot on their own to make life better for their citizens.”
Although gasoline spending was pegged to income in each state, the analysis did not pro-rate states’ gasoline price vulnerability based on miles driven. That’s one reason why California, despite scoring tops for promoting alternatives to oil-based transportation, didn’t take top honors for having residents who spend the smallest share of their paychecks at the pump. And it at least partially explains why residents of the Northeast — where public transit systems are robust — are among those paying the least for gasoline.
Dave Grossman, with David Gardiner and Associates, said the study focused on the amount of motor gasoline consumed without looking explicitly at the number of miles driven because that isn’t the only factor driving the amount spent on gasoline per state.