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In 2018, the average household spent 3.27% of its gross income on vehicle fuel. Using annual vehicle miles of travel, fuel price and vehicle fuel efficiency, researchers at Argonne National Laboratory estimated the share of household income that was spent on vehicle fuel. The study concluded that vehicle fuel efficiency was a major factor in transportation affordability, and as a result, increased adoption of fuel-efficient vehicles, especially among low-income households, could have a large impact on improving affordability. At the state level, the average share of income spent on vehicle fuel ranges from a low of 2.24% in New York to a high of 3.95% in South Dakota.

Share of income spent on vehicle fuel by state in 2018.

Note: Includes only the continental United States and does not include the District of Columbia.

Source: Argonne National Laboratory, Affordability of Household Transportation Fuel Costs by Region and Socioeconomic Factors, ANL/ESD-20/11.

Fact #1176 Dataset

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