Fact #741: August 20, 2012 Historical Gasoline Prices, 1929-2011

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When adjusted for inflation, the average annual price of gasoline in 2011 was $1.24 above the price of gasoline in 1929. The effect of the U.S. embargo of oil from Iran can be seen in the early 1980's with the price of gasoline peaking in 1982. From 2002 to 2008 the price of gasoline rose substantially, but then fell in 2009 during the economic recession. In 2011, prices are the highest in the eighty-year series in both current and constant dollars.

Price of a Gallon of Gasoline, Current and Constant Dollars, 1929-2011
Graphic showing the price of a gallon of gasoline in current and constant dollars from 1929 to 2011. See table below for more detailed information.

 

Supporting Information

Average Annual Retail Price of Gasoline, 1929 - 2011
Year Gasoline Price
(Current dollars/gallon)
Gasoline Price
(Constant 2011 dollars/gallon)
1929 0.21 2.29
1930 0.20 2.21
1931 0.17 2.10
1932 0.18 2.51
1933 0.18 2.56
1934 0.19 2.57
1935 0.19 2.52
1936 0.19 2.57
1937 0.20 2.53
1938 0.20 2.55
1939 0.19 2.47
1940 0.18 2.40
1941 0.19 2.35
1942 0.20 2.31
1943 0.21 2.20
1944 0.21 2.16
1945 0.21 2.09
1946 0.21 1.90
1947 0.23 1.90
1948 0.26 2.02
1949 0.27 2.09
1950 0.27 2.07
1951 0.27 1.93
1952 0.27 1.93
1953 0.27 1.92
1954 0.29 1.99
1955 0.29 1.98
1956 0.29 1.92
1957 0.30 1.91
1958 0.31 1.94
1959 0.30 1.88
1960 0.31 1.86
1961 0.31 1.87
1962 0.31 1.83
1963 0.31 1.80
1964 0.30 1.76
1965 0.30 1.73
1966 0.31 1.73
1967 0.32 1.72
1968 0.33 1.71
1969 0.34 1.65
1970 0.35 1.62
1971 0.36 1.58
1972 0.36 1.55
1973 0.36 1.45
1974 0.39 1.43
1975 0.53 1.80
1976 0.57 1.81
1977 0.59 1.77
1978 0.62 1.74
1979 0.63 1.62
1980 0.86 2.03
1981 1.19 2.58
1982 1.31 2.68
1983 1.22 2.40
1984 1.16 2.19
1985 1.13 2.08
1986 1.12 2.01
1987 0.86 1.50
1988 0.90 1.52
1989 0.90 1.46
1990 1.00 1.57
1991 1.14 1.73
1992 1.13 1.67
1993 1.11 1.60
1994 1.11 1.58
1995 1.15 1.59
1996 1.23 1.68
1997 1.23 1.65
1998 1.06 1.40
1999 1.17 1.52
2000 1.51 1.93
2001 1.46 1.83
2002 1.36 1.67
2003 1.59 1.92
2004 1.88 2.20
2005 2.30 2.60
2006 2.59 2.84
2007 2.80 2.99
2008 3.27 3.41
2009 2.35 2.43
2010 2.79 2.85
2011 3.53 3.53
Notes: Retail price includes Federal and State Taxes.
Price is for Regular Leaded Gasoline until 1990 and for Regular Unleaded Gasoline thereafter.
Constant dollars calculated using the Gross Domestic Product Inflation Index.
Source: Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Review, Table 5.4 and Monthly Energy Review, Table 9.4.

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