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In the first six months of 2015, the average retail price of regular gasoline was $2.49 per gallon—the lowest average price since the economic recession in 2009. Gasoline has always been subject to price swings but the degree of price volatility has increased since the mid-1970s. Between 1930 and 2015, the average price of regular gasoline has ranged from a low of $1.43 per gallon in 1998 to a high of $3.69 per gallon in 2012 when measured in constant 2015 dollars. The effect of the U.S. embargo of Iranian oil can be seen in the early 1980's with the price of gasoline peaking in 1982.

Historical Gas Prices, 1930 – 2015

Graph showing historical gas prices from 1930 to 2015. One line shows the current dollar gas price and the other line shows the constant 2015 dollar gas price.

Notes: Average annual retail price of regular gasoline. The 2015 average is for January through June.

Fact #888 Dataset

Supporting Information

Historical Gas Prices, 1930 - 2015
Year Retail Gasoline Price
(Current dollars/gallon)
Retail Gasoline Price
(Constant 2015 dollars/gallon)
1930 0.20 2.23
1931 0.17 2.11
1932 0.18 2.53
1933 0.18 2.58
1934 0.19 2.59
1935 0.19 2.54
1936 0.19 2.59
1937 0.20 2.55
1938 0.20 2.56
1939 0.19 2.49
1940 0.18 2.41
1941 0.19 2.36
1942 0.20 2.32
1943 0.21 2.23
1944 0.21 2.19
1945 0.21 2.12
1946 0.21 1.90
1947 0.23 1.91
1948 0.26 2.03
1949 0.27 2.10
1950 0.27 2.08
1951 0.27 1.94
1952 0.27 1.93
1953 0.27 1.93
1954 0.29 2.00
1955 0.29 1.98
1956 0.29 1.93
1957 0.30 1.92
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 1.73
1968 0.33 1.71
1969 0.34 1.66
1970 0.35 1.63
1971 0.36 1.59
1972 0.36 1.55
1973 0.36 1.46
1974 0.39 1.44
1975 0.53 1.81
1976 0.57 1.82
1977 0.59 1.79
1978 0.62 1.76
1979 0.63 1.64
1980 0.86 2.06
1981 1.19 2.61
1982 1.31 2.71
1983 1.22 2.43
1984 1.16 2.22
1985 1.13 2.10
1986 1.12 2.03
1987 0.86 1.52
1988 0.90 1.54
1989 0.90 1.49
1990 1.00 1.59
1991 1.14 1.76
1992 1.13 1.70
1993 1.11 1.63
1994 1.11 1.60
1995 1.15 1.62
1996 1.23 1.71
1997 1.23 1.68
1998 1.06 1.43
1999 1.17 1.55
2000 1.51 1.97
2001 1.46 1.86
2002 1.36 1.70
2003 1.59 1.95
2004 1.88 2.25
2005 2.30 2.66
2006 2.59 2.91
2007 2.80 3.07
2008 3.27 3.51
2009 2.35 2.50
2010 2.79 2.94
2011 3.53 3.64
2012 3.64 3.69
2013 3.53 3.53
2014 3.37 3.38
2015 2.49 2.49

Notes: 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, Monthly Energy Review, Table 9.4.

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