Your monthly gasoline bill: $368

gas prices, income, spendingClick the chart to see how your state shapes up By Ben Rooney, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Round-trip airfare from New York to Los Angeles. More than a dozen dinners for two at Applebee's. Two 16 GB iPod nanos.

These are just a few of the things you could have bought if you weren't spending $368.09 a month on gasoline.

Gasoline prices and taxes by state
Prices at the pump can vary widely among states due to a number of factors. More

That's the average amount American households spent on gas in April, according to an exclusive analysis of data by the Oil Price Information Service for CNNMoney.

The study, which compared average gas prices with median incomes nationwide, also showed that U.S. households spent nearly 9% of their total income on gas last month.

That's more than double what the average American family spent just two years ago, when gas prices were hovering around $2.05 a gallon.

"Gas prices have just skyrocketed," said Fred Rozell, director of retail pricing at OPIS.

After surging nearly 30% this year, the national average price for regular gasoline is less than 2 cents away from $4 a gallon. That's still below the all-time high of $4.114, but prices in many parts of the country have already risen to new records well above that level.

For drivers in some states, the pinch of high gas prices is particularly painful.

Mississippi tops the list, with the average household spening over 14% of their total income on gas last month.

While gas in the state is relatively cheap, Mississippians have some of the lowest incomes in the nation, with the median household earning $36,646 a year.

In addition, many drivers in Mississippi commute long distances and have older cars that lack fuel efficiency, said Rozell.

At an average price of $3.64 a gallon, households in Mississippi spent $434.52 on gas in April.

In New York, where a large chunk of the population lives in urban areas with mass transit, households spent only 5.5% of their income on gas. That's despite an average gas price of $3.99 a gallon in April.

The only other region where drivers spend less income on gas is Washington D.C., where the average household spent just $89 on gas in April, or about 2% of total income. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play

Search for Jobs

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 18,087.05 49.08 0.27%
Nasdaq 5,057.61 -2.64 -0.05%
S&P 500 2,112.85 3.93 0.19%
Treasuries 1.98 0.06 3.01%
Data as of 2:34pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Apple Inc 131.50 -1.15 -0.87%
Bank of America Corp... 15.66 0.10 0.67%
Microsoft Corp 49.04 1.00 2.09%
Applied Materials In... 20.16 0.19 0.95%
Ford Motor Co 15.82 -0.08 -0.50%
Data as of 2:19pm ET
Sponsors

Sections

Market timing is hard. And making investing decisions based on the calendar is just silly. If you sold in May and went away for the past three years, you missed out on stocks going up. More

A major earthquake was the last thing Nepal needed. Even before one of the country's major fault lines rumbled to life, the country was beset by challenges. More

SilverTech Ventures is a new accelerator that offers perks like free office space and access to its founders' extensive networks. More

At elite schools across the country, low-income students feel like outsiders and are working to make it better. More