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Fact #915: March 7, 2016 Average Historical Annual Gasoline Pump Price, 1929-2015

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When adjusted for inflation, the average annual price of gasoline has fluctuated greatly, and has recently experienced sharp increases and decreases. 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 sharply in 2009 during the economic recession. In 2012, prices reached the highest level in the eighty-year series in both current and constant dollars, but began a steep decline thereafter. In constant dollar terms, the price of gasoline in 2015 was only seven cents higher than in 1929.

Average Historical Annual Gasoline Pump Price, 1929-2015

Graph showing the annual average gasoline pump price from 1929 to 2015.

Notes:

  • Retail price includes Federal and State taxes.
  • Price is for regular leaded gasoline until 1990 and for regular unleaded gasoline thereafter.
  • Current dollars are not adjusted for inflation; constant 2015 dollars are adjusted for inflation so that a comparison can be made in purchasing power among years. Constant dollars calculated using the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Inflation Index.

Fact #915 Dataset

Supporting Information

Average Historical Annual Gasoline Pump Price, 1929-2015
Year Retail Gasoline Price
(Current dollars/gallon)
Retail Gasoline Price
(Constant 2015 dollars/gallon)
1929 0.21 2.38
1930 0.20 2.30
1931 0.17 2.18
1932 0.18 2.61
1933 0.18 2.66
1934 0.19 2.67
1935 0.19 2.62
1936 0.19 2.67
1937 0.20 2.63
1938 0.20 2.64
1939 0.19 2.56
1940 0.18 2.49
1941 0.19 2.43
1942 0.20 2.39
1943 0.21 2.30
1944 0.21 2.25
1945 0.21 2.19
1946 0.21 1.96
1947 0.23 1.97
1948 0.26 2.09
1949 0.27 2.17
1950 0.27 2.14
1951 0.27 2.03
1952 0.27 2.01
1953 0.29 2.08
1954 0.29 2.08
1955 0.29 2.05
1956 0.30 2.04
1957 0.31 2.05
1958 0.30 1.96
1959 0.31 1.94
1960 0.31 1.95
1961 0.31 1.91
1962 0.31 1.88
1963 0.30 1.84
1964 0.30 1.82
1965 0.31 1.83
1966 0.32 1.83
1967 0.33 1.84
1968 0.34 1.79
1969 0.35 1.77
1970 0.36 1.72
1971 0.36 1.67
1972 0.36 1.59
1973 0.39 1.62
1974 0.53 2.03
1975 0.57 1.98
1976 0.59 1.96
1977 0.62 1.94
1978 0.63 1.83
1979 0.86 2.31
1980 1.19 2.95
1981 1.31 2.97
1982 1.22 2.60
1983 1.16 2.37
1984 1.13 2.23
1985 1.12 2.14
1986 0.86 1.61
1987 0.90 1.64
1988 0.90 1.59
1989 1.00 1.70
1990 1.15 1.89
1991 1.14 1.81
1992 1.13 1.75
1993 1.11 1.68
1994 1.11 1.65
1995 1.15 1.67
1996 1.23 1.76
1997 1.23 1.74
1998 1.06 1.47
1999 1.17 1.60
2000 1.51 2.02
2001 1.46 1.91
2002 1.36 1.75
2003 1.59 2.01
2004 1.88 2.32
2005 2.30 2.74
2006 2.59 3.00
2007 2.80 3.16
2008 3.27 3.61
2009 2.35 2.58
2010 2.79 3.02
2011 3.53 3.75
2012 3.64 3.80
2013 3.53 3.62
2014 3.37 3.40
2015 2.45 2.45

Sources:
Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review, Table 9.4.

U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, National Income and Product Accounts, Table 1.1.9. Implicit Price Deflators for Gross Domestic Product, February 2016.

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