Chart of the Day: Average Gas Prices, Adjusted for Inflation

Following up on yesterday’s chart showing gains in fuel economy since 1975, today’s chart shows annual average gas prices, adjusted for inflation to 2013 Dollars.

Annual average gas prices, adjusted for inflation

The most striking thing about this chart is that gas prices maintained all-time lows (under $2/gallon in 2013 Dollars) for roughly two decades – from the mid-1980s to 2003. It’s certainly no coincidence that a whole lot of sprawling land use was built during that same time period. Just imagine if real gas prices had never subsided from their 1981 highs.

If you’re looking for a gas prices chart to compare more directly to yesterday’s chart of fuel economy since 1975, this chart has a similar X-axis:

Gas prices since 1976

About Matt Brillhart

Matt Brillhart is a graduate of the Urban Studies program at the University of Minnesota. Matt grew up in Woodbury and St. Paul and now lives in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis. His hobbies include walking and biking around the city, drinking locally produced brews, and enjoying live music at the many great venues around town. Matt works for the City of Richfield and is enjoying having more free time after a few too many years spent in school.

1 thought on “Chart of the Day: Average Gas Prices, Adjusted for Inflation

  1. Nathanael

    The interesting thing is that prices in 1981 were high due to OPEC’s cartel deliberately squeezing the supply; but prices now are high because of *fundamentals*. Supply is as loose as it’s ever going to get again.

    That means we’re headed for more-expensive-than-1918 prices. Should kill gasoline vehicles entirely.

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