Pain at the pump: Gas in Nevada least affordable in US

Mick Akers, Las Vegas Review-Journal on

Published in Business News

LAS VEGAS — Gas prices have been a hot topic over the past year with the volatile crude oil market largely tied to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and inflation.

In Southern Nevada, the area’s dependence on California for gasoline adds another wrinkle to the issue. Any time refineries in Southern California have an issue, prices go up in the Las Vegas Valley.

Nevada as a whole has been in the top-five most expensive states for gasoline for sometime. But the uncertain market has seen the Silver State go as high as No. 2 on that dubious list over the last year. As of Friday, Nevada ranked as the fourth-most expensive gas in the U.S., just behind Hawaii ($4.93 per gallon), California ($4.59) and Washington at $4.13 per gallon.

Although the Silver State isn’t home to the most expensive gas, prices for Nevadans hit their pocketbooks harder than any other state on the list.

The average Nevadan spent 26.9 percent of their average hourly salary to pay for a single gallon of gasoline in 2022, making it the least affordable state for gas related to salary, according to insurance firm HiRoad. Idaho was the second least affordable state for gas at 23.6 percent of residents’ average hourly wage, while California at 23.3 percent was third, Indiana, fourth at 22.8 percent, and Hawaii, fifth at 22.5 percent.

HiRoad determined the gas impacts by state by comparing localized fuel data from GasBuddy and comparing that to average hourly salary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


“In Nevada, drivers can also expect to spend more annually on gas than drivers in Idaho, despite the fact that Idahoans are expected to have a higher local driving distance per year, on average,” HiRoad’s study noted.

Nevadans on average spent $1,747 on gas during 2022, up $308 from the $1,439 expended in 2021. The large jump in annual gas spending came as gas prices hit all-time highs last year.

Drivers are taking heed of increasing prices across the U.S., with 60 percent saying they were driving less because of gas prices, according to a 2022 survey by the National Association of Convenience Stores.

The price of gas remains above prices a year ago in Nevada; as of Friday, the average price of regular unleaded gasoline was at $4.01, up 2 cents from Thursday, up 3 cents from a month ago, but 18 cents cheaper year-over-year.


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