Suburban commuters may not enjoy paying an average of $4 a gallon for gas, but the rural US, where income levels are low and dependence on large vehicles is high, is getting hit the hardest says the New York Times.
The paper put together a gas impact heat map that shows the percentage of income that’s being spent on gasoline. Some regions with “higher” gas prices still only spend 2% of their median income on gas, while the percentage is as high as 16% in Wilcox County, Alabama.
The local price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was roughly $3.85 last week, slightly below the national average, but the median family income in Holmes County is about $18,500.
Nationwide, regular unleaded gasoline reached an average of $4.005 on Sunday, according to the American Automobile Association. That is the highest price ever and about a dollar higher than at the start of the year.
While looking to cut workers at his fish processing plant in nearby Isola, Miss., Dick Stevens, president of Consolidated Catfish Producers, said that 10 workers walked into his office last week and volunteered to take a buyout rather than continue commuting from Charleston, Miss., 65 miles away. “The gas ate them alive,” he said.
(Photo: on2wheelz )