Where Do Americans Spend The Least On Cars? You'll Be Surprised Page 2

June 17, 2010
There are some exceptions that defy explanation. Those in the New England states of New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont spend disproportionately more on vehicle-related costs that Massachusetts or other Northeastern states (perhaps a lack of larger cities and mass transit options?), while those in Wisconsin and Connecticut shovel out higher-than-average amounts on their vehicles.

One surprise: Couples who don't have children spent 21.5 percent more on gas and getting around than those with children. But it wasn't at all surprising that those 18 to 25 put the most—18 percent—of their spending into auto expenses and gas.

Lower income, lower car spending

Overall, the raw numbers are predictable: the less you make, the less you're likely to spend on auto-related expenses. Two states that are particularly low in average income, West Virginia and Mississippi, ranked low on automotive spending.

Digging deeper, there might be more of a story when matching those numbers up to income. Earlier this spring, that point was also made by a Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) analysis, which crunched the numbers to show that some regions of the country are more vulnerable to others if gasoline prices were to spike. Despite Mississippi's low spending on auto expenses, it would be the most hurt by a price hike, the NRDC predicted, because of its low income levels and low rate of personal income growth.

Bundle's data covers most aspects of auto ownership, but it doesn't cover auto insurance—something that's likely to be a lot more expensive in, say, Manhattan.

To see 50-state rankings on household gasoline and automotive-related spending, along with the methodology, more detail, and the above infographic up close, see Bundle's complete listing.


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