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Least Populated U.S. States Consume More Gasoline, Jet Fuel Per Capita

The U.S. states with the lowest population density consume the most amount of energy per person for transportation, with Alaska – the least populated state – consuming the most energy because of very high demand for jet fuel, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Monday.

Alaska has held the top spot for the state with the highest level of per capita transportation energy consumption every year since 1969, according to EIA’s State Energy Data System (SEDS) estimates.

As per EIA’s data analysis, the transportation sector consumption includes all energy used by cars, trains, aircraft, ships, and other vehicles whose primary purpose is to transport people or goods, or both, from one place to another.

Last year, around 28 percent of total U.S. energy consumption came from the transportation sector.

As per EIA estimates of state energy consumption with the latest available data, Alaska consumed more aviation fuel than any other state, at 135 million Btu, or about 1,002 gallons, per capita in 2018. This was nearly 13 times the U.S. average of 80 gallons per capita of jet fuel consumption.

After Alaska, the states with the highest energy consumption per capita were Wyoming, North Dakota, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

Wyoming and North Dakota had the highest consumption of motor gasoline per capita, each averaging 66 million Btu, or about 552 gallons, in 2018.

Wyoming has the smallest population and the highest vehicle miles traveled per capita of any state in the United States.

The states with the lowest per capita energy consumption in the transportation sector were New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, as well as Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., and New York had the lowest gasoline per capita consumption, the EIA said.


On an absolute basis, not per capita, Texas has consumed the most energy of any state since 2013, when it surpassed California. In 2018, Texas’ transportation sector energy consumption accounted for 12 percent of the U.S. total, while California’s energy consumption for transportation represented 11 percent of the nation’s total.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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