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VERIFY: Is the U.S. paying more money for gas than other countries?

Thanks to our lower tax rate, U.S. gas prices are lower than many industrialized countries. But globally, the U.S. falls in the middle range for price at the pump.

ATLANTA — Prices at the pump continue to be in sharp focus right now, and 11Alive News viewers reached out to the Verify team asking how gas prices in the United States compare to pricing around the world. 

The debate has some online even pointing to the U.S., claiming the country still has it pretty good compared to the rest of the world. 


Are U.S. gas prices per gallon lower than other countries?



Thanks to our lower tax rate, U.S. gas prices are indeed lower than many of our counterparts in other industrialized countries. But looking at the big picture, the U.S. traditionally falls in the middle range compared to the majority of countries.


As of March 21, data from GlobalPetrolPrices.com reports the average price of gasoline around the world is $5.04 per gallon, but the range between countries is significant.

Venezuela, for instance, pays the lowest price at ten cents a gallon while Hong Kong tops out at more than ten dollars.

"All countries have access to the same petroleum prices of international markets but then decide to impose different taxes. As a result, the retail price of gasoline is different," the site states.

Medlock explained the variations further. 

"Most European countries and Asian countries that are in the OECD have really high tax rates on fuel that is delivered to customers at the pump," Medlock said. "So that's the primary driver of the differences."

Credit: GlobalPetrolPrices.com
This information on gasoline prices is from March 21, 2022.

GlobalPetroPrices sums it up by explaining wealthier countries tend to have higher prices while poorer countries and those that produce and export oil are often lower. However, the United States is an exception to that generalization, ranking 73 out 170 countries the site tracks.

"Generally, the United States is kind of the middle of the pack in terms of price at gasoline at the pump," Medlock explained. "That's been true for a long time."

A snapshot from the U.S. Department of Energy shows the fuel taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, illustrating how the U.S. gas tax rate is less than most industrialized countries.

While local and state taxes vary, the federal gas tax has stayed at 18.4 cents since 1993, and it would take an act of Congress to change it. 

As a result, U.S. gas prices are lower than many of our counterparts in other industrialized countries, thanks to our lower tax rate. 

When looking at the big picture, what Americans pay at the pump continues to be in the middle compared to much of the world.

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