Energy Business

How Many Gas Stations Are There in US? Why It's Important to Know

How many gas stations are there in the United States? It’s important to know for three reasons. The first is that it is often a question used in job interviews. The second is that the increase or decrease in stations says something about the economy. The third is that it is telling as car engines move from fossil fuels to electricity and hybrids.

Interviewers usually have a section to test reasoning ability. A calculation of the gas station count shows several things. One is imagination. Another is math ability. An interviewee has to consider station counts in urban areas and then rural areas. How many cars are on the road in the United States? How far are they driven? What gas mileage do they get? How many people fuel up at one place? How many fuel up at several?

Two factors drive the gas economy. Each affects the price of oil. And the price of oil is often driven by the economy. High gasoline prices can trigger a slowdown. An economic slowdown can undercut the consumption of gas. The price of crude briefly rose above $147 in June 2008, the highest level of all time. The timing of this price top of the crude market does not make sense, at first. The Great Recession ran from December 2007 until June 2009. Consumer and commercial consumption should have been very low.

The reasons for the increase in oil prices in 2008 where low global production, a surge of demand in China, and political instability in the Middle East. However, the result of high oil and gas prices probably deepened the recession.

Finally, electric cars have become a mainstay of America’s roads. The number of electric cars in operation comes to about 2 million. There are about 270 million cars in America in total, though. So far, the electric car figure should not affect gas demand much. Yet, electric car ownership has grown rapidly and may reach 30 million by the end of the decade.

How many gas stations are in the United States? The figure most experts estimate is about 111,000. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that they employ 908,000 people. About 616,000 are cashiers. Across all jobs in the industry, the average pay is about $13. There are about 40 deaths a year in the industry. It would be hard to guess those numbers, but they do account for something, both as a measure of intelligence and an economic barometer.