Investing

The States Where People Can't Afford Gas

10. Iowa
> Median Income: $50,721 (21st highest)
> Regular Gas Price: $3.94 (8th highest)

> Unemployment: 6.1% (6th lowest)
> Population Below Poverty Line: 13.07% (16th lowest)

High gas prices are causing fiscal pain across Iowa, which has the eighth-highest gas prices in the country.  One sector which is having trouble dealing with these rising prices is Iowa’s school districts.  Governor Terry Branstad announced projections of 0% spending growth for all Iowan schools for the next two years, yet the schools cannot avoid spending more money for fuel.  “We’re at the mercy of the market whenever we purchase,” said Bill Good, chief operations officer of the Des Moines School District, reported by Des Moines station KCCI, meaning cuts must come from elsewhere.

9. Ohio
> Median Income: $45,879 (19th lowest)
> Regular Gas Price: $3.83 (17th lowest)
> Unemployment: 9.2% (20th highest)
> Population Below Poverty Line: 19% (16th highest)

Gas prices in Ohio are not only affecting drivers, but also the state’s industries which rely heavily on transportation and other gas-related services.  One local news station notes that farmers are taking a large hit.  This is due to the unavoidable use of farming equipment, as well as the rising costs of supplies such as fertilizer.

8. North Dakota
> Median Income: $50,075 (23rd highest)
> Regular Gas Price: $3.97 (7th highest)
> Unemployment: 3.7% (lowest)
> Population Below Poverty Line: 12.77% (15th lowest)

North Dakota has the seventh-highest average gas prices in the country, at $3.97 a gallon.  This is up 12.8 cents from March.  Quoted by Bismarck television station KFYR, director of the North Dakota Tourism Division Sara Otte Coleman said that “an increase in gas prices is gonna hurt people`s discretionary income in general.”  The state’s tourism industry may suffer this summer as a result of fuel prices.

7. Florida
> Median Income: $45,631 (15th lowest)
> Regular Gas Price: $3.82 (18th lowest)
> Unemployment: 11.5% (2nd highest)
> Population Below Poverty Line: 18.17% (18th highest)

The combination of high gas prices and a relatively low median income is going to hurt Florida impoverished.  The state’s average gas price is $3.82, which is the eighteenth-highest in the country, and its median income is $45,631, the fifteenth-lowest amount. Additionally, the state has the third-highest unemployment rate in the country – 11.5%.  Those who are looking for work or have low incomes are being hurt the most by gas prices.  Others have turned to hybrid cars as the solution to their problems.  A southwest Florida news station notes that hybrid cars have begun selling so quickly that there have been unexpected shortages in the state.

6. Kentucky
> Median Income: $42,664 (8th lowest)
> Regular Gas Price: $3.80 (21st lowest)
> Unemployment: 10.4% (6th highest)
> Population Below Poverty Line: 22.67% (3rd highest)

Kentucky has the ninth-lowest median income in the country, the sixth-highest unemployment rate, and the third-highest percentage of its population living below the poverty line.  The national average for the increase in gas prices from last year is 28%.  Gas prices in Kentucky, however, have increased 34% from last year.  Gas prices have also caused food prices to increase by 5.2% in the past three months, the highest quarterly increase in the past three years, according to the Kentucky Farm Bureau.