Ever completed an expensive fill-up and wondered about world gas prices? On many a road trip, as I've filled my tank again and again, I've wondered whether Americans have it better or worse than other countries. So I finally researched gas prices around the world - and discovered that we're practically stealing!
I'll summarize for you:
According to the earliest stats available on the EIA's world gas prices page, Americans were paying $1.27 per gallon in early 1996. Compare that to $3.20 per gallon in the U.K., $3.95 in Belgium, and $4.32 in the Netherlands.
On September 10, 2001, we were paying $1.69 per gallon. The U.K. had gone up to $4.22, but the other European countries had seen some relief at the pump and were sitting at the mid-3's.
One week later, the World Trade Center was rubble and the world had changed forever. But U.S. gas prices stayed at $1.69, and Europe increased only slightly.
By October 8, 2001, we were down to $1.54 per gallon while the European nations had settled a bit to pre-attack levels. The Netherlands was still the leader at $4.20 per gallon (what is up with them?).
The most obscene price I found on the list was from, yes, the Netherlands. They were paying $10.64 per gallon as of July 7, 2008.
As I first wrote this page in late February 2009, we were paying $2.20 at the pump. The U.K. was at $4.87, which is downright reasonable compared to mid-$5's prices in Belgium, France, Germany, and Italy.
More recently (January 2015), the U.S. was at $2.35 per gallon. Venezuela was at an incredible $0.06, while Hong Kong was at an equally incredible $6.95. To put that in clearer perspective, there were only 21 countries in the world with cheaper gas prices than the U.S.
Keep in mind that these world gas prices are all in American dollars, so there's nothing funky going on with exchange rates here. Suffice it to say that here in the U.S., we're pretty lucky to be paying only as much as we are.