OK, here’s the data to show that relative to median household income, gasoline prices have fallen:
Data used to create figure:
- Median household income data for 1980-2000 from Table H-11 of Census historical statistics, in current dollars
- Median household income data for 2001-2003 from Table H-8 of Census statistics from the Current Population Survey, in current dollars.
- Average price of regular unleaded gasoline, 1980-2003, from Table 5.24 of the DOE Annual Energy Review 2004, in current dollars.
GINORMOUS ASSUMPTION MADE: The above graph assumes that the quantity of gasoline consumed per household has been constant over the past 25 years. This is a heroic assumption, but the BLS website was not sufficiently user-friendly to enable me to find data on household spending on gasoline in a useful form, and I desperately want to go downstairs and make that Manhattan!