Gas prices in the United States have significantly increased recently, with places such as California and Illinois experiencing some of the highest prices of $5 per gallon and upward, according to the American Automobile Association.

CBS reported on a combination of factors that have led to this situation:

• Over two years into the pandemic, economic recovery and increased vaccination rates mean a post-pandemic demand for gas as people are driving more for work, trips, etc.

• In the early days of the pandemic, oil production was cut due to low demand, and now production as a whole has been slow to catch up.

• The United States does not import much gas from Russia — less than 10%. But, U.S. sanctions do add to the issues with the overall global market.

Mississippi ranks lower with an average price of $4 per gallon. However, lower prices can still be financially impactful given states' varying economies.

Quick math: Gas price/wage comparison


Average gas price


Average hourly wage


Work hours needed to fill a 15-gallon tank

2 hrs 34 mins


Average gas price


Average hourly wage


Work hours needed to fill a 15-gallon tank

2 hrs 18 mins

As CNN puts it, Mississippians need to work two hours and 34 minutes to fill up a 15-gallon tank at an average price of $4.01, but Californians only have to work two hours and 18 minutes with a significantly higher average price per gallon of $5.72.

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Nigel Dent, a native of Natchez, is Mississippi Today’s audience journalist. He works as a member of the audience team to engage with readers, create audience-centered resources and distribute Mississippi Today’s news across various digital platforms, including social media and newsletter products.