Mapped: Gas Prices in America at All-Time Highs
Gas Prices in America at All-Time High
In recent days, gas prices have skyrocketed to all-time highs.
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), the national average price of regular unleaded gas has reached $4.25 per gallon as of March 21st, 2022. This is the first time since 2008 that gas prices had exceeded the $4 per gallon mark.
The price of gas was already rising two weeks before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, owing to the increased demand due to the lifting of COVID restrictions. But when the war broke out, the price of regular gas jumped 41¢ during the first week. This surge in prices could add up to $2,000 in annual cost to the average American household.
While the price at the pump sits at $4.25 per gallon on average, it’s worth mentioning that prices range quite substantially depending on the state. California has the highest average price at $5.86 per gallon. On the other extreme, Kansas has an average price of $3.77 per gallon.
Where is Gas the Most Expensive in America?
There are eight states where gas prices are above $4.50 per gallon, and three states where the price is above $5: California, Hawaii, and Nevada.
Here are the 10 states or districts with the highest gas prices:
|Rank||State||Cost per Gallon
(as of 03/21/2022)
|#10||District of Columbia||$4.367|
Where is Gas the Least Expensive in America?
There are 16 states where gas prices are under $4 per gallon. Here are the 10 states with the lowest gas prices:
|Rank||State||Cost per Gallon
(as of 03/21/2022)
There are a few reasons why gas prices can vary from state to state. State taxes play a big role in the final price at the pump, and they can range from 57.6¢ per gallon in Pennsylvania to 8¢ per gallon in Alaska.
Proximity to refineries is another contributing factor for cheaper gas. States like Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama often have lower prices than other regions.
When Will Gas Prices Go Down?
Gas prices were on the rise due to an oil supply shortage. When war broke out, there was an additional price surge due to sanctions or bans on Russian oil exports by the West.
It’s also worth noting that even as the price of oil begins to fall once again, there is typically a lag before prices at the pump begin to ease for consumers.
The Energy Information Administration projects that average spot price of Brent crude oil will be $105.22 per barrel this year, a $22 difference compared to its original February forecast. As a result, many experts are expecting that gas prices could stay near or above $4 per gallon for the rest of the year.
Mapped: The World’s Legal Government Systems
The political regimes of the world’s countries have changed over centuries. This map charts the nine government systems that rule the world today.
Mapping The World’s Legal Government Systems
With over 200 countries existing across the world with unique cultures and traditions, one might assume that there are hundreds of types of government systems. But both historically and in modern times, that’s not the case.
Even while political regimes across these countries have changed over time, they’ve largely followed a few different types of governance. Today, every country can ultimately be classified into just nine broad forms of government systems.
This map by Truman Du uses information from Wikipedia to map the government systems that rule the world today.
Countries By Type of Government
It’s important to note that this map charts government systems according to each country’s legal framework.
Many countries have constitutions stating their de jure or legally recognized system of government, but their de facto or realized form of governance may be quite different.
Here is a list of the stated government system of UN member states and observers as of January 2023:
|Country||Constitutional form||Head of state|
|Antigua and Barbuda||Constitutional monarchy||Ceremonial|
|Bahamas, The||Constitutional monarchy||Ceremonial|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Republic||Ceremonial|
|Central African Republic||Republic||Executive|
|China, People's Republic of||Republic||Ceremonial|
|Congo, Democratic Republic of the||Republic||Executive|
|Congo, Republic of the||Republic||Executive|
|New Zealand||Constitutional monarchy||Ceremonial|
|Papua New Guinea||Constitutional monarchy||Ceremonial|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||Constitutional monarchy||Ceremonial|
|Saint Lucia||Constitutional monarchy||Ceremonial|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||Constitutional monarchy||Ceremonial|
|São Tomé and Príncipe||Republic||Executive|
|Saudi Arabia||Absolute monarchy||Executive|
|Solomon Islands||Constitutional monarchy||Ceremonial|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Republic||Ceremonial|
|United Arab Emirates||Constitutional monarchy||Executive|
|United Kingdom||Constitutional monarchy||Ceremonial|
|Vatican City||Absolute monarchy||Executive|
Let’s take a closer look at some of these systems.
Brought back into the spotlight after the death of Queen Elizabeth II of England in September 2022, this form of government has a single ruler. They carry titles from king and queen to sultan or emperor, and their government systems can be further divided into three modern types: constitutional, semi-constitutional, and absolute.
A constitutional monarchy sees the monarch act as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, giving them little to no real power. For example, King Charles III is the head of 15 Commonwealth nations including Canada and Australia. However, each has their own head of government.
On the other hand, a semi-constitutional monarchy lets the monarch or ruling royal family retain substantial political powers, as is the case in Jordan and Morocco. However, their monarchs still rule the country according to a democratic constitution and in concert with other institutions.
Finally, an absolute monarchy is most like the monarchies of old, where the ruler has full power over governance, with modern examples including Saudi Arabia and Vatican City.
Unlike monarchies, the people hold the power in a republic government system, directly electing representatives to form government. Again, there are multiple types of modern republic governments: presidential, semi-presidential, and parliamentary.
The presidential republic could be considered a direct progression from monarchies. This system has a strong and independent chief executive with extensive powers when it comes to domestic affairs and foreign policy. An example of this is the United States, where the President is both the head of state and the head of government.
In a semi-presidential republic, the president is the head of state and has some executive powers that are independent of the legislature. However, the prime minister (or chancellor or equivalent title) is the head of government, responsible to the legislature along with the cabinet. Russia is a classic example of this type of government.
The last type of republic system is parliamentary. In this system, the president is a figurehead, while the head of government holds real power and is validated by and accountable to the parliament. This type of system can be seen in Germany, Italy, and India and is akin to constitutional monarchies.
It’s also important to point out that some parliamentary republic systems operate slightly differently. For example in South Africa, the president is both the head of state and government, but is elected directly by the legislature. This leaves them (and their ministries) potentially subject to parliamentary confidence.
Many of the systems above involve multiple political parties vying to rule and govern their respective countries.
In a one-party state, also called a single-party state or single-party system, only one political party has the right to form government. All other political parties are either outlawed or only allowed limited participation in elections.
In this system, a country’s head of state and head of government can be executive or ceremonial but political power is constitutionally linked to a single political movement. China is the most well-known example of this government system, with the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China ruling as the de facto leader since 1989.
The final form of government is a provisional government formed as an interim or transitional government.
In this system, an emergency governmental body is created to manage political transitions after the collapse of a government, or when a new state is formed. Often these evolve into fully constitutionalized systems, but sometimes they hold power for longer than expected.
Some examples of countries that are considered provisional include Libya, Burkina Faso, and Chad.
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