Michael Sivak, a transportation scholar at the University of Michigan whose work has appeared on this blog before, released a new study on inter-state variations in economic activity per unit of driving. His findings are interesting and reflect significant differences in GDP per distance driven among U.S. states:
In 2011, the highest GDP per distance driven was in the District of Columbia ($30.04/mile, followed by Alaska, New York, Connecticut, and Delaware. The lowest GDP per distance driven was in Mississippi ($2.51/mile), followed by Alabama, New Mexico, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. The median value was $4.66/mile. In comparison, the standard federal reimbursement rate for fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile in 2011 was $0.51/mile.
From 1997 to 2011, the largest absolute increase in GDP per distance driven (with GDP measured in current dollars) was in the District of Columbia (+$14.95/mile), followed by Alaska, New York, Delaware, and Oregon. The smallest increase was in Mississippi(+$0.67/mile), followed by Alabama, Michigan. Florida, and New Mexico.
The largest percentage increase from 1997 to 2011 in GDP per distance driven was in Wyoming (+115%), followed by the District of Columbia, North Dakota, Alaska, and Oregon. The smallest increase was in Michigan (+28%), followed by Florida, Ohio, Mississippi, and New Jersey. The increases in four states (Michigan, Florida, Ohio, and Mississippi) were smaller than the corresponding increases in inflation.