Gas prices in context

Gas prices are spiking, and a new poll found that seven in 10 of us find the issue very important. For some, it definitely is — long-distance commuters and makers of gas-guzzlers, for instance. But for most of us, a bigger number on the pump makes only a small dent in our annual expenses.

  • Perception
  • Reality
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NOTE: Charts may not add up to 100 percent because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; U.S. Energy Information Administration; AP-GfK poll of 1,000 randomly selected adults, interviewed Feb. 16 to 20 (results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points); Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted by telephone March 7 to 10, 2012, among a random sample of 1,003 adults (Results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points; sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt SRBI of New York).
GRAPHIC: Bonnie Berkowitz and Laura Stanton - The Washington Post. Published May 1, 2011. Updated March 12, 2012.