Prices at the Pump: Why Americans Have It Good

gas price comparison
Getty ImagesIn Norway a gallon of gasoline averages $9.97 in U.S. dollars, compared to the current $3.55 a gallon average in the United States.

There's little U.S. residents enjoy more than complaining about gas prices, but paying $3.55 a gallon -- the current average price at the pump, according to -- is chump change compared to the prices consumers in other countries pay.

The average U.S. resident actually pays 90 cents to $2 less than the actual market value of gasoline because of government subsidies.

Gas prices around the world range anywhere from 4 cents in Venezuela to $9.98 in Turkey. Check out the interactive map below.

In Turkey, where the government finds the fuel tax relatively easy to enforce compared to other taxes, gasoline costs $9.98 at the pump. About 40 percent of the country's workforce have under-the-table jobs and don't pay taxes, which is why the fuel tax is an important source of revenue that Turkey can't easily afford to alter.

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Norway is a major oil producing country, but the average Norwegian has to shell out $9.97 for a gallon of gas, more than twice the U.S. average. Norway doesn't subsidize fuel at the pump; instead, it uses oil profits to fund free college education and infrastructure development.

Most Europeans pay a much higher price for gasoline than Americans do, anywhere between $6 and $10 more a gallon.

In oil producing countries in the Middle East like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, gas is dirt cheap. Saudi Arabians pay only 45 cents a gallon at the pump, while those in Kuwait pay just 80 cents.

But nowhere in the world is gas quite as cheap as it is in Venezuela. At 4 cents a gallon, it's practically free. In Venezuela, it costs about $1.56 to fill up the 39-gallon tank of a Chevrolet Suburban, according to calculations from Bloomberg, compared to $137.28 in the U.S. and $389.22 in Turkey.

For example, in India, gas costs about $4.36 a gallon, which may seem comparable to U.S. gas prices but really isn't. This is because per capita income is much lower in India than in the U.S. -- the cost of a single gallon of gas in India is about 16 percent more than the average Indian worker earns in one day; in the U.S., the average price of a gallon of gas is less than half of the federal minimum wage for one hour of work.

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