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July 26, 2013

On the heels of the successful launch of the Bloomberg Visual Data product Bloomberg Best (and Worst), Bloomberg Visual Data has teamed up again with Bloomberg Rankings to prepare a stunning interactive dramatization of the price of automotive fuel in 60 countries around the world. Here’s a link to the new product:

For those concerned about the price of gas, it offers a comparative view, and more. Yes, the average price of a gallon of gas in the U.S. is $3.52 but that’s chump change compared to Turkey, where it’s $9.98 a gallon, or $9.97 in Norway, with The Netherlands a distant third at $8.95. In fact, the U.S. ranks 51st out of the 60 countries in terms of the cost of a gallon of gas, putting in perspective that $65 you had to shell out to fuel up your jalopy last time the gauge indicator went to E.

Bloomberg Rankings has been producing a popular quarterly gas study since April 2012 which has been storified for the terminal and converted into a slide show on, residing within the Sustainability channel and garnering hits in the millions. The ranking starts with a collection of prices in U.S. dollars per gallon of regular unleaded fuel, and then goes on to offer variations for considering the extent of each country’s “pain at the pump.”

Using the daily per capita income of each country on the list, the ranking calculates the percentage of daily income needed to purchase one gallon of gasoline. Thus in Turkey, it takes 32.41% of a day’s wages to buy a gallon of gas. In India, it’s a whopping 116.18%. Five countries have it worse than Turkey, according to the ranking. A third piece of illuminating data is also calculated, the percentage of income spent on gasoline in each country, based on the daily per capita consumption. The Turks spend a relatively minor 0.89% of their annual income on total gas purchases, versus Americans who shell out 3.06%.

The Visual Data product takes this popular ranking — and runs with it. It allows isolating any single country in the group to see how it compares to the others. Each country-specific view can be tweeted, shared on Facebook or Google+, or emailed. It’s also possible to check out prices per gallon or per liter; in U.S. dollars or in Thai bahts, Lithaunian Litas, Chilean Pesos or in any of 40 other currencies, and going forward it will archive past quarterly rankings for comparison.

Users can also sort the visualization (to call it a “chart” is an understatement) by regions to see how disparate or close prices and the concomitant data compare to any single country in the sample.

The Pain at the Pump ranking, now visualized on, showcases the best that Bloomberg Rankings and Visual Data have to offer: a compelling, data-driven ranking that dances on the screen. And next time you pull up to the pump, remember it ain’t all that bad.


– Mary Lowengard, Deputy Leader, Bloomberg Rankings