Maps

Map of the Day: Where Americans Use the Most Oil

3.5 percent of U.S. counties consume more than 10 percent of the nation's oil.

America consumes a lot of energy. But there are also counties that play a larger role in this overall consumption — and many of them contain large cities like Los Angeles and Chicago.

Deron Lovaas, the federal transportation policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, posted a map charting oil consumption by county on the NRDC staff blog Thursday. The map, Lovaas notes, is the product of a joint research effort of the NRDC, the Sierra Club, and the League of Conservation Voters to identify the most oil dependent locations across the United States. 

Map courtesy of the National Resources Defense Council

The chart below, from Lovaas's post, shows the top ten counties based on gasoline consumption.

Chart courtesy of the National Resources Defense Council

As both the map and list show, oil consumption is geographically uneven and highly concentrated. Lovaas notes that "just 108 counties out of the nation's 3,144, or about 3.5 percent of the total consume more than 10 percent of the nation's oil." Not surprisingly, Los Angeles county had the most annual oil consumption, at nearly 1.9 billion gallons in 2010. Harris county, Texas, follows with 1.7 billion gallons, and Cook county, Illinois, takes third with 1.6 billion.

About the Author

  • Richard Florida is Co-founder and Editor at Large of CityLab.com and Senior Editor at The Atlantic. He is director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto and Global Research Professor at NYU. More
    Florida is author of The Rise of the Creative ClassWho's Your City?, and The Great Reset. He's also the founder of the Creative Class Group, and a list of his current clients can be found here