Transportation-Based Carbon Dioxide Emissions for Every Thousand Dollars of GDP in US States

May 7, 2018
Chart of Transportation-Based Emissions of Carbon Dioxide per Unit of Economic Output in US States

The chart above shows transportation-based carbon dioxide emissions broken down by economic output in US states.  Six of the top ten emitting states are in the South and if Alaska is excluded due to its unique transportation network, seven of the top ten are from the South.


  • The difference between the state with the most emissions per thousand dollars of GDP, Alaska, and the state with the least, New York, is 192.14 metric tons.
  • Alaska emits 5.32 times the carbon dioxide per thousand dollars of GDP that New York does.
  • Only New York emits less than 50 metric tons for every thousand dollars of economic output.
  • The mean transportation-based carbon dioxide emissions for every thousand in GDP for the 50 states is 114.77 and the median 104.45.


  • GDP data is from 2016.
  • Emissions data is from 2013.
  • All figures are rounded to the nearest hundredth.
  • GDP and emissions data come from different sources.
  • The road network is very limited in Alaska, so much so that the state capital is not connected by road, and one in 78 people are pilots.


Alaska and New York rank first and last respectively in this metric as well as in per capita emissions.  A future post will plot these values against each other to see if any correlations exist.

The United States as a whole emits 94.89 metric tons of carbon dioxide per thousand dollars of GDP from transportation sources annually ranking it just under Ohio and above Nevada.


US Bureau of Economic Analysis.  2017.  "Regional Data."  Accessed October 26, 2017.

United States Department of Transportation.  2015.  "State Transportation by the Numbers."  Accessed March 21, 2018.

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