Transportation-Based Carbon Dioxide Emissions for Every Thousand Dollars of GDP in EU and US Regions

May 14, 2018
Chart of Transportation-Based Emissions of Carbon Dioxide per Unit of Economic Output in EU and US Regions

The chart above shows transportation-based carbon dioxide emissions broken down by economic output in EU and US regions.  Every single US region emits more than every single EU region.


  • The difference between the region with the most emissions per thousand dollars of GDP, the Southern US, and the region with the least, the Western EU, is 101.07 metric tons.
  • The Southern US emits 5.84 times the carbon dioxide per thousand dollars of GDP that the Western EU does.
  • Every single EU region emits less than 50 metric tons in this metric.


  • GDP data is from 2016.
  • Emissions data is from 2013.
  • All figures are rounded to the nearest hundredth.
  • US GDP and emissions data come from different sources.
  • EU and US data come from different sources.
  • EU data was converted from euros to dollars at the average 2016 0.77 euros to dollars rate.
  • 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.
  • The Southern US consists of Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Louisiana, South Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, and West Virginia.
  • The Midwestern US consists of Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
  • The Western US consists of California, Washington, Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Hawaii, Idaho, Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming.
  • The Northeastern US consists of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Delaware, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
  • The Northern EU consists of Sweden, Denmark, and Finland.
  • The Eastern EU consists of Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
  • The Southern EU consists of Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, and Malta.
  • The Western EU consists of Germany, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Ireland, and Luxembourg.


Seven EU states have emissions rates higher than the lowest emitting US region in this metric.  Conversely, only one US state (New York) has emissions rates lower than the highest emitting EU region in this metric.  The Southern US has the dubious distinction in also leading the regions in the per capita rate.

The European Union as a whole emits 24.38 metric tons of carbon dioxide per thousand dollars of GDP from transportation sources annually ranking it way under the Eastern EU and just above the Southern EU (and below every single US region).  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 the Midwestern US and above the Western US (and above every single EU region).


Eurostat.  2017.  "Data Explorer."  Accessed December 11, 2017.

Eurostat.  2017.  "Gross Domestic Product at Market Prices.  Accessed October 26, 2017.

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.