• 08.12.09

Surprise! The Top 10 Most Oil Dependent States Are Also Among the Poorest

The Natural Resources Defense Council released a list today of the most oil dependent states, and there are few surprises.

oil dependent states

At the same time, states on the list including Arkansas, Mississippi, and Oklahoma are doing the least out of all the states to wean themselves off oil. And states like New Jersey, New York, and California that spend the least on oil are doing the most to further decrease dependence.


So what can be done to save oil dependent areas? The NRDC suggests the obvious–add more clean cars, biofuels, and public transit. Since most of the states on the list can’t afford to do this themselves, the federal government will have to step up and implement strong energy policies. Otherwise, the poorest states in the union will continue to get poorer.

The list of the top 10 most oil dependent states are below. Check out the NRDC’s full report here.

Rank State Percent
of Income
1 Mississippi 9.14% $2702.00
2 Montana 8.07% $2762.94
3 South Carolina 7.59% $2419.61
4 Oklahoma 7.50% $2766.65
5 Louisiana 7.00% $2540.66
6 Kentucky 6.84% $2178.30
7 Texas 6.80% $2622.05
8 New Mexico 6.79% $2177.51
9 Georgia 6.71% $2278.92
10 Arkansas 6.68% $2089.00


About the author

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more.