U.S. energy consumption per capita

March 19, 2008

Energy consumption per capita in the U.S. is about 10 Kilowatt. For illustration, the power consumption of the human body is about 100 Watt (2000 Kilocalories per day) . That is, each person in the U.S. consumes on average 100 times more energy than that which is required for sustaining his or her body. Another point of reference is that 10 Kilowatt per person is what a family of four would be using if it would be driving its car on the highway for 14 hours a day (every day – 365 days a year).

The per-capita power consumption level has not changed much since the early 1970s. While energy use for residential, commercial and transportation purposes have been rising (at the rates of about 0.2%, 1.2% and 0.5% per year, respectively, on average), these were offset by a reduction in the consumption in industry (by about 0.8% per year on average).

Update (Feb. 2009): Updated links and data for 2007 (2009 Abstract).
Update (Feb. 2010): Updated links and data for 2008 (2010 Abstract).
Update (March. 2011): Updated links and data for 2009 (2011 Abstract), and extending data back to 1900 (Data source: Statistical Abstract of the U.S. 1960, Table 686). Consumption data is available back to 1920 (marked by ‘c’), production back to 1900 (marked by ‘p’).

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3 Responses to “U.S. energy consumption per capita”


  1. [...] any method – are very small. The average US household of three consumes about 150KWh every day. The total energy consumption of those 3 people is still 5-6 times higher. The per capita consumption of fresh water in the U.S. is over 1000 gallons (most of which is used [...]

  2. karl nordling Says:

    Kilowatt is not a unit of energy.

  3. yoramgat Says:

    Karl,

    Kilowatt is not a unit of energy.

    Of course not: Kilowatt is a unit of power, i.e., of energy per time. It is in fact equal to Kilojoule per second.

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