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Saturday, April 7, 2012

What Americans Buy - 1949 vs. 2011

A fascinating article about What Americans Buy on the NPR website.  I found this graphic particularly interesting because the comparison year is the year I was born.  Certainly my parents lived in a very small house compared to ours; but then we did too at the age they were then.  The changes that are striking are the food vs. housing and apparel vs. transportation.  I know it certainly doesn't seem worth it to make clothes like my Mom and I did in the 60s/70s and food is a much smaller part of our budget although rising.  My parents never ate out either - a big treat was to go to Steak-n-Shake for burgers once in a while our out for a milkshake.

Check out the article for a discussion of the causes of these changes.  How do the percentages compare to your budget?


6 comments:

  1. Looks like I am stuck in the 50's!! Except for the food, seems high to me back in the 50's but then we grow much of what we eat and buy local meat so that makes the difference I think. Folks who put 41% money into homes are the very ones who end up losing their homes with the slightest change in salary, just crazy

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    1. Debby, My son is making the case that these percentages don't take into account income differences. I don't know but when you think of all the people who couldn't grow their own food due to their circumstances in 1949 and how much smaller living quarters were per person I bet it is right.

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  2. I have seen/figured out similar tables when researching for my 1948 series. The food and clothing percentages floored me and, in general, how things have really shifted. I might be linking to this in the future should I ever get back to my series!

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    1. I hope you do get back to that series - it was very interesting.

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  3. That is so interesting - I would love to break out budget down and see how it turns out x

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    1. It would be interesting to look at our own budgets. I am guessing this is calculated on expenditures and does not include taxes or savings of any kind.

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