Cost of Living

Here’s an interesting graph, produced by Oren Cass in American Affairs:

These are current dollars relative to current wages. Thus, the $13k total cost in 1985 was covered by a then-average $440 weekly wage, and the $54k total cost in 2018 was covered by that year’s $1,000 weekly wage.

Here are the underlying cost and wage data:

Notice which two costs ran up the hardest. Here’s a hint: health care exploded by a factor of 8; even college rose only by a factor of roughly 5; the others increased less than 3 times.


H/t Conrad Hackett, who has a colorized version of the graph.

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