The cost of living has surely changed since when our parents and grandparents were younger. As prices alter year after year—because of wages, the value of the dollar, and the economy going through ups and downs—so does the cost of living in America.
Necessities like a gallon of milk and a new house certainly don’t cost what they used to, but these changes are inevitable in our fluctuating economy.
*Cost of living measured by the average price of these standard consumer goods:
Milk, Bread, Shoes, House, Automobile
As industrialization continued, workers pushed for better wages, and many Americans moved from rural areas to cities, where the cost of living was higher.
Milk- $0.13/½ gal.
The Great Depression era brought many Americans into hard times. Large portions of the population were out of work, so the cost of living decreased to accommodate.
Milk- $0.24/½ gal.
A postwar economic boom made a host of consumer products readily available to most Americans and, therefore, increased the cost of goods as wages went up.
Milk- $0.50/½ gal.
By the ’90s, prices were becoming comparable to what we see today. Wages had increased significantly, but inflation also made the cost of living notably higher.
Milk- $1.50/½ gal.
Cost of living may have changed since what people describe as the good ole’ days, but the shift in times simply reflects the economic changes that occur from year to year.