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By the Numbers: Buying Power

30

Number of weeks of salary needed for a typical male worker to cover major expenditures for a family of four in 1985 (health insurance, rent for a three-bedroom home, public college for two kids, vehicle)

53

Number of weeks of salary needed to do so in 2018

$2,000

Increase in health-care consumption by the typical family of four since 1999

$13,000

Increase in the insurance premium for the typical family of four since 1999

40

Percentage of Americans who would struggle to come up with $400 in the event of an emergency

80

Percentage of American metro regions in which home prices are rising faster than wages

20

Number of years during which the cost of renting has risen faster than renters’ incomes in the United States

$5,460

The amount the average person on Medicare spends on health care beyond what she or he pays for insurance each year

2,000 

Percentage increase in spending on childcare services since 1980

25

Percentage of American mothers who return to work within two weeks of giving birth

Sources: Kaiser Family Foundation, American Affairs Journal, The Atlantic