By the Numbers: Buying Power


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)


Number of weeks of salary needed to do so in 2018


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


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


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


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


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


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


Percentage increase in spending on childcare services since 1980


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

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