The Rising Cost of Living in America

September 7, 2018


Rising costs in America have been a hot topic in recent years, as housing shortages, slow-moving wage growth, and global demand for commodities pushes prices up. Climbing costs aren’t projected to slow down anytime soon, either. According to the World Bank, commodity prices are expected to steadily rise in 2018; the same can be said about the housing market, with prices expected to rise at twice the speed of inflation and pay in the coming year.

But just how much have prices really risen in the last few decades? To answer this question, we took a look at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Census Bureau, the College Board, and other sources to track the price changes for everything from everyday goods to major financial purchases.

The result paints a striking picture of how much costs in America have increased over time. For example, the inflation-adjusted price of tuition to a four-year public institution nearly tripled between 1987 and 2018. True costs of commodities, like bacon, rose in the 100- to 200-percent range. To see the full magnitude of how prices have risen in the past several decades, check out the infographic below.


Prices in the United States have skyrocketed in the past years, with increases affecting everything from everyday purchases like groceries to major financial decisions like buying a house or raising a child. Coupled with slow wage growth and the rising cost of living in cities, increasing prices are just one reason Americans should look to budgeting and couponing to keep prices down.


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