ONE OFTEN has difficulty making much sense from a display of numbers in a table. Graphing the data, however, is often convenient in helping to see their probable significance and was done so with a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report on consumer expenditures and income.1 A pair of graphs, therefore, are presented which may be helpful in viewing the economic position of the aged in our society.
In order to prepare these graphs a set of calculations had to be performed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported average expenditures in dollars for urban households for the years 1960 and 1961 by age of head of household. It also reported the average number of persons in each type of household. One has been divided by the other, since it is important to see what is being spent by or for each member of a family, and thereby correct for
Shindell S. Expenditure Patterns of Urban American Households. JAMA. 1964;190(8):783–784. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070210089028
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