Polling News

It’s Been Thirty Years Since Food Ate Up This Much of Income

February 29, 2024

The last time Americans spent this much of their disposable income on food was in 1991, according to a Wall Street Journal review of U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

By The Numbers:

  • In 1991, Americans spent 11.4% of their disposable income on food. That number declined over the next 25 years, until it began increasing in 2022, when it hit 11.3%.
  • These numbers come as many Americans say they are also going out to eat less and buying cheaper brands than they have traditionally. 
     

The Bottom Line: These numbers are emblematic of why Americans are feeling sour on the economy, despite the Biden Administration’s efforts to say that “Bidenomics” is turning the country around. Families are now spending more of their income on food because of increased food prices, instead of saving money for things like tuition for the kids, a new home, a new car, vacation, and other items. Until food prices stabilize and decline, it is unlikely hat Americans will feel like the economy is moving in a good direction. If they have this kind of pressure on their kitchen tables, no slogan or economist spin will make them believe things are getting better.  

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