Steady Upswing Noted In Carroll’s Living Standards

May 22, 1969

The cost of living has zoomed in Carroll county in recent years, as it has everywhere else, but inflation has not been the chief cause.

So says the Bureau of Labor Statistics after completing a nationwide sampling survey of family budgets, and comparing them with the budgets of previous years.

It finds, in fact, that 60 percent of the increase in expenditures for goods and services has been due to an upgrading of the average family’s standard of living, over a period of 15 years, and only 40 percent has been due to inflation.

Gradually, year by year, local families have been improving their way of life-eating more expensive foods, wearing finer clothes, buying better homes, and spending more on leisure pursuits.

The net result, according to the BLS was that 4 percent per year was invested in better living during the period despite the fact that prices were rising at an average of 2.7 percent a year.

The change is quite evident in Carroll County. It shows up, for example, in the array of household appliances and equipment in their homes and in their outlays for goods and services generally. On the basis of a special report on purchases and ownership of durables, made by the Department o Commerce, no less than 35.7 percent of the families in Carroll County now own two or more cars, as compared with 24 percent in 1960.

The average elsewhere in the United States is 26.7 percent and, in the South Atlantic States 27.9 percent.

Similarly, more homes are equipped with clothes dryers than was the case in 1960. ownership in the local area has increased by about 13.7 percent, it is estimated.

As for television sets, over 97 percent of the households in the area have them, as against 92 percent in 1960.

While there has been little change in the proportion of families with washing machines, the ones now in use are automatic models for the most part, not the wringer type that was more common then.

The report also points to marked increases in air conditioners, dishwashers and radio and phonographic equipment.

Rising incomes have brought these conveniences and many others within reach of a growing number of local families

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