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Attention is called in the report to the fact that in an even more striking degree than in the case of the European investigations by the Board of Trade the higher incomes are due not so much to increased earnings of the husband as to the contributions of children of wageearning age. This is mainly because of the actual amounts of the supplementary earnings and not because of the different proportions in which these stand to the total family income. This is made clear in the following table:
COMPOSITION OF FAMILY INCOMES IN AMERICAN-BRITISH (NORTHERN) GROUP.
The proportion of the weekly income of the family supplied by the children begins to be important in the incomes between $19.47 and $24.33, when it reaches 12% per cent of the total, rising in the next class to nearly 17 per cent, and passing from 30 to 33 per cent, until in the highest class it accounts for 47.7 per cent of the total family income. It is noticeable that the average earnings of the wife are never very large and vary but little.
In the income classes $24.33 and under $29.20" and "$29.20 and under $34.07,” the earnings of the husband are practically the same, and since there is a falling off in the relatively unimportant earnings of the wife while other income shows an increase of only 58 cents, the position of the families with incomes of between $29.20 and $34.07 weekly is seen to be almost entirely due to greatly increased earnings of the children.
The following table shows for those articles for which figures were obtained the average quantity of each consumed. All children living at home, of whatever age, and all other persons sharing the family food have been included.
WEEKLY CONSUMPTION PER FAMILY OF CERTAIN ARTICLES OF FOOD IN AMERICAN
BRITISH (NORTHERN) GROUP.
The following paragraphs contain comments on the consumption of various articles of food, as set out in the above table.
The particulars given will be found to refer either to the budget group as a whole, or to the three components of the group-American, British-born or Canadian; or to the various income classes as set out in the above table. Occasionally reference will be made to certain subgroups formed on the basis of nationality and town into which a large number of the budgets fall. These subgroups, 37 in number, have been formed whenever in any single town either of the components furnished not less than 25 budgets.
The consumption of bought wheat bread, although affording no criterion of the well-being of the family, does in fact rise more or less steadily with income, from 1.3 pounds per capita in the lowest income class to 1.8 pounds per capita in the highest. The average per capita consumption for the whole group is 1.7 pounds weekly.
The components of the group show the following differences: The / Americans average rather more than 1.7 pounds per capita weekly, the British-born 1.6 pounds, and the Canadians 1.4 pounds. The smallest quantity of bread per capita, accompanying a high consumption of flour, is found in the lowest income class of the British budgets (0.66 pound) and the largest among the Canadians with incomes between £7 and £8 ($34.07 and $38.93), viz, 2.6 pounds per capita weekly. The bread consumption of the lowest income class among the Candians is also relatively high (2.3 pounds).
The consumption of rye bread purchased at the bakers is small and somewhat irregular, not averaging on the whole quite 1 pound per family weekly, and of this 80 per cent is consumed by the Americanborn families. The per capita weekly consumption for the components of the group is as follows: American, 0.21 pound; Britishborn, 0.13 pound; Canadian, 0.03 pound. The relatively high figure of the American consumption may probably be explained by the presence among them of families of German or eastern European descent. Rye bread in this group, as in others, appears to be purchased by families with incomes of every range and its consumption to be entirely a matter of inherited or acquired taste.
The average consumption of wheat flour per family is 10.4 pounds weekly, or 2.1 pounds per capita. The range is very small, from 2.5 pounds per capita in the lowest income class to 2.2 pounds in the highest. The differences in the flour consumption of the components of the group are also small. The American returns average 2.1 pounds per capita weekly, those of the British-born 2.2 pounds, and of the Canadian 1.8 pounds.
The consumption of rye and buckwheat flour is almost insignificant.
Adding together the weights of flour and bread of all kinds as given in the budgets, the figure for the whole group is 4.1 pounds per capita weekly; for the Americans, 4.2 pounds; for the British-born, 4 pounds; and for the Canadians, 3.4 pounds; in the last case nearly three-fourth pound below the average of the group. The consumption of both bread and flour shown in the Canadian returns is lower than that of either of the other components.
With regard to bread substitutes, the difference in the movement of the per capita expenditure is very marked as compared with that of bread, the latter rising only from 3.57d. (7.2 cents) per capita in the lowest income class to 4.97d. (10.1 cents) in the highest; while the former shows a corresponding movement of from 1.78d. (3.6 cents) per capita to 4.93d. (10 cents).
The position is set out in the following table:
AVERAGE WEEKLY CONSUMPTION AND EXPENDITURE PER CAPITA ON BREAD,
FLOUR, CAKES, ETC., IN AMERICAN-BRITISH (NORTHERN) GROUP.
Rolls, cakes, biscuits, and other forms of fancy bread form a constant and important item in the cereal food consumption of American households, amounting to 0.9 pound per capita weekly in this group. The particulars furnished for British-born families show rather more than the average, and those for Canadian little more than half the amount, or 0.5 pound per capita weekly.
The consumption of macaroni, noodles, and spaghetti per family rises slowly with the income, but the average per capita is almost constant throughout, something less than 0.1 pound weekly. The differences shown by the components of the group are insignificant.
There is a small rise in the per capita consumption of rice, barley, sago, etc., with the income. The average per capita is 0.18 pound weekly, and again no material departure from the general average is shown by the components of the group.
The average weekly consumption of oatmeal and breakfast cereals is almost exactly 0.25 pound per capita for the whole group, but it is somewhat higher in the middle income class than at either end of the series.
Potatoes are an important constituent of the dietary, showing an average of 21 pounds per family weekly for all budgets together, or 4.3 pounds per capita. There is no material difference between the components of the group in their per capita consumption.
Dried peas and beans (chiefly the small haricot, sometimes known in the United States as “Navy beans”) are used in considerable quantity. The American and British-born families use about a quarter of a pound per capita weekly, the Canadian, 0.4 pound.
It is not possible even to estimate the quantities consumed, but the expenditure on green vegetables rises steadily with the income from 9d. (18.3 cents) per family in the lowest income class, to 2s. 7d. (62.9 cents) in the highest, so that, allowing for different size of family, the expenditure per capita is just doubled in the latter class. The expenditure on sweet corn and sweet potatoes is somewhat irregular, but tends to rise with the income. The former is sold very largely in the 'cob" and the price of both is dependent upon season and locality. The canned vegetables are chiefly tomatoes, for which 10 cents per can, weighing about 24 pounds gross, or three cans for 25 cents, are very general prices. "String beans” are also largely used. The consumption of sweet potatoes, a southern rather than a northern food, is much greater in the American than in either the British-born or Canadian families. The expenditure per capita on sweet corn and fresh and canned vegetables is highest in the American returns and lowest in the Canadian.
The average consumption of fresh milk is a little over one quart per capita weekly, being 56 quarts per annum for the whole group. .
Of the components the American returns show an average of 54 quarts, the British one of 61 quarts, and the Canadian one of 66 quarts.
The average consumption of condensed milk is for the whole group 0.15 pound per capita per week. For the components the figures show but little difference, although the range within the group is very great. In 14 out of the 37 subgroups of not less than 25 families each into which, on the basis of nationality, and town, the budgets fall, the quantity is 0.10 pound per capita or less; 16 subgroups use 0.10 pound and less than 0.20 pound, and in the remaining 7 the consumption ranges from 0.20 pound to 0.40 pound per capita per week.
The average consumption of butter per capita per week is for the whole group 0.42 pound. The differences between the components are insignificant, the Canadian returns showing a slightly higher consumption than the others. Within the group the range is considerable, from 0.64 pound, as shown by the American returns from Duluth, to 0.27 pound by those of Americans in St. Louis. Out of the 37 subgroups of more than 25 budgets each, 16 have a consumption of 0.40 pound and less than 0.50 pound per capita per week.
The consumption of lard, suet, and dripping averages for the whole group 0.29 pound per capita per week. Of the components the British-born average 0.20 pound, the Canadians, 0.30, and the Americans, 0.33.
The average consumption of cheese of all kinds, is, for the group, 0.11 pound per capita per week, the Americans and the British-born each showing an average almost equal to that of the group, and the Canadians an average of 0.09 pound.
The consumption of eggs is, for the whole group, 4.6 per capita weekly (237 per annum). Of the components the returns from the British-born show an average of 5.1, from the Americans one of 4.4, and from the Canadians one of 4.3 per capita weekly; equivalent to 265, 229, and 224 per annum, respectively. The 37 subgroups show a very wide range of consumption from 8 eggs per capita weekly to 2.
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