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U N IT E D ST A T E S D E P A R T M E N T O F L A B O R
Frances P erk in s, Secretary.
B U R E A U O F L A B O R S T A T IS T IC S
Isador L u b in , Com m issioner (o n leave)
A . F. H in rich s, A ctin g Commissioner

+

Cost o f Living in 1941
Prepared by
C O ST OF L IV IN G D IV ISIO N
F A I T H M . W IL L IA M S , C h ie f

and
R E T A IL PRICE D IV ISIO N
E T H E L D . H O O V E R , C h ie f

Bulletin 7S[o. 710

U N IT E D S T A T E S
G O V E R N M E N T P R I N T I N G O FFIC E
W A S H IN G T O N : 1942

F o r sale b y th e S u p erin ten d en t o f D ocu m en ts, W ashington, D . C .




P rice 10 cen t*

CONTENTS

Living costs in large cities:
Page
Changes since the beginning of World War II___________________
1
Indexes of cost of living in large cities__________________________
2
Changes in food costs in 17 additional cities_____________________ 16
Changes in costs, on average in large cities, of specified groups of
goods and services________________________________________
16
Cost of living in 5 emergency cities to January 1942__________________ 23
Estimated changes from October 1939 to January 1942 in cost of living
24
in 5 cities in which partial price collections are made______________
Changes in cost of living in Newport News to December 1941_________
25
Changes in cost of living in 11 small cities from June 15, 1939, to successive
pricing periods to December 1941_______________________
26
Changes in living costs of Federal employees in Washington, D. C., from
December 1940 to December 1941----------------------------------------------- 29
City coverage__________________________________________________ 34
Estimated intercity differences in cost of living, December 15, 1941_____ 34
Cost of living in the United States and certain foreign countries________ 37
ii




L etter o f Transm ittal

U nited States D epartment of L abor,
B ureau of L abor Statistics,

Washington, D. C., M ay 10,194%.

The Secretary of L abor:
I have the honor to transmit herewith a report on the cost of living
of wage earners and lower-salaried workers in 1941. This report was
prepared in the Cost of Living Division, Faith M. Williams, Chief, and
the Retail Price Division, Ethel D. Hoover, Chief, and was under the
immediate supervision of Frances R. Rice.
A. F. H inrichs, Acting Commissioner.
Hon. Frances Perkins,
Secretary of Labor.
ni







COST OF GOODS PURCHASED BY WAGE EARNERS
AND LOWER-SALARIED WORKERS
ALL ITEM S- AVERAGE FOR LARGE CITIES
1935- 3 9 *1 0 0

INDEX
160

140

120
100
80

60

Bulletin 7s[o. 710 of the
United States Bureau of Labor Statistics
Cost o f Living in 1941
Living Costs in Large Cities
Changes in Living Costs in Large Cities Since the Beginning o f
W orld W ar II

Living costs in this country advanced 12 percent from the time war
began on the European continent in the fall of 1939 up to midDecember 1941. With the first news of the invasion of Poland, retail
prices for many of our foods rose sharply, but by the end of 1939 they
had subsided to an average only a fraction higher than the pre-war
levels. Until early in 1941, the rise in living costs was relatively
small, but since that time it has been rapid, though not as rapid as in
the comparable period in World War I. Between August 1939 and
December 1941, living costs rose 12 percent, while in the comparable
period in the last war, the advance was 14.5 percent.
During the present war, food costs have gone up more than costs
for other major groups of family purchases. In December 1941,
$1.21 was required to buy the same amount of food that a dollar
would buy in August 1939. The increase in housefurnishings costs
comes next. In December 1941, housefurnishings which cost $1 in
August 1939 were $1.16. The family clothing bill required almost
15 cents more per dollar. Although rentals had increased greatly in
areas especially affected by defense activities, the average rental
bill for dwellings in which families of city wage earners and clerical
workers live showed a smaller rise than other costs. On the average,
they had increased less than 4 percent since the fall of 1939.
The effect of higher consumer prices on the spending of moderateincome families varied considerably from city to city. By the end
of 1941, living costs in 5 of the 34 large cities surveyed by the Bureau—
Norfolk, Jacksonville, Birmingham, Indianapolis, and Buffalo—
were higher than in August 1939 by 15 percent or more. Each of
these cities have played a large part in the armament program of this
country. From all of these cities have come complaints of the scarcity
of dwelling units available for rent and a sharp rise in rentals the family
must pay.
The higher price levels increased living costs in New York less than
in any of the other cities included in the cost-of-living surveys, the
rise amounting to less than 10 percent.
Table 1 shows the percentage change in living costs in each of 34
cities since the depression low of June 1933, since the beginning of
World War II, and over the year 1941.




1

2

COST OF LIVING IN 1 9 4 1

T able

— Percentage change in cost of all goods purchased by wage earners and
lower-salaried workers, for specified periods, average large cities

1.

Percentage change from—
City
Average: 34 large cities..........................................................
New England:
Boston.............................................................................
Manchester....................................................................
Portland, Maine.............................................................
Middle Atlantic:
Buffalo..........................................................................
New York....................................................................
Philadelphia............................................. ....................
Pittsburgh....................................................................
Scranton__________________________________ _
East North Central:
Chicago........ ..................................................................
Cincinnati......................................................................
Cleveland. ..................... .............................................
Detroit............................................................................
Indianapolis...................................................................
Milwaukee........„............................................................
West North Central:
Kansas City......... .........................................................
Minneapolis........................................ ..........................
St. Louis.........................................................................
South Atlantic:
Atlanta..... .......................................................................
Baltimore.....................................................................
Jacksonville. ............................ .....................................
Norfolk..........................................................................
Richmond................................................................... .
Savannah......................................................................
Washington, D. C............................................... ..........
East South Central:
Birmingham...................................................................
Memphis.........................................................................
Mobile........... ................................. -.............................
West South Central:
Houston........................................................................
New Orleans..................................................................
Mountain: Denver...............................................................
Pacific:
Los Angeles....................................................................
Portland, Oreg.............................................................
San Francisco .................................................................
Seattle.........................................................................

June 1933 to Aug. 15,1939, to Dec. 15, 1940, to
Dec. 15, 1941 Dec. 15,1941 Dec. 15, 1941
+21.7

+12.1

+9.7

+16.2
0) +15.5

+11.4
+13.2
+11.9
+15.0
+9.8
+11.2
+12.6
+12.8
+12.1
+13.4.
+13.3
+14.4
+15.6
+12.8
+10.2
+11.0
+12.7
+12.9
+13.9
+16.0
+17.9
+12.3
+14.7
+11.3
+15.6
+13.6
+18.1
+10.6
+13.8
+11.0
+11.7
+13.6
+12.1
+14.4

+9.2
+10.4
+10.6
+11.4
+7.7
+9.8
+9.6
+9.0
+9.5
+10.7
+11.1
+11.7
+11.1
+10.4
+10.2
+8.3
+9.5
+10.6
+11.8
+12.3
+14.5
+10.4
+12.2
+10.0
+11.8
+11.2
+16.2
+9.0
+11.9
+9.2
+9.9
+11.7
+9.5
+12.5

+24.8
+16.0
+19.3
+23.1
+16.5
+22.5
+21.7
+27.2
+35.0
+25.7
0)
+17.4
+24.8
+21.9
+21.7
+24.1
+27.3
+28.0
+20.9
+24.5
+18.3
+29.0
+23.3
+29.2
+25.9
+26.7
+21.7
+24.0
+28.3
+20.1
+24.0

i Data not available.
Indexes o f Cost o f Living in Large Cities

On the recommendation of the Central Statistical Board, the Bureau
of Labor Statistics data on changes in cost of living in large cities have
been computed on a base of the average of the years 1935-39 as 100.
The tables that follow show the cost-of-living indexes on that base.
Persons wishing to put the index on some other base may do so by
dividing each index by the index for the period to be used for a base
and multiplying by 100. If an average for a group of years is to be
used for a base, each index will be divided by the average index for
those years.
The indexes presented in this report and the methods followed in
their construction are described in some detail in an article appearing
in the Monthly Labor Review, August 1940, and published as a
separate, Serial No. R. 1156, which is available upon request to the
Bureau of Labor Statistics. A more detailed description of the costof-living indexes and the relative importance of goods and services in
family expenditures used as a basis for computing the cost-of-living



COST OF LIVING IN 1 9 4 1

3

indexes for each city, may be obtained from the Bureau of Labor
Statistics Bulletin No. 699, “ Changes in Cost of Living in Large
Cities, 1913-41.” 1 Bulletin No. 699 also contains a complete series of
the indexes by major groups of commodities for each of the 34 cities
from the earliest date they have been prepared through June 15, 1941,
based on an average of costs during 1935-39 as 100.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics' cost-of-living indexes show changes
in costs from time to time. A comparison of the level of the indexes
for given cities shows the extent to which living costs in these cities
differ from the average in each city in 1935-39. Thus, the index of
the cost of all items as of December 15, 1941, was 116.4 in Mobile
and 108.2 in Boston. A comparison of these two indexes indicates
that on December 15, 1941, living costs in Mobile were 16.4 percent
higher than the average for the years 1935-39, but that in Boston,
costs on this date were 8.2 percent higher than they were in that city
in 1935-39. This comparison does not indicate that costs on December
15, 1941, were 7.6 percent higher in Mobile than in Boston.
In order to secure figures showing a comparison of actual living costs
in dollars as between cities, expenditures serving as the weights for
items priced in the different cities and the goods and services priced
would have to be representative of identical or at least equivalent levels
of living. Differences between the average costs from which the Bureau
of Labor Statistics indexes are computed in different cities are due to
differences in standards and in purchasing habits in those cities as
well as to varying prices for goods of given grades. Differences
between the indexes of costs from time to time m the various cities
at any particular date are due entirely to differences in the percentage
change in living costs in each city.2
Table 2 gives indexes of changes in living costs in 34 large cities by
groups of items for all pricing periods in 1941. This table supplements
and brings up to date table 14 in the March 15, 1940, pamphlet, Serial
No. R. 1156, “ The Bureau of Labor Statistics' New Index of Cost of
Living,” and table 5 in the December 15, 1940, pamphlet, Serial No.
R. 1254, “ Changes in Cost of Living.” This table, together with the
tables of indexes given in the Bureau's Bulletin No. 699, form a
complete series for each city. For those who are primarily interested
in changes in total living costs only and over a longer period of time,
table 3 has been included and presents total living-cost indexes for each
of the cities from March 15, 1935, to December 15, 1941. Table 4
contains a complete series of the indexes by groups of items for the
large cities combined since 1913.
For various purposes, it is often necessary to have estimates of
annual average indexes. These estimates are, therefore, presented
in table 5 for large cities combined, from 1913 through 1941. The
annual average indexes have been computed as follows: The annual
average food index is an average of the monthly indexes falling within
each year; the annual average indexes for clothing; rent; fuel, elec­
tricity, and ice; housefurnishings; and miscellaneous goods and serv­
ices are indexes of the weighted average of the aggregates for each
pricing period affecting the year, the weights representing the relative
importance of each pricing period. When these goods were priced
only twice a year, in June and again in December, it is evident that
1 For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D. C. Price, 15 cents.
8 See Serial No. R. 1476: What is the Cost-of-Living Index? Available on request.




4

COST OF LIVING IN 1 9 4 1
CO ST OF GOODS PURCHASED BY WAGE E A R N E R S
A N D L O W E R -S A L A R IE D W O R K E R S
AVERAGE FOR LARGE C ITIES
M.l«
1935-39-100
IW
1
Fo o b
130
130
ISO
110

no

rent

100

90

90
N

- / f

80
150

F
IEU1

140

140

ISO

130

ISO
110

M 1S S 's
X UP

too

__ r — i

90

— \

i

no

f

90
130

CL()TH I N 6

ISO
L

110
too

no
\
90

90
60
ISO

HOIJSEF URN ISHIINGS

ISO

/

no

TS
IM

100

90

90
80
ISO

FUE L, El.ECT RICI TY, iXND ICE

ISO
no

b

TS
fS
X - L /
X Z J

130
ISO
no

no

1 /

130
no

r"T

""

M SCE LLAf4E0LIS
^AU.1reus

130
120
110

too

100

90

90

1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943
UftCOSFTSO SAISICO U O
N
S ITA OAE OtFTT KTSF U *
U SU T LBRA T T
A RMN




80

5

COST OF LIVING IN 1 9 4 1

prices in December of the previous year were more indicative of prices
in the next month, January, even though it fell in a new year, than
were the prices of the succeeding June. Therefore, costs in December
of the preceding year and in June and December of the given year
are all considered in arriving at an average cost for the year. The
relative importance of each of these costs is expressed for December
of the previous year by 2%, for June of the given year by 6, and for
December of the given year by 3%. Weights for years in which pricing
was done at other intervals will be furnished on request.
T able 2 .

— Indexes of cost of goods purchased by wage earners and lower-salaried
workers in 1941 , by groups of items , in each of 34 large cities
[Average 1935-39=100]

Date

All items

Atlanta:
1941—Jan. 15.....................
Feb. 15....................
Mar. 15....................
Apr. 15.....................
May 15....................
June 15.....................
July 15. ....................
Aug. 15....................
Sept. 15...................
Oct. 15...................
Nov. 15.................. .
Dec. 15................... .
Average.......................
Baltimore:
1941—Jan. 15......................
Feb. 15....................
Mar, 15....................
Apr. 15...................
May 15....................
June 15....................
July 15....................
Aug. 15....................
Sept. 15_________
Oct. 15.....................
Nov. 15...................
Dec. 15.....................
Average....... ...............
Birmingham:
1941—Jan. 15......................
Feb. 15.....................
Mar. 15__________
Apr. 15.....................
May 15....................
June 15....................
July 15.....................
Aug. 15....................
Sept. 15....................
Oct. 15.....................
Nov. 15....................
Dec. 15....................
Average.......................
Boston:
1941—Jan. 15.....................
Feb. 15....................
Mar. 15...................
Apr. 15.....................
May 15. ..................
June 15....................
July 15.....................
Aug. 15...................
Sept. 15...................
Oct. 15.....................
Nov. 15....................
Dec. 15....................
Average..........................
1Monthly data not available.
461958°— 42----- 2



0)
0)
100.5
0)
0)
103.3
0)
0)
107.6
0)
0)
110.6
104.6
100.9
101.1
101.5
102.6
103.8
105.9
106.4
107.4
109.5
110.4
111.3
112.4
106.1
101.3
101.3
101.6
102.4
103.0
105.5
107.0
108.2
109.9
111.8
113.5
113.9
106.6
99.1
99.4
99.5
100.6
101.2
102.5
103.8
105.2
106.4
107.1
108.6
108.2
103.5

Food
94.3
95.8
96.7
99.7
99.0
103.4
105.2
107.0
110.0
112.2
111.1
111.1
103.8
97.9
98.3
99.1
101.5
103.7
108.7
108.6
109.6
113.1
113.6
114.3
116.1
107.0
96.0
95.6
95.3
97.0
97.7
103.0
105.2
106.8
109.0
109.7
112.6
112.0
103.3
95.2
96.2
96.1
98.3
99.5
102.6
104.7
107.3
108.4
108.5
111.5
110.1
103.2

Clothing

Rent

0)
0)
103.5
0)
(0
104.7
0)
0)
114.1
0)
0)
119.6

0)
0)
104.5
0)
0)
104.8
0)
0)
105.1
0)
0)
106.2

109.1
101.2
101.5
101.7
101.9
103.3
103.5
104.8
106.7
109.2
110.6
112.6
114.6
106.0
101.3
100.7
102.9
103.5
103.9
105.5
107.7
110.5
114.7
117.0
119.2
120.9
109.0
99.2
99.2
101.7
101.9
102.2
102.7
104.1
105.5
110.0
111.1
112.3
112.5
105.2

105.0
105.7
105.7
105.9
107.1
107.6
108.4
109.0
109.6
110.9
111.1
ft2.2
112.3
108.8
117.3
117.7
117.9
118.6
118.9
119.3
120.6
121.4
122.1
126.0
127.0
129.1
121.3
100.5
100.5
100.7
100.7
100.7
100.8
101.0
101.2
101.6
102.6
103.5
103.7
101.5

Fuel, elec­ House- Miscel­
tricity, furnish­ laneous
and ice
ings
102.9
102.9
103.0
103.0
99.1
100.2
102.2
104.3
105.3
107.6
107.9
107.9
103.9
100.8
100.8
100.6
100.7
100.4
99.9
101.8
103.4
103.4
103.4
103.5
103.5
101.9
94.0
94.0
93.9
93.9
94.1
95.5
96.4
97.5
97.9
98.9
99.9
100.0
96.3
107.3
106.7
104.9
106.6
107.1
106.8
108.0
109.2
110.1
110.4
110.4
110.4
108.2

0)
(l)
99.4
0)
0)
104.0
p)
0)
110.6
0)
0)
116.6

0)
0)
100.9
p)
0)
102.6
p)
(0
104.3
0)
0)
108.8

106.2
102.2
102.5
104.2
104.3
104.6
106.1
108.1
110.6
115.5
118.6
121.3
122.9
110.1
99.3
99.8
100.5
101.2
101.8
103.4
105.8
107.5
110.5
112.6
114.6
116.1
106.1
97.7
98.0
98.7
99.1
99.7
102.7
105.3
106.6
111.1
113.0
113.4
114.2
105.0

103.5
101.4
101.4
101.4
101.6
102.1
102.8
103.2
103.5
104.2
105.8
106.4
106.7
103.4
101.3
101.3
101.3
101.7
102.2
103.8
104.2
104.7
105.5
107.5
108.2
108.4
104.2
100.9
101.0
101.3
101.4
101.9
102.3
102.9
103.2
103.9
104.8
105.2
105.3
102.8

6

COST OF LIVING IN 1 9 4 1

2. — Indexes of cost of goods purchased by wage earners and lower-salaried
workers in 1941, by groups of items, in each of 34 large cities— Continued

T able

Date
Buffalo:
1941—Jan. 15.....................
Feb. 15....................
Mar. 15................
Apr. 15...................
Mav 15...................
June 15....................
Julv 15.......... .........
Aug. 15. .................
Sept. 15....................
Oct. 15...................
Nov. 15....................
Dec. 15.....................
Average..........................
Chicago:
1941—Jan. 15.....................
Feb.15....................
Mar. 15....................
Apr. 15...................
May 15...................
June 15.....................
July 15....................
Aug. 15_________
Sept. 15...................
Oct. 15....................
Nov. 15....................
Dec. 15.....................
Average..........................
Cincinnati:
1941—Jan. 15.....................
Feb. 15....................
Mar. 15....................
Apr. 15....................
May 15....................
June 15.......... ..........
July 15....................
Aug. 15....................
Sept. 15....................
Oct. 15.....................
Nov. 15....................
Dec. 15....................
Average.........................
Cleveland:
1941—Jan. 15.....................
Feb. 15....................
Mar. 15....................
Apr. 15.....................
May 15....................
June 15.....................
July 15.....................
Aug. 15...................
Sept. 15....................
Oct. 15.....................
Nov. 15....................
Dec. 15....................
Average..........................
Denver:
1941—Jan. 15.....................
Feb.15.....................
Mar. 15....................
Apr. 15....................
May 15.....................
June 15....................
July 15....................
Aug. 15....................
Sept. 15....................
Oct. 15.....................
Nov. 15....................
Dec. 15.....................
Average..........................
Detroit:
1941—Jan. 15.....................
Feb. 15.....................
Mar. 15................. .
Apr. 15.....................




All items
102.1
102.2
102.8
104.1
105. 5
107.3
108.0
108.7
110.9
112.1
112.9
113.3
107.5
101.3
101.3
101.5
102.5
103.2
104.8
mi
106.8
109. 5
110.2
111.0
110.6
105.7
99.7
99.7
100.5
101.6
102.0
103.9
104.5
106.4
108.1
109.8
110.6
110.3
104.8
102.1
102.2
102.9
103.6
104.3
106.2
107.1
109.0
110.9
111.7
112.9
113.3
107.2
99.8
99.5
99.9
101.1
101.6
102.9
103.9
104.9
106.0
108.3
109.7
109.4
103.9
101.1
101.3
102.1
103.4

Food
100.2
100.3
100.8
103.2
106.0
110.1
110.8
111.8
114.1
114.4
115.2
115.4
108.5
98.2
97.9
98.4
100.5
101.9
105.8
107. 5
108.1
114.0
113.5
114.8
113.2
106.1
96.5
96.5
97.6
100.1
100.9
104.8
104.8
109.0
110.0
112.6
114.3
112.7
105.0
99.2
99.3
100.3
102.1
103.4
107.8
108.7
112.1
114.1
114.0
116.4
115.0
107.7
94.8
94.4
95.1
98.6
99.5
103.0
104.2
106.0
107.3
109.9
113.2
111.9
103.2
97.0
97.2
98.4
101.3

Clothing
100.1
100.2
102.1
102.3
102.6
103.1
104.5
106.0
110.8
112.1
114.5
115.0
106.1
98.5
98.9
100.0
100.5
100.8
101.4
101.7
104.5
108.5
109.7
111.0
112.2
104.0
102.0
102.1
104.4
104.6
104.4
104.6
106.2
107.7
113.4
114.8
115.2
116.2
108.0
101.5
101.3
102.1
102.3
102.5
102.9
106.2
110.1
114.3
115.9
117.1
118.8
107.9
99.3
99.3
100.1
100.1
100.3
100.6
101.7
104.4
108.1
110.9
111.9
112.9
104.1
101.0
101.0
102.6
102.7

Rent
107.1
107.1
107.5
109.3
109.9
109.9
110.6
110.6
112.7
112.9
113.9
114.3
110.5
108.9
109.1
109.1
109.3
110.3
110.3
110. 5
110.7
111.0
112.1
112.3
112.4
110.5
102.3
102.3
102.5
102.7
102.8
102.8
103. 0
103.0
103.0
103.4
103.6
104.0
103.0
108.1
108.4
109.0
109.3
110.0
110.2
110.2
110.8
112.9
113.2
113.6
116.4
111.0
106.7
106.8
106.7
106.7
106.7
106.6
106.7
106.9
107.1
108.3
108.4
108.4
107.2
108.5
108.7
109.1
109.7

Fuel, elec­ House- Miscel­
tricity, furnish­ laneous
and ice
ings
99.8
99.8
99.8
99.7
99.7
99.8
101.2
101.9
102.4
103.0
103.2
103.2
101.1
100.5
100.5
100.5
100.3
100.3
100.4
101.6
102.5
102.6
103.1
103.3
103.3
101.6
99.4
99.4
99.4
99.4
98.4
99.8
102.4
103.7
103.9
102.5
102.6
102.6
101.1
108.9
108.9
108.9
108.9
109.1
109.2
110.6
111.8
112.0
112.0
112.0
112.0
110.4
98.4
97.4
97.4
97.4
97.4
97.4
97.4
97.4
97.4
98.2
98.2
98.2
97.7
97.9
98.3
98.3
98.3

99.6
99.6
102.8
103.5
104.1
107.5
109.9
111.2
114.6
117.5
119.4
120.3
109.2
102.0
102.7
103.5
104.0
104.9
106.0
106.4
108.4
110.1
113.1
113.7
114.9
107.5
100.3
100.8
101.8
103.2
104.6
107.3
110.6
111.6
118.7
121.6
122.2
123.8
110.5
101.2
102.3
104.2
104.4
108.5
108.6
110.8
112.5
115.3
116.7
117.9
120.0
110.0
101.3
102.0
103.2
103.9
104.6
106.0
107.9
108.8
109.9
113.4
115.2
115.9
107.7
99.6
99.6
102.7
103.2

103.0
103.1
103.3
103.8
105.1
105.7
106.0
106.2
107.7
110.2
110.6
111.0
106.3
101.0
100.9
100.8
101.1
101.2
101.6
103.4
103.6
104.2
105.9
106.3
106.5
103.0
101.3
101.2
101.4
101.7
102.0
103.3
103.5
103.9
105.2
107.2
107.4
107.6
103.8

ioo.s

100.5
100.7
100.9
101.1
102.3
102.4
102.8
103.8
105.8
106.5
106.7
102.8
101.6
101.3
101.4
101.5
101.9
102.4
103.5
103.9
104.5
107.0
107.4
107.5
103.7
101.9
102.0
102.2
103.2

7

COST OF LIVING IN 1 9 4 1
T a b l e 2 . — Indexes

of cost of goods purchased by wage earners and lower-salaried
workers in 1941, by groups of items , in each of 84 large cities— Continued
Date

All items

Detroit—Continued.
1941—May 15....................
June 15....................
July 15— ................
Aug. 15....................
Sept. 15....................
Oct. 15....... .............
Nov. 15....................
Dec. 15.....................
Average..........................
Houston:
1941—Jan. 15.....................
Feb. 15....................
Mar. 15...................
Apr. 15.....................
May 15....................
June 15..................
July 15................... .
Aug. 15....................
Sept. 15....................
Oct. 15....................
Nov. 15....................
Dec. 15.....................
Average..........................
Indianapolis:
1941—Jan. 15.....................
Feb. 15—..................
Mar. 15....................
Apr. 15.....................
May 15....................
June 15....................
July 15_....................
Aug. 15....................
Sept. 15....................
Oct. 15.....................
Nov. 15....................
Dec. 15-..................
Average..........................
Jacksonville:
1941—Jan. 15......................
Feb.15.....................
Mar. 15....................
Apr. 15.....................
May 15. ..................
June 15—................
July 15.....................
Aug. 15....................
Sept. 15....................
Oct. 15.....................
Nov. 15...................
Dec. 15_ ..................
Average..........................
Kansas City:
1941—Jan. 15.....................
Feb. 15.....................
Mar. 15....................
Apr. 15....................
May 15....................
June 15-................ .
July 15.....................
Aug. 15....................
Sept. 15....................
Oct. 15.....................
Nov. 15....................
Dec. 15.....................
Average..........................
Los Angeles:
1941—Jan. 15......................
Feb. 15-...................
Mar. 15....................
Apr. 15....................
May 15....................
June 15....................
i Monthly data not available.




103.5
106.4
107.1
107.5
109.6
111.8
112.5
112.7
106.6
101.9
101.9
102.3
103.2
103.5
104.0
105.0
105.8
107.9
110.1
111.2
111.4
105.7
(9
<9

102.2

(9
(9

105.6

(9
(9

109.7

(9
(9

113.3
106.7

(9
(9

102.4

(9
(9

106.1

(0
(9

110.6

(9
<9

114.3
107.4
98.3
98.6
99.2
100.2
100.4
101.8
102.2
103.2
105.4
107.1
108.3
108.7
102.8
102.8
101.8
102.5
103.2
104.3
105.6

Food
100.7
107.0
107.2
107.1
108.9
111.1
112.0
111.4
104.9
102.6
102.1
102.1
104.2
105.0
106.4
108.7
109.5
113.1
116.6
118.6
117.9
108.9
98.2
97.9
98.8
101.1
103.5
106.5
106.9
108.5
111.3
112.6
114.9
115.2
106.3
98.8
99.2
99.0
101.7
103.1
107.6
111.4
113.6
114.6
117.5
119.2
117.3
108.6
92.4
93.6
94.8
97.4
97.9
101.3
101.2
101.8
107.3
107.1
109.6
109.7
101.2
101.8
99.0
100.8
102.7
105.2
107.7

Clothing

Rent

102.8
103.2
105.2
106.5
110.7
113.6
115.6
116.6
106.8
98.2
100.0
103.4
103.5
103.6
103.9
105.5
108.7
112.5
114.9
117.0
118.5
107.5

110.0
111.3
112.1
112.4
114.7
116.7
116.9
117.6
112.3
107.6
107.6
107.1
107.1
107.1
106.9
106.9
106.9
106.9
106.8
107.0
107.4
107.1

h

(9

(9
(9

(9
(9

<9
(9

(9
(9

(9
<9

(9
(9

<9
(9

(9
(9

(9
(9

(9
<9

(9
(9

0)
0)

(9
(9

(9
(9

<9
(9

103.0

103.8

113.2
118.1
108.2

101.9
102.9

110.5

117.7
106.9
101.2
100.9
102.3
103.1
103.1
103.5
104.4
107.1
109.6
111.9
112.9
113.7
106.1
103.4
102.8
103.6
103.8
104.0
105.7

111.8
114.2
116.0

118.3
114.5

109.5
111.6
113.1

116.0
111.8
102.9
103.0
103.1
103.2
103.3
103.3
104.1
104.6
104.6
106.8
107.5
107.5
104.5
106.5
106.9
106.4
106.4
106.4
106.6

Fuel, elec­ House- Miscel­
tricity, fumish- laneous
and ice
ings
99.8
101.9
102.5
104.2
104.8
105.3
105.4
106.3
101.9
93.2
93.2
93.2
93.1
93.1
93.1
93.1
93.2
93.5
93.6
93.7
93.9
93.3
100.1
100.1
100.1
*100.1
99.9
100.0
101.3
102.4
103.0
102.9
102.9
103.1
101.3
98.0
98.0
98.4
98.4
97.6
98.1
98.5
98.7
106.8
107.1
107.3
107.7
101.2
100.7
100.7
100.8
100.8
100.8
101.0
101.2
102.6
102.7
102.7
102.7
102.8
101.6
95.5
94.3
94.3
94.3
94.3
94.2

103.6
106.4
108.9
110.3
112.0
114. 9
116.4
117.2
107.9
104.8
105.0
105.8
106.8
107.6
109.1
111.2
112.7
114.3
116.6
118.0
118.8
110.9

103.2
104.6
105.1
105.2
107.2
109.7
109.9
110.1
105.4
100.6
100.4
100.6
101.3
101.3
101.3
101.4
101.8
103.1
105.7
106.2
106.5
102.5

(9
(9

(9
(9

(9
<9

(9
(9

(9
<9

(9
(9

<9
(9

(9
(9

(9
(9

, (9
(9

<9
(9

(9
<9

(9
(9

(9
(9

(9
<9

(9
(9

102.0

107.9
115.1
120.4
109.6

100.7
104.1

109.5

117.7
106.7
98.8
99.0
99.9
100.2
100.5
103.2
105.1
106.0
107.2
110.7
112.0
112.6
104.7
101.0
101.4
102.6
103.5
103.7
105.1

101.4
102.3

104.4

108.4
103.6

103.9

105.0
106.5

110.1
105.8
99.9
100.0
100.1
100.4
100.3
101.1
101.3
102.3
103.0
106.0
106.7
107.3
102.4
102.9
102.8
102.9
103.0
103.9
104.5

8

COST OF LIVING IN 1 9 4 1

2.— Indexes of cost of goods purchased by wage earners and lower-salaried
workers in 1941, by groups of items , in each of 34 large cities— Continued

T able

Date

All items

Los Angeles—Continued.
1941—July 15....... ...........
Aug. 15__................
Sept. 15...................
Oct. 15.....................
Nov. 15....................
Dec. 15__..............
Average..........................
Manchester:
1941—Jan. 15....................
Feb. 15__________
Mar. 15................ „
Apr. 15__________
May 15__________
June 15________
July 15—.............. .
Aug. 15....................
Sept. 15____ _____
Oct. 15...................
Nov. 15_________
Dec. 15....................
Average..........................
Memphis:
1941—Jan. 15.....................
Feb. 15.....................
Mar. 15...................
Apr. 15....................
May 15________„
June 15..................
July 15.....................
Aug. 15....................
Sept. 15...................
Oct. 15.....................
Nov. 15__________
Dec. 15.................
Average........................ .
Milwaukee:
1941—Jan. 15.....................
Feb. 15-.............. Mar. 15...................
Apr. 15— ........—
May 15....................
June 15....................
July 15....................
Aug. 15....................
Sept. 15—................
Oct. 15.....................
Nov. 15....................
Dec. 15....................................
Average..........................
Minneapolis:
1941—Jan. 1 5 -..................
Feb. 15................. .
Mar. 15....................
Apr. 15__________
May 15_ ..................
June 15—.............—.
July 15.....................
Aug. 15_.............—.
Sept. 15....................
Oct. 15___ ______
Nov. 15....................
Dec. 15____________
Average..........................
Mobile:
1941—Jan. 15......................
Feb.15.....................
Mar. 15....................
Apr. 15....................
May 15..................
June 15.....................
' Monthly data not available.




Food

Clothing

Rent

Fuel, elec­ House- Miscel­
tricity, furnish­ laneous
and ice
ings

105.7
106.6
108.1
109.8
111.1
112.3
106.2

107.2
109.3
111.9
112.4
115.4
118.6
107.7

106.8
108.4
111.6
114.5
115.4
116.6
108.0

106.6
106.6
106.6
108.1
108.5
108.5
107.0

94.2
94.2
94.2
94.2
94.2
94.2
94.3

106.9
108.3
110.5
113.8
114.5
115.3
107.2

104.7
104.7
105.4
107.9
108.3
108.6
105.0

0)
0)
100.1
0)
0)
104.4
0)
0)
108.9
0)
0)
110.7

0)
0)
101.1
0)
0)
101.8
(0
0)
110.0
0)
0)
114.3

0)
0)
103.3
0)
0)
104.1
(>)
(0
104.9
p)
h
106.9
104.5
0)
0)
107.9
0)
0)
109.7
0)
0)
111.6
(0
0)
113.6

0)
0)
113.7

0)
0)
101.7
(0
0)
105.5
0)
0)
107.4
0)
0)
109.8

105.0

105.4

104.1

104.1

105.2
104.3
102.1
104.4
104.9
105.6
105.7
107.7
110.2
111.2
111.5
111.7
107.0
94.1
94.1
94.7
94.7
94.7
94.7
95.4
95.8
99.6
99.7
99.7
99.7
96.4
99.9
99.9
99.9
99.9
99.9
100.6
100.8
102.5
102.5
103.8
103.8
103.8
101.4

0)
0)
99.6

103.9

96.6
96.7
97.2
99.5
101.3
104.6
107.1
108.4
110.4
110.9
112.8
111.7
104.8
94.2
94.8
95.7
98.2
99.8
103.3
105.7
106.4
110.6
111.3
112.3
113.1
103.8
95.9
95.4
96.3
99.2
101.1
106.5
106.8
107.1
109.2
109.2
111.3
110.5
104.0

101.5
101.9
102.1
102.7
103.9
105.6
106.3
107.3
109.0
110.1
110.7
110.7
106.0
0)
0)
101.7
0)
0)
105.1

99.0
100.5
100.2
101.5
103.1
107.4
108.2
110.0
112.0
112.5
112.9
111.9
106.6
97.9
98.2
99.8
102.9
104.2
106.6

100.2
100.0
102.0
102.1
102.3
103.5
105.1
106.7
111.6
113.3
114.4
115.4
106.4
(0
0)
100.7
0)
0)
102.4

108.0
108.0
108.1
108.3
108.3
108.3
108.4
108.6
108.6
108.8
108.9
109.0
108.4
0)
0)
111.8
0)
0)
112.8

96.8
96.6
96.4
96.4
95.8
96.0
97.2
98.2
98.6
99.0
98.8
98.8
97.4
96.4
96.4
97.0
97.0
97.0
96.3

105.2
0)
0)
100.2
0)
0)
103.5
0)
0)
108.3
0)
0)
111.1

104.7
(0
0)
99.5
0)
(*)
103.6
0)
0)
106.8
(0
(0
109.4

105.7
0)
0)
102.7
0)
0)
103.5
0)
0)
112.6
0)
0)
119.4

108.1
0)
0)
99.3
0)
0)
99.9
(0
0)
108.6
0)
0)
113.1

110.1
(0
(0
102.7
0)
(0
103.1
0)
0)
105.1
0)
0)
106.8

p)

h
101.9

8
109.5

8
101.6

<0
(0
105.3
0)
0)
114.1
(0
0)
120.8
108.9

0)
0)
101.2
0)
(0
102.6
0)
0)
103.8
0)
0)
105.6
102.9

0)
0)
101.3
0)
0)
105.7
0)
114.0
0)
0)
121.5

0)
0)
101.0
0)
0)
102.4
0)
0)
104.0
0)
0)
107.7

108.8

103.2

101.4
101.4
103.4
104.2
105.5
107.9
109.2
110.7
114.3
116.3
116.9
118.8
109.2

102.1
102.2
102.3
102.4
104.7
105.3
105.6
106.0
107.3
109.5
110.7

(0
0)
102.7
0)
0)

105.5

111.0
105.8

8o<
i
8

100.9
103.0

9

COST OF LIVING IN 1 9 4 1
T a b l e £ .— Indexes

of cost of goods purchased by wage earners and lower-salaried
workers in 1941 , by groups of items, in each of 84 large cities— Continued
Date

All items

Mobile—Continued.
1941—July 15.....................
Aug. 15....................
Sept. 15....................
Oct. 15....................Nov. 15.................. .
Dec. 15.....................
Average..........................
New Orleans:
1941—Jan. 15......................
Feb. 15.....................
Mar. 15.................. .
Apr. 15.....................
May 15. ..................
June 15....................
July 15....................
Aug. 15. .................
Sept. 15...................
Oct. 15.._________
Nov. 15...................
Dec. 15..... ............. Average..........................
New York:
1941—Jan. 1 5 -................ Feb. 15...................
Mar. 15....................
Apr. 15....................
May 15................. June 15....................
July 15...................Aug. 15...................
Sept. 15....................
Oct. 15.................. Nov. 15....................
Dec. 15.....................
Average..........................
Norfolk:
1941—Jan. 15......................
Feb. 15.....................
Mar. 15................ .
Apr. 15.....................
May 15-..................
June 15.......... .........
July 15-..................
Aug. 15....................
Sept. 15....................
Oct. 15....................
Nov. 15................ .
Dec. 15.....................
Average..........................
Philadelphia:
1941—Jan. 15.....................
Feb. 15....................
Mar. 15................ „
Apr. 15...................
May 15. ..................
June 15—.................
July 15.....................
Aug. 15. ................Sept. 15....................
Oct. 15....................Nov. 15....................
Dec. 15.....................
Average..........................
Pittsburgh:
1941—Jan. 15.....................
Feb. 15.....................
Mar. 15....................
Apr. 15....................
May 15....................
June 15.....................
July 15.....................
i Monthly data not available.



0)
0)
110.7
(0
0)
116.4
107.2
0)
0)
102.4
0)
0)
105.6
0)
0)
110.9
0)
0)
113.5
107.1

Food
110.4
112.3
116.0
118.9
120.2
120.7
109.0
101.9
102.0
102.9
105.9
105.2
108.6
112.0
114.7
117.4
118.8
118.7
119.9
110.7

Clothing
0)
0)
112.8
0)
0)
119.0

107.2
0)
0)
103.2
0)
0)
104.3
0)
0)
114.4
(0
0)
119.1
108.9
100.5
99.5
101.6
102.1
102.8
103.1
104.6
106.3
109.7
111.1
110.7
111.3
105.3

101.1
101.3
101.5
102.3
102.6
104.5
104.8
105.5
106.8
108.0
108.7
108.7
104 7
0)
0)
102.6
0)
0)
106.4
0)
0)
110.9
0)
0)
115.3
107.5
99.3
99.2
99.6
100.5
101.7
103.3
103.7
104.7
106.7
108.0
108.3
108.8
103.6

99.5
100.4
99.8
101.6
102.3
106.7
107.0
107.8
109.8
111.4
113.1
112.5
106.0
95.8
99.5
100.6
102.1
102.1
107.0
108.4
110.8
113.1
115.2
116.7
117.6
107.4
95.0
94.9
95.2
97.0
100.1
103.3
103.3
104.7
107.5
109.0
108.7
109.8
102.4

0)
104.5
0)
0)
105.3
0)
0)
114.5
0)
0)
118.1
109.4
100.6
100.1
101.6
101.9
102.3
103.3
104.4
106.3
110.5
111.6
113.7
114.0
105.9

101.2
100.8
101.4
102.3
103.4
105.2
106.2

98.0
97.5
98.5
101.1
103.6
107.3
108.7

101.9
100.4
102.2
102.4
102.4
102.6
104.6

0)

Rent

Fuel, elec­ House- Miscel­
tricity, furnish­ laneous
and ice
ings
96.3
97.0
99.3
101.2
101.3
101.7
98.1
97.5
97.5
96.4
96.5
97.3
98.8
98.8
98.8
98.9
99.1
100.0
100.1
98.3

0)
0)
111.4
0)
0)
115.7
107.7
0)
0)
105.7
0)
0)
110.2
0)
0)
117.0
<9
0)
122.7

0)
111.6
0)
0)
118.4
110.7
103.6
103.6
103.9
104.4
104.5
104.5
104.7
105.1
105.3
105.3
105.6
105.6
104.7

100.8
100.7
103.5
103.5
103.3
103.4
103.4
103.8
104.1
104.1
103.3
103.3
103.1
99.7
99.7
99.7
108.8
108 8
108.8
108.8
111.0
111.1
113.3
113.3
113.3
108.0
99.7
99.7
99.7
100.1
100.2
100.5
101.5
103.0
103.1
103.3
103.3
103.3
101.5

95.6
96.0
96.6
96.8
97.6
100.1
102.7
103.8
106.9
109.7
110.0
111.2
102.2
0)
0)
101.8
0)
(9
104.7
0)
<9
113.1
(9
h
119.3

108.2
101.4
101.6
102.4
103.1
103.4
105.0
107.2
108.4
111.9
112.6
114.5
115.0
107.2

0)
102.6
0)
0)
103.0
0)
<9
106.0
0)
(9
109.3
104.0
101.7
101.7
101.7
102.0
102.3
103.1
103.2
103.6
105.1
107.4
107.5
107.6
103.0

105.7
105.7
105.8
105.8
106.3
106.7
106.8

103.8
103.8
104.0
104.0
104.0
104.5
105.8

102.2
102.1
102.7
104.3
104.8
106.2
108.9

100.6
100.0
100.7
100.3
101.0
102.2
102.0

0)
0)
114.3
0)
0)
130.4
115.7
(0
0)
104.1
(0
0)
104.3
0)
(0
104.7
0)
0)
105.5
104.5
102.7
102.7
102.7
102.7
102.7
102.8
102.7
102.8
102.9
102.9
102.9
103.0
102.8
0)
0)
107.5
0)
0)
109.6

0)

112.4

<9
(9

105.2
(9
0)
108.0
103.6

(9
(9

101.4

<9
(9

103.5

(9
<9

105.3

<9
<9

108.1
104.0
103.0
103.2
103.3
103.4
103.4
103.0
104.0
104.4
105.0
106.6
107.1
107.5
104.6

0)

10

COST OF LIVING IN 1 9 4 1

Indexes of cost of goods purchased by wage earners and lower-salaried
workers in 1941, by groups of items , in each of 84 large cities— Continued

T a b l e 3 .—

Date

All items

Pittsburgh—Continued.
1941—Aug. 15....................
Sept. 15....................
Oct. 15.....................
Nov. 15....................
Dec. 15............ ........
Average.........................
Portland, Maine:
1941—Jan. 15.....................
Feb. 15.....................
Mar. 15....................
Apr. 15.....................
May 15....................
June 15....................
July 15.....................
Aug. 15....................
Sept. 15....................
Oct. 15.....................
Nov. 15........... ........
Dec. 15............. ......
Average.........................
Portland, Oreg.:
1941—Jan. 15.....................
Feb. 15.....................
Mar. 15....................
Apr. 15.....................
May 15............. ......
June 15....................
July 15.....................
Aug. 15...................
Sept. 15....................
Oct. 15.....................
Nov. 15................
Dec. 15___ ______
Average____________
Richmond:
1941—Jan. 15.....................
Feb. 15................. .
Mar. 15................ .
Apr. 15....................
May 15....................
June 15.....................
July 15.....................
Aug. 15..................
Sept. 15.................
Oct. 15....................
Nov. 15....................
Dec. 15.....................
Average....... ..................
St. Louis:
1941—Jan. 15.....................
Feb. 15.....................
Mar. 15....................
Apr. 15................. .
May 15...................
June 15...................
July 15....................
Aug. 15..................
Sept. 15...................
Oct. 15...................
Nov. 15....................
Dec. 15................. .
Average..........................
San Francisco:
1941—Jan. 15.....................
Feb. 15.....................
Mar. 15....................
Apr. 15.....................
May 15....................
June 15.....................
1 Monthly data not available.




106.8
108.7
109.4
110.2
110.8
105.5
(l)
(l)
98.8
(9
(9
102.8
(9
0)
106.2
(9
(9
108.7

103.3
(9
0)
102.7
(9
(9
106.2
(9
(9
111.0
(9
(9
113.7
107.3
(0
(9
100.0
(9
(9
103.0
(9
(0
107.4
(9
(9
110.1
104.2
100.9
100.8
101.1
101.9
102.1
104.1
104.6
105.1
107.8
108.7
109.8
110.6
104.8
102.1
102.2
102.4
103.5
104.2
105.4

Food
109.0
111.9
111.8
112.9
113.7
106.2
95.3
96.0
95.9
98.6
100.7
104.2
106.3
107.9
109.2
109.3
111.2
110.7
103.8
101.7
101.6
102.8
105. 5
106.8
110.2
111.5
114.3
119.9
120.3
121.7
121.3
111.5
93.7
94.7
94.9
97.9
97.8
102.9
105.1
107.5
109.9
112.3
111.8
112.6
103.4
99.2
99.3
99.5
101.4
102.4
107.2
108.5
.109.4
114.5
114.6
117.0
117.5
107.5
99.6
99.6
100.6
103.5
104.9
107.1

Clothing
107.3
111.4
114.3
116.5
117.9
107.0
(l)
<9
100.4
(9
(9
100.7
(9
(9
107.4
(9
(9
111.4

Rent
106.8
106.9
106.9
106.9
107.0
106.5
(l)
(9
100.7
(')
(9
100.7
(9
(9
101.2
(9
(9
103.0

104.0
(9
(9
102.9
(9
(9
103.9
(9
(9
110.1
(9
(9
113.0

101.2
0)
(9
107.2
(9
(9
108.8
(9
(9
110.5
(1)
(9
112.6

109.0
101.2
101.4
103.1
103.2
103.6
104.2
105.6
107.2
110.5
112.4
114.0
116.7
106.9
103.0
103.0
103.1
103.3
103.7
105.2

103.4
101.6
101.6
101.5
101.5
101.6
101.7
101.8
101.8
102.4
102.4
103.2
104.2
102.1
103.9
104.1
103.9
104.0
104.0
104.0

106.6
(9
(9
103.9
(9
(9
104.7
(9
(9
113.5
(9
(9
119.4

109.3
(9
(9
103.2
(9
(9
103.3
(9
(9
103.7
(9
0)
103.8

Fuel, elec­ House- Miscel­
tricity, furnish­ laneous
and ice
ings
105.9
107.1
107.0
106.8
106.7
105.3
102.7
101.9
99.6
101.6
102.7
102.6
103.2
104.1
105.1
106.1
106.4
106.3
103.5
94.8
94.8
94.8
94.7
95.1
95.3
96.1
96.8
98.2
99.9
100.8
102.9
97.0
100.7
100.8
100.8
100.8
99.7
99.8
101.2
101.2
103.2
103.2
103.2
104.3
101.6
103.1
103.1
102.8
102.8
102.7
102.5
103.9
105.2
105.8
106.0
106.1
106.2
104.2
91.6
91.6
91.6
91.6
91.6
91.6

111.0
113.9
115.5
116.6
117.8
108.8
(9
h99.0
(9
(9
101.6
(9
(9
107.8
(9
(9
114.5

103.2
104.0
105.5
106.2
106.7
102.9
(9
(9
100.1
(9
(9
103.7
(9
(9
105.4
(9
(9
108.8

104.5
0)
0)
101.5
0)
<9
105.8
0)
0)
109.5
(l) (9
115.7

103.7
(9
(9
102.4
(9
(9
104.3
(9
(9
105.5
(9
(9
108.7

111.9
95.9
96.3
97.7
98.3
99.0
99.8
102.1
102.8
105.3
108.0
109.8
111.5
102.2
101.0
101.3
102.3
102.7
103.4
105.5

103.1
102.6
102.2
102.3
102.7
101.9
102.9
101.9
101.6
102.9
104.8
104.7
104.9
103.0
104.9
105.0
104.8
104.9
105.5
105.9

106.9
<9
(9
105.3
<9
<9
109.1
(9
(9
117.0
(9
(9
122.1

104.7
(9
(9
101.2
(9
(9
102.2
(9
(9
104.1
(9
(9
106.8

11

COST OF LIVING IN 1 9 4 1

2.— Indexes of cost of goods purchased by wage earners and lower-salaried
workers in 1941, by groups of items , in each of 84 large cities— Continued

T able

Date

All items

San Francisco—Continued.
1941—July 15...................
Aug. 15...................
Sept. 15....................
Oct. 15.....................
Nov. 15.................. .
Dec. 15.....................
Average..........................
Savannah:
1941—Jan. 15.....................
Feb. 15....................
Mar. 15................. .
Apr. 15.....................
May 15.....................
June 15....................
July 15....................
Aug. 15....................
Sept. 15....................
Oct. 15....................
Nov. 15....................
Dec. 15................... .
Average...........................
Scranton:
1941—Jan. 15.....................
Feb. 15....................
Mar. 15....................
Apr. 15.................. .
May 15....................
June 15.....................
July 15....................
Aug. 15....................
Sept. 15...................
Oct. 15.....................
Nov. 15.................. .
Dec. 15...-...............
Average...........................
Seattle:
1941—Jan. 15....................
Feb. 15.....................
Mar. 15...................
Apr. 15.....................
May 15....................
June 15...................
July 15.....................
Aug. 15....................
Sept. 15....................
Oct. 15.....................
Nov. 15...................
Dec. 15....................
Average..... ....................
Washington, D. C.:
1941—Jan. 15.................. .
Feb. 15.....................
Mar. 15.................
Apr. 15. ..................
May 15. ..................
June 15. ..................
July 15.....................
Aug. 15...................
Sept. 15....................
Oct. 15....................
Nov. 15....................
Dec. 15.....................
Average..........................
Monthly data not available.




105:7
106.3
107.8
109.4
110.6
111.3
105.9
101.4
100.9
101.6
102.5
103.3
105.0
107.4
108.3
110.5
112.8
113.4
113.9
106.8
(9
(9

99.1

0)
(9

102.8

(9
(9

106.7

(9
0)

108.3
103.3

102.2
102.5
103.0
104.1
106.0
107.2
107.4
108.7
111.5
112.9
113.4
114.7
107.8
(9
0)

100.9

(9
(9

103.2

(9
0)

106.7
108.4
108.6
109.7
104.3

Food
107.2
108.3
111.0
112.6
114.4
115.4
107.0
100.5
100.0
100.7
103.0
104.7
108.9
113.5
114.8
116.4
118.3
118.6
118.1
109.8
97.5
97.7
97.6
100.4
102.9
105.2
106.8
108.8
116.3
109.8
109.5
111.8
104.9
101.0
101.0
102.4
104.7
108.0
109.7
109.3
112.2
117.0
118.1
118.9
120.6
110.2
97.7
98.8
99.3
100.7
102.8
104.8
105.7
107.4
110.5
111.9
111.4
113.4
105.4

Clothing

Rent

106.3
107.2
109.5
111.5
113.6
115.0
107.0
100.7
98.7
102.2
102.3
102.7
103.1
105.4
107.8
113.7
115.8
117.7
119.2
107.4

104.0
104.1
104.5
104.8
105.0
105.3
104.3
105.0
105.0
105.4
105.8
106.1
106.2
106.6
106.6
108.0
112.5
112.7
113.6
107.8

(9
(9

(9
(9

(9
(9

(9
(9

(9
(9

(9
(9

(9
(9

(9
(9

103.1
103.2
103.8
103.9
106.3
106.6
107.8
109.1
112.3
114.0
114.9
116.2
108.4

107.0
108.4
ioa i
109.0
110.4
110.8
111.3
111.4
114.1
114.8
115.0
117.9
111.5

(9
(9

(9
(9

(9
(9

(9
(9

(9
(9

(9
(9

102.1
104.9

112.7
118.2
108.1

103.5
104.8

113.7
117.0
118.0
120.4
109.3

98.4
98.3

98.4

98.3
98.3

100.3
100.3

100.9
101.2
101.3
101.3
100.6

Fuel, elec­ House- Miscel­
tricity, furnish­ laneous
ings
and ice
91.6
91.6
91.8
91.9
92.8
92.9
91.8
96.9
96.9
96.9
96.9
96.9
96.9
99.1
99.5
100.6
100.6
101.2
101.8
98.7
96.3
96.3
96.3
96.3
96.1
96.7
97.5
98.6
99.5
99.5
99.5
99.5
97.7
94.9
94.9
95.0
94.9
95.7
95.9
95.7
95.8
97.6
98.5
98.6
99.4
96.4
99.3
99.2
98.9
98.9
99.3
99.0
99.9
100.8
101.1
101.7
101.7
101.6
100.1

107.2
108.5
111.3
113.0
115.0
115.8
107.3
104.6
103.9
103.3
103.9
104.1
105.4
106.9
108.7
111.6
114.7
116.3
118.0
108.4

106.2
106.4
107.0
109.3
110.0
110.4
106.7
101.4
101.1
101.2
101.6
101.9
102.4
103.3
103.8
105.6
108.0
108.5
109.2
104.0

(9
(9

(9
(9

(9
<9

(9
(9

(9
(9

(9
(9

(9
(9

(9
(9

100.8

106.9

113.6
119.1
108.4

97.6
98.0
98.5
99.3
100.5
102.0
103.4
105.7
108.9
113.0
113.7
114.4
104.6

101.2

102.5
105.1

106.1
103.3

103.1
103.2
103.2
103.8
104.7
106.1
106.3
105.7
107.6
109.3
109.5
109.7
106.1

(9
(9

(9
(9

(9
(9

(9
(9

(9
(9

(9
(9

107.5
111.5•

117.9
121.4
121.9
124.5
113.9

100.9
102.6

104.2
106.4
108.9
107.6
103.3

T able 3

.— Indexes oj cost oj all goods purchased by wage earners and lower-salaried workers in each of 34 large cities, Mar. 15, 1935,
through Dec. 15, 1941
Date




East North Central
Cincin­ Cleve­ Detroit
nati land
98.6 96.9 94.2
98.5 97.0 94.9
99.0 97.4 95.5
99.6 97.2 96.5
98.2 96.8 96.4
100.6 98.6 99.2
101.7 100.0 100.1
99.9 98.4 99.5
102.7 100.5 102.7
103.1 102.8 105. 3
104.4 104. 3 106. 1
102. 9 102. 9 106. 4
100.6 101. 1 104. 2
100. 5 101. 8 103.0
100.3 101. 9 101. 5
99.1 101. 4 100.7
98.2 101.0 99.8
97.3 100.8 99.1
99.4 101.7 100.2
98.2 100.9 99.8
98.4 100.7 99.9
98.8 101.5 100.9
99.9 102.2 100.5
99.1 101.5 100.6
99.1 101.2 100.4
99.6 102.0 100.9
99.7 102.1 101.1
99.7 102.2 101.3
100.5 102.9 102.1
101.6 103.6 103.4
102.0 104.3 103.5
103.9 106.2 106.4
104.5 107.1 107.1
106.4 109.0 107.5
108.1 110.9 109.6
109.8 111.7 111.8
110.6 112.9 112.5
110.3 113.3 112.7

West Norta Central
Indian­ Mil­ Kansas Minne­ St.
apolis waukee® City apolis Louis
98.0
97.1 97.4 98.0 96.4
98.3
97.4 97.4 97.3 96.1
98.2
98.4 98.1 98.0 96.8
99.4
98.9 98.5 98.7 98.0
98.3
97.9 98.1 97.6 96.9
99.8
98.8 99.6 99.3 98.1
100.2 101.2 100.7 100.1 101.3
99. 7
100.0 100. 4 99.9 99.9
101. 9 102.4 101.7 101.6 101.8
103. 4 104. 3 102.9 102.7 103.0
104.4 105.1 103.8 104. 2 104.1
103. 5 103. 5 102.6 103.4 102.7
101. 5 101.7 100.9 101.5 100.7
101.1 101. 6 100. 8 101.8 100.4
101. 0 100. 3 100.3 101.4 100.7
99.5
100.0 99. 6 99.7 100.9
99.0
99.3 98.3 99.1 100.2
97.8
98.4 97.5 99.0 100.1
99.7 99.1 100. 6 101.2 100.4
99.1
99.6 98.1 99.3 101.1
99.0
99.6 98.0 98.3 100.7
99.5
100.2 99.5 98.6 100.8
98.8 97.8 100.9
99.8
100.7
98.0 101.0 100.0
(0
0)
98.3 101.1
99.7
0)
0)
102.0 99.1 98.6 102.2 101.0
98.3 101. 5' 100.9
0)
(0
98.6 101.9 100.8
0)
0)
102.2 99.5 99.2 102.1 101.1
100.2 102.7 101.9
(0
0)
100.4 103.9 102.1
0)
0)
105.6 103.6 101.8 105. 6 104.1
102.2 108.3 104.6
0)
0)
103.2 107.3 105.1
0)
0)
109.7 106.8 105.4 109.0 107.8
107.1 110.1 108.7
0)
0)
108.3 110.7 109.8
0)
0)
113.3 109.4 108.7 110.7 110.6

COST OF LIVING IN 1941

1935—Mar. 15.............................
July 15...____ ________
Oct. 15. ..............................
1936—Jan. 15...............................
Apr. 15...........................
July 15.._-------------------Sept. 15_______________
Dec. 1 5 ...........................
1937—Mar. 15..............................
June 15_______________
Sept. 15...,___________
Dec. 15.........................
1938—Mar. 15_______________
June 15_______________
Sept. 15________ ____
Dec. 15........................... .
1939—Mar. 15.........................
June 15...............................
Sept. 15............ ..............
Dec. 15______ ______ _
1940—Mar. 15.............................
June 15..............................
Sept. 15..........................
Oct. 15...................... ........
Nov. 15___ ___________
Dec. 15...........................
1941—Jan. 15_______________
Feb. 15...............................
Mar. 15........................ .
Apr. 15...............................
May 15...............................
June 15.................. ...........
July 15.............................
Aug. 15..............................
Sept. 15..............................
Oct. 15................................
Nov. 15....... ......................
Dec. 15..............................

New England
Man­ Port­
Boston chester land, Buffalo
Maine
100.3 99.1 100.0 96.9
99.0 99.2 100.7 97.7
99.2 98.9 100.1 97.2
100.1 99.8 100.5 98.0
99.6 99.3 99.9 98.1
100.8 100.8 101.3 100.0
100.3 100.4 101.1 100.0
99.3 99.7 100.5 99.9
101.5 102.1 102.0 101.7
102. 6 103. 2 103. 0 103.9
104. 8 103. 5 103. 5 104. 5
102.2 101.6 101.8 103.6
99.8 100.1 99.3 101.3
99.8 100.3 99.2 100. 6
99.8 99.6 99.4 100.1
98.8 98.8 97.8 100.4
98.1 98.0 96.6 99.3
97.4 97.*9 96.4 98.6
99.3 100.4 99.0 101.1
97.9 99.0 97.6 99.7
99.2 100.1 97.8 100.5
100.0 100.5 98.9 101.2
99.4 100.4 98.5 101.2
100.9
98.8 (0
(»)
100.9
98.5 (0
0)
99.1 100.3 98.3 101.7
102.1
99.1 (0
0)
99.4 (0
102.2
0)
99.5 100.1 98.8 102.8
104.1
100. 6 (0
(0
101.2 (0
105.5
0)
102.5 104.4 102.8 107.3
103.8 0)
108.0
0)
105.2 0)
108.7
0)
106.4 108. 9 106.2 110.9
107.1 0)
112.1
0)
108.6 0)
112.9
0)
108.2 110.7 108.7 113.3

[Average 1935-39=100]
Middle Atlantic
New Phila­ Pitts­ Scran­ Chicago
York delphia burgh ton
98.9 98.0 96.9 99.8 97.1
98.3 98.2 97.4 99.9 97.3
98.7 99.0 98.3 100.3 97.2
99.9 100.1 98.7 101.4 97.7
98.6 99.2 97.5 99.4 96.9
99.5 100.2 100.0 101.4 98.7
100.4 101.0 101.2 102.5 100.5
99.5 100.8 100.0 101.8 99.5
101.3 102.2 101.8 102.1 101.3
101.4 102.7 103.6 102.9 103. 6
103. 9 104.0 105.2 103.8 105. 1
102. 8 101. 6 102.5 101.2 103. 3
99.6 100.2 100.8 99.7 101.1
99.7 100.6 101.2 99.6 102.2
100.3 100.1 101.1 97.7 102.1
100.2 99.4 100.3 97.9 100.8
99.2 98.2 97.8 96.9 99.4
98.2 98.0 98.4 96.4 98.9
101.3 99.6 100.1 98.7 100.7
100.1 98.6 98.8 97.4 99.8
101.2 98.3 99.1 98.4 99.7
101.6 99.2 100.6 98.7 101.4
101.0 98.7 100.7 98.6 100.9
100.9
100.2 98.7 100.5 (0
100.5
100.4 98.8 100.6 0)
100.9 99.1 101.1 99.4 101.0
101.3
101.1 99.3 101.2 (0
101.3
101.3 99.2 100.8
99.1 101.5
101.5 99.6 101.4 (0
102.5
102.3 100.5 102.3 (0
103.2
102.6 101.7 103.4 <»)
104.5 103.3 105.2 102.8 104.8
106.1
104.8 103.7 106.2 0)
106.8
105.5 104.7 106.8 0)
106.8 106.7 108.7 106.7 109.5
110.2
108.0 108.0 109.4 0)
111.0
108.7 108.3 110.2 0)
108.7 108.8 110.8 108.3 110.6

to

■zf—osmiQf

Date
1935—Mar. 15............................
July 15......................... .....
Oct. 15...............................
1936—Jan. 15...............................
Apr. 15....... .......................
July 15...............................
Sept. 15.............................
Dec. 15..............................
1937—Mar. 15..............................
June 15—...........................
Sept. 15.............................
Dec. 15............................ .
1938—Mar. 15.................... .......
June 15........................... .
Sept. 15............................
Dec. 15..............................
1939—Mar. 15..............................
June 15... ........................
Sept. 15............. ................
Dec. 15..............................
1940—Mar. 15............................
June 15. ............................
Sept. 15............................
Oct. 15...............................
Nov. 15............................
Dec. 15..............................
1941—Jan. 15.............................
Feb. 15...........................
Mar. 15............. ...............
Apr. 15............................
May 15. ............................
June 15............................
July 15. ............................
Aug. 15______•..................
Sept. 15..............................
Oct. 15...............................
Nov. 15.............................
Dec. 15...................... .......




South Atlantic
Wash­
Balti­ Jack­ Norfolk Rich­ Savan­ ington,
Atlanta more son­
mond nah D. C.
ville
97.5 98.1 97.9 99.5 98.2 98.6 98.6
97.6 98.4 98.9 98.9 98.3 98.5 98.7
99.8 98.9 99.2 100.1 99.7 100.0 99.4
100.3 99.8 100.0 101.1 99.9 100.2 99.9
98.3 99.1 98.0 99.0 98.3
98.6
99.9 99.7 100.1 100.0 99.8 98.5 99.8
101.1 100.6 100.2 100.9 101.5 100.1 100.5
100.3
100.9 99.7 100.7 101.2 102.0 100.2 100.4
102.2 101.4 102.4 102.1 102.0 101.7 101.9
102.8 101.7 102.8 102.2 101.6 102.1 102.4
104.3 102.9 103.4 102.9 103.6 103.0 103.3
102.6 101.9 102.7 101.8 102.0 101.9 102.2
100.1 100.3 100.4 100.1 100.6 . 100.3 100.1
99.2 100.3 100.2 99.0 99.2 99.8
100.0 100.1 100.2 99.0 100.0 99.4 100.1
100.0 100.0' 99.1 99.0 99.8 99.5 100.1
99.7
98.8 99.6 98.4 98.4 98.6 98.7 98.9
98.0 99.2 98.2 97.3 97.4 98.7 98.5
100.1 100.5 100.1 99.5 99.9 100.6 100.3
98.7 98.9 99.3 98.5 98.8 99.7 98.9
99.5 99.7 98.9 97.7 98.4 100.0 99.6
98.5 100.5 100.2 98.5 98.5 100.8 100.1
99.4 100.0 101.0 99.0 99.3 1010 100.0
99.8 <9
' 101.1 (0
0)
(9
(9
99.8 (9
(0
100.8
<9
100.0 100.5 101.8 100.7 (9
99.7 101.5 0)
99.7
100.9 0)
101.4 (0
0)
(9
(9
101.1 (9
100.9 0)
0)
(9
(9
100.5 101.5 102.4 102.6 100.0 101.6 100.9
102.6 (9
102.5 (0
(0
(9
(9
103.8 <9
103.3 (0
0)
(9
(9
103.3 105.9 106.1 106.4 103.0 105.0 103.2
106.4 0)
107.4 0)
0)
(9
(9
107.4 0)
108.3 0)
0)
(9
(9
107.6 109.5 110.6 110.9 107.4 110.5 106.7
110.4 (9
112.8 108.4
0)
(9
(9
111.3 (9
113.4 108.6
(0
(9
(9
110.6 112.4 114.3 115.3 110.1 113.9 109.7
• Estimated Mar. 15, 1935, through Dec. 15, 1938.




Moun­
tain
Los
Denver Angeles
97.2 98.2
96.8 95.4
97.2 95.1
97.9 96.6
97.1 95.7
99.6 97.2
100.5 99.6
99.9 99.4
102.8 103.4
103.5 102.9
105.1 104.2
103.3 103.2
101.0 101.5
101.0 101.8
100.2 101.8
99.9 102.6
99.2 101.2
99.2 100.3
99.7 101.9
99.7 100.4
98.7 100.7
99.7 100.8
98.9 101.2
99.1 101.4
99.0 101.9
100.2 102.2
99.8 102.8
99.5 101.8
99.9 102.5
101.1 103.2
101.6 104.4
102.9 105.6
103.9 105.7
104.9 106.6
106.0 108.1
108.3 109.8
109.7 111.1
109.4 112.3

Pacific
Port­ San
land, Fran­ Seattle
Oreg. cisco
97.4
96.4 99.4
95.5 97.5
95.7
95.9
95.7 97.8
97.8
96.8 98.4
96.5
96.2 97.0
97.7
98.2 97.9
99.3 98.7
99.0
99.5
99.4 98.8
102.0 101.1 102.0
103.0 101.5 102.2
104.7 102.9 103.7
103.2 103.0 103.2
102.7 101.2 102.2
101.7 101.4 101.2
101.6 101.7 101.1
101.7 101.4 101.2
100.7 100.3 100.9
100.5 99.2 100.8
102.1 101.0 102.6
100.9 100.2 100.9
99.7 99.8 101.6
100.7 100.1 101.7
101.5 100.8 101.7
101.4 101.5
(0
101.6 101.6
(0
101.8 101.6 102.0
102.1 102.2
0)
102.2 102.5
(0
102.7 102.4 103.0
103.5 104.1
0)
104.2 106.0
0)
106.2 105.4 107.2
105.7 107.4
<9
106.3 108.7
<9
111.0 107.8 111.5
109.4 112.9
(9
110.6 113.4
<9
113.7 111.3 114.7

COST OF LIVING IN 1941

West South
East South Central
Central
Bir­ Mem­
New
ming­ phis Mobile Hous­ Orleans
ton
ham
96.0 98. 5 98.6 97.6 99.4
97.0 97. 7 98.4 96.5 98.4
98.3 97. 6 98.9 97.0 98.9
98.0 98. 7 98.7 97.8 99.3
96.1 98. 4 97.5 96.7 97.3
99.0 99. 7 99.6 98.5 99.7
100.2 100. 7 99.5 99.5 100.4
100.9 101. 0 99.0 99.6 100.5
103.2 102. 7 102.5 101.6 102.4
104.0 102. 9 103.3 101.5 101.5
104.9 103. 5 103.3 103.5 103.0
104.1 102. 5 102.0 103.0 101.6
101.5 100. 4 100.8 101.7 100.4
100.7 100. 1 100.6 101.2 99.1
101.2 100. 4 100.3 101.5 100.3
100.4 99. 5 99.6 101.4 99.9
99.1 98. 5 99.4 . 100.0 99.4
98.2 98. 1 98.8 100.1 98.7
100.3 100. 4 101.0 101.6 102.0
99.5 98. 9 99.7 101.3 100.4
99.3 98. 5 99.1 100.8 100.9
99.1 98. 4 99.2 100.7 101.1
100.3 98. 8 98.8 101.1 102.2
100.6 0)
101.7 (9
0)
100.5 (0
101.8 (0
0)
101.9 99. 9 100.2 102.2 101.4
101.3
101.9
(0
101.3 (0
101.9 0)
0)
(0
101.6 100. 2 101.7 102.3 rcno ­4
102.4 0)
103.2 (0
0)
103.0 (0
103.5 (9
(0
105.5 103. 5 105.1 104.0 105.6
107.0 0)
105.0 (0
(9
108.2 (0
105.8 (9
(0
109.9 108. 3 110.7 107.9 110.9
111.8 (0
110.1 (0
<9
113.5 <9
111.2 (0
0)
113.9 111. 1 116.4 111.4 113.5
1Data not available.

CO

14

COST OF LIVING IN 1 9 4 1

T a ble 4 .— Indexes of cost of goods purchased by wage earners and lower-salaried

workers in large cities combined, 1918 through Dec. 15, 1941, by groups of items
[Average 1935-39=100]
Date

All items Food 1 Clothing

1913—Average.............................
1914—December..................... ..
1915—December_____ _______
1916—December.—.....................
1917—December.........................
1918—December....... ..................
1919—June____ ____________
December___ _________
1920—June_______ _________
December_____________
1921—May_____________ ____
September....................... .
December.............. ............
1922—March______ _____ ___
June-------- ------- ---------September____________
December_____________
1923—March________________
June_________________
September________ ____
December.......................
1924—March_______ ________
June_________________
September____________
December ____ ______
1925—June_________________
December— ......... ..........
1926—June____ ____________
December..___________
1927—June........... ............... ........
December_____________
1928—June._______ _________
December_____________
1929—June_________________
December.............. ............
1930—June____________ _____
December___ _________
1931—June_________________
December____ ________
1932—June_________________
December.......................
1933—June...................................
December_____________
1934—June.................. ..............
Nov. 15.............................
1935—Mar. 15_______________
July 15........................ ......
Oct, 15........................ .
1936—Jan. 15...............................
Apr. 15_______________
July 15............ .................
Sept. 15..............................
Dec. 15................... ..........
1937—Mar. 15.............................
June 15__ _____ ______
Sept. 15_______________
Dec. 15— ___ ________
1Covers 51 cities since June 1920.




70.7
72.6
74.0
82.4
97.8
118.0
121.0
135. 3
149.4
138.3
126.6
125.3
123.6
119.3
119. 5
118.7
120.4
120.2
121.6
123.1
123.5
122.0
121.8
122.2
123.2
124.9
128.2
126.4
126.1
125.7
123.8
122.1
122.4
122.1
122.8
120.3
115.3
108.2
104.2
97.4
93.5
90.8
93.9
95.3
96.2
97.8
97.6
98.0
98.8
97.8
99.4
100.4
99.8
101.8
102.8
104.3
103.0

79.9
83.9
83.9
100.6
125.4
149.6
148.5
160. 0
1«5.0
146.4
121.2
129.2
126.1
118.3
121.0
118.1
122.4
119. 7
123.7
126.6
126.0
121.3
121.5
123.1
125.9
131.9
140.6
137.8
136.8
137.5
132.5
129.7
130.6
131.3
133. 8
128.1
116.5
102.1
96.5
85.7
82.0
82.2
88.1
93.0
95.4
99.7
99.4
100.0
101.5
98.4
102.6
104.8
101.6
105.0
106.0
107.9
102.7

69.3
70.0
72.5
83.2
103.3
147.9
160.1
198.4
209.7
187.8
161.5
139.5
133.4
127.3
124. 9
123.5
123.6
125.4
125. 7
126.7
126.7
126.3
125.1
123.8
123.0
122.6
121.8
120. 7
119.6
118.5
116.9
116.7
116.0
115.4
114.7
113.8
109.4
103.5
96.3
91.1
86.2
84.8
94.4
96.6
96.5
96.8
96.7
96.9
97.3
97.4
97.2
97.5
99.0
100.9
102.5
105.1
104.8

Rent
92.2
92.2
93.6
94.3
92.3
97.1
101.0
109.6
119.1
131.4
139.2
140.0
142.3
142.0
142.5
142.8
143.8
144.5
146.0
147.4
149.6
150.4
152.0
152.2
152.6
152.2
152.0
150.6
150.0
148.4
146.9
144.8
143.3
141.4
139.9
138.0
135.1
130.9
125.8
117.8
109.0
100.1
95.8
94.0
93.9
93.8
94.1
94.6
95.1
95.5
96.5
97,1
98.1
98.9
101.0
102.1
103.7

Fuel,
electric­ House- Miscel­
ity, and furnish­ laneous
ings
ice
61.9
62.5
62.5
67.1
76.8
90.4
89.3
94.8
104.8
119.0
112.9
112.7
113.8
110.5
110.0
115.8
117.3
116.5
113.2
114.5
116.0
114.7
112.0
113.5
114.2
112.4
121.3
114.7
118.6
114.1
115.4
112.0
114.3
111.1
113.6
109.9
112.4
107.3
109.1
101.6
102.5
97.2
102.9
100.3
101.8
102.1
99.0
100.5
100.8
100.8
99.1
99.9
100.5
100.8
99.2
100.0
100.7

59.1
61.5
65.4
75.5
89.0
121.2
128.8
152. 3
169.7
164.4
141.6
127.8
124.4
117.7
115. 5
115.7
119.3
124.7
127.4
127.5
127.4
126.5
123.1
122.1
122.7
121.3
121.1
118.6
117.3
115.7
115.2
112.8
112.1
111.7
111.3
109.9
105.4
98.1
92.6
84.8
81.3
81.5
91.1
92.9
93.6
94.2
94.5
95.7
95.8
95.7
95.9
96.6
97.9
102.6
104.3
106.7
107.0

50.9
52.4
54.6
57.6
71.5
83.1
85.5
94.3
100.7
104.7
104.7
104.0
103.5
101.8
100.9
100.7
100.4
100.5
100.5
101.1
101.5
101.2
101.3
101.3
101.7
102.3
102.6
102.5
102.8
103.1
103.6
103.6
104.3
104.5
104.9
105.2
104.9
104.3
103.3
101.8
100.2
97.8
98.1
97.9
97.8
98.1
98.2
97.9
98.2
98.4
98.7
99.0
99.1
100.2
100.9
101.7
102.0

15

COST OF LIVING IN 1 9 4 1

— Indexes of cost of goods purchased by wage earners and lower-salaried
workers in large cities combined, 1918 through Dec. 15, 191+1, by groups of items—

T able 4 .

Continued

[Average 1935-39=100]
All items

Date
1938—Mar. 15................ .............
June 15_______ ______ _
Sept. 15----- ---------------Dec. 15____ ______ ____
1939—Mar. 15..................... ........
June 15______ ________
Sept. 15......... ......... ..........
Dec. 15______________ _
1940—Mar. 15..............................
June 15...........................
Sept. 15______ ________
Oct. 15______________Nov. 15______________
Dec. 15......... ....................
1941—Jan. 15. ._____ ________
Feb. 15_________ ____
Mar. 15.______ _______
Apr. 15.............................
May 15.............................
June 15.................. ...........
July 15.— _____ ______
Aug. 15----------- --------Sept. 15_______________
Oct. 15______ _______ Nov. 15_______________
Dec. 15----------------------

100.9
100.9
100.7
100.2
99.1
98.6
100.6
99.6
99.8
100.5
100.4
100.2
100.1
100.7
100.8
100.8
101.2
102.2
102.9
104.6
105.3
106.2
108.1
109.3
110.2
110.5

Food

Clothing

97.5
98.2
98.1
97.2
94.6
93.6
98.4
94.9
95.6
98.3
97.2
96.2
95.9
97.3
97.8
97.9
98.4
100.6
102.1
105.9
106.7
108.0
110.7
111.6
113.1
113.1

Rent

102.9
102.2
101.4
100.9
100.4
100.3
100.3
101.3
102.0
101.7
101.6
101.6
101.6
101.6
100.7
100.4
102.1
102.4
102.8
103 3
104.8
106.9
110.8
112.6
113.8
114.8

103.9
104.2
104.2
104.3
104.3
104.3
104.4
104.4
104.5
104.6
104.7
104.7
104.7
104.9
105.0
105.1
105.1
105.4
105.7
105.8
106.1
106.3
106.8
107.5
107.8
108.2

Fuel, elec­ House- Miscel­
tricity, furnish­
and ice ings laneous
101.2
98.6
99.3
100.0
100.1
97.5
98.6
99.9
100.6
98.6
99.3
99.9
100.3
100.7
100.8
100.6
100.7
101.0
101.1
101.4
102.3
103.2
103.7
104.0
104.0
104.1

104.7
103.1
101.9
101.7
100.9
100.6
101.1
102.7
100.5
100.1
100.3
100.4
100.6
100.4
100.1
100.4
101.6
102.4
103.2
105.3
107.4
108.9
112.0
114.4
115.6
116.8

101.6
101.8
101.6
101.0
100.5
100.4
101.1
100.9
100.8
100.6
101.4
101.6
101.7
101.8
101.9
101.9
101.9
102.2
102.5
103.3
103.7
104.0
105.0
106.9
107.4
107.7

Estim ated 1 annual average indexes of cost of goods purchased by
wage earners and lower-salaried workers in large cities combined, 1918-1+1

T a b le 5 .—

[Average 1935-39=100]
Year

All items

Food1
2

Clothing

79.9
69.3
70.7
1913___________
69.8
71.8
81.8
1914......................
80.9
71.4
72.5
1915___________ .
77.9
90.8
78.3
1916....... ..............
116.9
94.1
91.6
1917................ — 134.4
127.5
107.5
1918...................149.8
123.8
168.7
1919___________
201.0
143.3
168.8
1920___________
128.3
154.8
1921___ _____
127.7
125.6
119.9
119.7
1922_____ _____
125.9
121.9
124.0
1923......................
122.2
122.8
124.9
1924. — . . . ...........
132.9
122.4
125.4
1925..................—
126.4
137.4
120.6
1926— ..................
132.3
118.3
124.0
1927____ _____116.5
122.6
130.8
1928..................—
132.5
115.3
122.5
1929___ _______
119.4
126.0
112.7
1930___ _______
102.6
103.9
108.7
1931................— .
97.6
86.5
90.8
1932.....................
84.1
92.4
87.9
1933_____ ____96.1
93.7
1934.......................
95.7
100.4
98.1
96.8
1935___________
97.6
99.1
101.3
1936......................
105.3
102.7
102.8
1937_____ ____102.2
100.8
97.8
1938.....................
95.2
99.4
100.5
1939___________
100.2
96.6
1940......................
101.7
105.2
105.5
106.5
1941.......................
1 For explanation of method used, see text above.
2 Covers 51 cities since June 1920.



Rent
92.2
92.2
92.9
94.0
93.2
94.9
102.7
120.7
138.6
142.7
146.4
151.6
152.2
150.7
148.3
144.8
141.4
137.5
130.3
116.9
100.7
94.4
94.2
96.4
100.9
104.1
104.3
104.6
105.9

Fuel, elec­ Housefurnish­
tricity,
ings
and ice
61.9
62.3
62.5
65.0
72.4
84.2
91.1
106.9
114.0
113.1
115.2
113.7
115.4
117.2
115.4
113.4
112.5
111.4
108.9
103.4
100.0
101.4
100.7
100.2
100.2
99.9
99.0
99.7
102.5

59.1
60.7
63.6
70.9
82.8
106.4
134.1
164.6
138.5
117.5
126.1
124.0
121.5
118.8
115.9
113; 1
111.7
108.9
98.0
85.4
84.2
92.8
94.8
96.3
104.3
103.3
101.3
100.5
108.2

Miscella­
neous
50.9
51.9
53.6
56.3
65.1
77.8
87.6
100.5
104.3
101.2
100.8
101.4
102.2
102.6
103.2
103.8
104.6
105.1
104.1
101.7
98.4
97.9
98.1
98.7
101.0
101.5
100.7
101.1
104.0

16

COST OF LIVING IN 1 94 1
Changes in Food Costs in 17 A dditional Cities

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has prepared monthly indexes of the
retail costs of food for 51 cities from 1923 to date. These indexes for
the year 1941 for 34 of these cities are given in table 2 as a part of the
series of indexes showing changes in total living costs. The 1941
monthly food-cost indexes for the additional 17 cities are presented in
table 6. Indexes for earlier periods are available upon request.
T able

6 .—

Indexes of the cost of all foods purchased by wage earners and lowersalaried workers in 17 cities, by months in 1941
[Average 1935-39=100]

Jan. 14

Feb. 18

Mar. 18

Apr. 15

May 13

June 17

July 15

Aug. 12

Oct. 14

Nov. 18

Dec. 16

Bridgeport..............
Butte______ _____
Charleston, S. C._.
Columbus, Ohio...
Dallas......................
Fall River..............
Little Rock.............
Louisville................
Newark..................
New Haven..........
Omaha...................
Peoria............. ........
Providence.............
Rochester________
St. Paul...................
Salt Lake City.......
Springfield, 111........

104.9
105.0
104.7
102.2
101.0
104.9
104.3
105.2
105.7
103.9
103.7
108.2
104.6
106.9
104.1
106.1
105.6

96.5
98.7
95.9
93.4
92.6
97.5
95.6
95.5
98.8
95.7
97.9
99.0
96.3
99.9
98.6
97.5
96.2

96.4
98.4
95.9
93.2
92.1
98.4
95.6
95.8
100.2
96.1
97.3
99.4
97.3
99.8
98.6
97.8
96.5

96.8
98.3
96.1
94.0
93.5
98.4
95.6
96.2
99.2
96.3
97.4
100.3
97.0
100.1
98.0
98.4
97.0

100.6
101.3
98.2
96.9
95.7
100.4
98.4
99.7
101.9
99.8
100.4
103.5
99.2
103.1
99.6
101.0
100.3

102.3
103.8
100.0
98.6
96.4
102.2
100.1
101.4
102.7
101.4
101.9
104.0
101.1
105.0
101.5
103.5
100.8

106.6
106.1
103.5
102.9
97.7
106.0
101.9
107.2
106.9
105.8
104.6
108.2
104.5
108.6
104.3
107.2
105.6

107.6
106.8
107.6
104.5
100.9
107.5
104.9
107.9
106.1
105.9
103.4
110.2
107.0
109.7
103.9
106.7
106.7

108.4 110.1 109.9
107.4 108.8 109.6
107.9 111.0 112.6
104.4 107.6 109.2
103.8 106.3 110.0
107.1 109.5 110.1
108.2 109.9 111.3
107.8 110.9 111.6
108.0 109.4 111. 2
107.2 108.5 108.3
105.7 108.2 108.0
111.0 115.2 114.7
108.9 110.8 110.9
110.2 111.1 111.1
104.7 108.2 109.3
106.9 109.1 113.9
107.4 111.9 112.8

111.5
110.9
113.1
110.4
111.7
111.7
114.4
114.1
111.9
110.5
109.4
116.1
112.1
112.1
111.4
115.7
115.7

111.9
110.4
115.1

Sept. 16

j

City

Average for the
year 1941

1941

111.1
111.0
110.5
115.5
113.7
112.1

111.1
110.5
116.7
110.2
112.2
111.5
115.4
115.8

Changes in Costs, on Average in Large Cities, o f Specified Groups
o f Goods and Services
Cost o f Food

Food prices were low in August 1939, relative to prices of other
consumer goods, and the increases which have occurred in the prices
of many food articles have been extreme.
Until mid-March 1941, the average rise in food costs was slow.
After that date, however, retail food prices began to advance rapidly
and they have continued to increase since that time. Retail prices
of eggs, salt pork, lard, butter, cheese, evaporated milk, and wheat
flour were from 31 to 52 percent higher in December 1941 than in
August 1939. The advance in fresh milk prices over the period was
about 25 percent.
Government buying and the rise in consumer incomes as a result
of defense activities were the most important factors producing
higher food prices. Purchases for the Army and Navy and for export
under the Lease-Lend Act, Government loans on certain basic farm
commodities, and speculative activity, were responsible for large price
increases for pork, dairy, and wheat products. Government pur­
chases were also responsible, in large part, for price increases of 56
percent for canned salmon and 46 percent for navy beans. Increases



17

COST OF LIVING IN 1 9 4 1

AVERAGE PRICES PAID FOR
SPECIFIED ARTICLES OF CLOTHING
BY WAGE EARNERS AND LOWER SALARIEO WORKERS
INDEX

B U S IN E S S S H IR T S

140
130

120

HO

100

90

W ORK S H IR T S

ISO

140
130'

120
HO

100
OVERALLS

90
150
140
130

120

HO

100
WORK

TR O U S E R S

90
150
140
130

120
HO

100
90

W O M E N 'S

S ILK H O S E

140
130

120
HO

100
90

UNITCO STATES DEPARTMENT OP LABOR
BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS




18

COST OF LIVING IN 1 9 4 1

AVERAGE PRICES PAID FOR
SPECIFIED HOUSEFURNISHINGS
BY WAGE EARNERS AND LOWER-SALARIED WORKERS

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS_________




COST OF LIVING IN 1 9 4 1

19

ranging from 17 to 26 percent for canned tomatoes, corn, and peaches
also reflected Government buying.
Shortages in shipping facilities have been responsible for advances
in prices of sugar, bananas, coffee, and tea which were from 15 to 22
percent higher at the end of 1941 than in the summer of 1939. The
average family’s bill for fresh fruits and vegetables was 20 percent
higher at the end of last year than in the summer when war broke
out in Europe. Seasonal differences in prices of fresh fruits and
vegetables between the late summer and the winter are reflected in
differences in prices of apples, green beans, carrots, lettuce, and onions
between August 1939 and December 1941. The advances for these
foods ranged from 28 to 58 percent.
If no consideration were given to the foods which have moved up
only slightly, or have, in fact, remained stationary or even declined
in price, a discussion of extreme increases in food prices during World
War II would lead one to expect a very much greater increase in aver­
age food costs than has actually taken place. A few foods affected
by large crops, decline in export demand, and seasonal declines in
price, were cheaper in December 1941 than in the month before the
outbreak of war in Europe. In the total cost of fresh fruits and vege­
tables to the average family, the large increases described above
were to some extent counterbalanced by lower prices for oranges and
sweetpotatoes and by the practically unchanged level of the cost of
spinach. Cereal and bakery products were, on the average, only 10
percent higher and meat costs 16 percent higher than in August
1939. The percent of change in the cost of each of the food items
included in the Bureau’s cost-of-living index, between August 15,
1939, and December 15, 1941, is shown in table 7.
T able 7 .

—Percentage change from August 15, 1939, to December 15,1941, in cost of
each food included in cost-of-living index , average 51 cities
Article

foods__„_______________________
Eggs__________________________
Dried fruits and vegetables. _____
Dairy products . . _____________
Fats and oils____________________
Beverages______________________
Sugar _________ . . . _________
Fresh fruits and vegetables_______
Meats. ________________________
Canned fruits and vegetables_____
Cereals and bakery products______
Green beans________________________
Carrots, bunch_____________________
Salmon, pink______________________
Shortening in cartons________________
Lard_____________ ________________
Eggs______________________________
Navy beans.______________________
Lettuce, head_____________________ .
Onions______________.»____________
Cheese____________________________
Butter . _________________________
Flour, wheat_______________________
Salt pork ________________________
Milk, evaporated _________________
Apples_______ ____________________
Peaches, canned ___________________
Milk, fresh, grocery_________________
Fish, fresh, frozen. _________________
Milk, fresh, delivered_______________
Bananas ________________________
P r u n e s ___________________________
A ll




Percentage
change
+21.0
+52.3
+31.0
+29.4
+28.4
+20.2
+19.7
+19.6
+16.1
+16.0
+9.7
+57.8
+56.8
+56.3
+54.0
+53.7
+52.3
+46.4
+45.3
+41.5
+39.6
+37. 5
+37.4
+31.0
+30.8
+27.7
+26.4
+25.2
+24.4
+23.7
+22.3
+21.0

Article
Coffee____ ______ _________________
Beef: Chuck roast__________________
Sugar____________________________
Oleomargarine_____________________
Bacon, sliced_____________________
Corn, canned______________________
Shortening in other containers_______
Tomatoes, canned.___ _____________
Potatoes__________________________
Ham, whole_______________________
Veal cutlets_______________________
Tea__________ __________ ________
Corn meal__________________ ______
Peanut butter___ _________________
Pork chops___________ ____________
Lamb: Leg_______________________
Bread, white.............................. .............
Beef:
Round steak....................................
Rib roast. ___________________
Bread, whole-wheat________________
Pineapple, canned ________________
Peas, canned______________________
Bread, rye______ _____________ ____
Lamb* Rib chops__________________
Roasting chickens__________________
Soda crackers.. ___________________
Cabbage__________________________
Corn flakes________________________
Spinach_____________________ ____
Macaroni ________________________
Oranges__________________ ________
Sweetpotatoes.........................................]

Percentage
change
+20.4
+19.9
+19.7
+19.5
+18.6
+17.9
+17.2
+16.6
+16.3
+16.2
+15.0
+14.6
+11.7
+11.6
+11.6
+10.8
+10.6
+10.1
+9.8
+8.2
+6.8
+5.3
+4.7
+4.1
+4.0
+3.1
+2.6
+1.1
+.1
—.1
—4.9
-18.8

20

COST OF LIVING IN 1 9 4 1
Cost o f Housefurnishings

The cost of housefurnishings customarily purchased by wage earn­
ers and clerical workers in large cities was 15.5 percent higher on
December 15, 1941, than on September 15, 1939, and 18.4 percent
higher on February 15, 1942, than in the fall of 1939. Prices of housefurnishings, in general, did not rise so rapidly in the period September
1939 to December 1941 as in the period from July 1914 to November
1916, in large part because of ceilings established by the Office of
Price Administration on prices of metals used in the production of
household equipment and because of warnings to many of the indus­
tries producing such equipment. Until late in 1941, no ceilings were
placed on most of the raw materials which go into wooden and uphol­
stered furniture, and the Bureau’s figures show that prices for medium
and inexpensive living-room, dining-room, and bedroom suites were
28 percent higher in December 1941 than in September 1939. On the
other hand, prices of bedsprings, sewing machines, washing machines,
vacuum cleaners, electric and gas refrigerators, gas stoves, and radios
were, on the average, only 8 percent higher. Prices of electric refrig­
erators and electric-light bulbs were lowered in 1940, and by Decem­
ber 1941 they had not returned to the level of 1939; however, linoleum
and felt-base floor coverings were about at that level.
Blankets, towels, and sheets reflected large purchases by the Army
and Navy, as well as increased civilian purchases, and prices for this
group were 25 percent higher in December 1941.
T able 8.

—Percentage change from September 15, 1939, to December 15,1941 , in cost
of all housefurnishings included in cost-of-living index
Article

Living-room suites________________
Sheets - ______________________
Bedroom suites __________________
I) ining-room suites ______________
Tnwfils
_ ___________
mnp.hfis
..............
Rfr*vps
__ _ ____________
Tvra.ttrfi<,SftS - - - - ________
Rugs, wool __ __________________
Washing machines
Curtains _________________________
Radios
______________________
Dinnerware..................................-............
i No change.

Percent­
age
change
+33.6
+32.4
+24.7
+22.8
+22.0
+20.6
+20.4
+20.3
+19.3
+17.9
+17.7
+17.0
+16.9

Article
Blankets_______________ __________
Bedsprings_____ ___________________
Brooms___________________________
Sewing machines___________________
Ice refrigerators_____________________
Vacuum cleaners___________________
Gas refrigerators____________________
Glassware________________________
Felt-base floor covering............................
Linoleum _______________________
Electric refrigerators_________________
Light bulbs_______ _________________

Percent­
age
change
+16.4
+14.0
+12.3
+6.4
+6.2
+5.4
+4.6
+2.7
+ .8
0) .2
-7
-14.8

Clothing Costs

In mid-December the moderate-income family’s clothing bill was
about 15 percent higher than it was at the outbreak of war and in midFebruary, it was about 18 percent higher. Prices of men’s work
clothing rose by one-third and women’s percale dresses by nearly onehalf. These articles have felt the full effect of the diversion of cottonloom capacity to supply the needs of rapidly expanding armed forces.
Price advances for other cotton products designed for civilian con­
sumption, however, have been less extreme.
Mill consumption of wool in the United States in 1941 was almost
twice as much as the average for the preceding 10 years because of
Army needs and increased civilian purchases. Men’s wool suits have



21

COST OF LIVING IN 1 94 1

increased 15 percent, but the increases in the retail prices for other
garments made of wool have been less.
Shoe prices changed very little until the early fall of 1941 but have
increased rapidly 15 and 20 percent above the level of prices in 1939.
The following table shows the changes from September 1939 to
December 1941 in prices paid by wage earners and lower-salaried
workers for some of the more important clothing that compose the
clothing cost-of-living index.
— Percentage change from September 15, 1939, to December 15, 1941, in
cost of specified articles of clothing included in cost-of-living index

T able 9.

Percent­
age
change

Article
Men’s clothing:
Work shirts____________________
Overalls_______________________
Work trousers_________________
Work shoes_____________________
Undershirts____________________
Street shoes_____________________
Wool suits _____________________
Hats__________________________
Union suits __________________
■Rnsinp.SK sh irts
- _. _
Top coats______________________
Overcoats______________________
Sweaters____ _________________
N pplrtips
i No change.

+34.1
+31.5
+22.6
+19.6
+18.5
+16.6
+15.3
+14.9
+13.0
+12.7
+10.1
+10.1
+6.4

0)

Percent­
age
change

Article
Women’s clothing:
Percale dresses _ _______ _______
Percale yard goods__________ ____
Slips__________ _______________
Silk hose__________ ____________
Panties. _______________________
Children’s shoes________ _______
Rayon dresses ________________
Wool dresses___________________
Fur-trimmed coats_______________
Girdles_________________________
Hats....................................................
Shoes__________________________
Plain coats_____________________
Shoe repairs ___________________
Dry cleaning............... ................... .

+45. (3
+31.2
+22.8
+18.6
+14.6
+14.1
+13.5
+12.4
+12.0
+9.4
+7.5
+7.3
+7.0
+5.7
+4.5

R ental Charges

Increases in rents charged to moderate-income families in large
cities averaged 3.6 percent from September 15, 1939, to December 15,
1941, and 4.0 percent to February 15, 1942.
T a b l e 10

.— Percentage change in total rental bill of wage earners and clerical
workers in large cities, September 1939 to December 1941

City

Per­
cent­
age
change

City

Per­
cent­
age
change

City

Average: Large cities.
Mobile .............................
Norfolk
Birmingham ______
Jacksonville________
Seattle
Savannah____________
Detroit
Indianapolis .
Baltimore
Memphis

+3.6
+25.5
+16.4
+16.0
+13.1
+10.4
+9.2
+9.1
+9.1
+8.8
+8.7

Cleveland
Buffalo
Manchester__________
Portland, Oreg...............
Kansas City_________
Milwaukee__________
Chicago
Boston______________
New Orleans
St. Louis _________
Philadelphia..... .............
Portland, Maine______

+8.1
+7.9
+5.9
+5.4
+4.8
+4.0
+3.7
+3.5
+2.9
+2.8
+2.7
+2.3

Atlanta. ................ ..........
Pittsburgh
San Francisco________
Cincinnati___________
Denver_____ ________
Minneapolis ...................
Washington__________
Richmond.......................
Houston..........................
Los Angeles__________
New York___________
Scranton_____________

Per­
cent­
age
change
+2.2
+1.9
+1.8
+1.7
+1.7
+1.3
+1.2
+1.1
+.7
+.6
+ .6
+.1

As shown by table 10, the rate of change, up to the end of 1941, has
varied greatly from city to city. In cities where production for
defense purposes has drawn many new workers from other areas, the
advances have ranged from 5 to 25 percent depending on the avail­
ability of homes to house low and moderate-income families in 1940,
and the amount of residential building in the low-rent brackets since
that time. The most extreme changes have occurred in the South—
461958°— 42-----4




22

COST OF LIVING IN 1 9 4 1

in Mobile, Norfolk, Birmingham, and Jacksonville—where rents in the
fall of 1939 were from two-fifths to one-third lower than in the mid­
twenties. In most cities, the Bureau’s figures show larger-than-average increases for homes renting for less than $30, because the demand
among the defense workers has generally been greatest at this level.
Fuel, Electricity, and Ice

Costs for this group of goods were 5.6 percent higher in December
1941 than in September 1939 and 5.9 percent higher in February
1942.
Coal prices have advanced sharply since the outbreak of war. The
increasing shortage of available tankers has caused fuel-oil prices to
go up, particularly for cities on the Atlantic seabo'ard. On the
average, coal prices had increased over 14 percent and fuel-oil prices
nearly 13 percent between September 1939 and December 1941. On
the other hand, electricity rates were 2.0 percent lower and gas rates
1.5 percent lower, as indicated in the accompanying statement:
Percentage
change

Percentage
change

Coke______________________ +21.8 Briquets__________ ....................
Coal, bituminous____________ +14. 8 Wood____________ -------------------Coal, anthracite_____________ +14. 1 Kerosene. _ ___ _ ________
Fueloil____________________ +12.7 Gas __ _____ ________
jce_________________________ +4.6 Electricity_________ __________

(*)
(*)
-2 .0

1. 3
1. 5

i No change.

Cost o f Miscellaneous Goods and Services

Average costs for miscellaneous goods and services had not risen
so much as food, clothing, and housefurnishing costs on December 15,
1941. In December, the index for this group was 6.5 percent higher
than in September 1939, and on February 15, 1942, 8.2 percent higher.
Table 11 covers goods and services which make up 60 percent of the
miscellaneous index. It shows that goods and services covering more
than half of this index rose in price less than 6.5 percent, dropped, or
remained stationary between September 1939 and December 1941.
Thus, railroad fares were lower by 8.5 percent, and cigars by 0.3 per­
cent. Although there were increases in some cities, on the average
streetcar fares remained almost stationary. Motor-oil prices rose
only 1.9 percent; medical care, on the average, 1.5 percent; and
household paper, 3.1 percent. The price of newspapers increased
2.5 percent on the average.
T a b l e 11.— Percentage change from September 15, 1939, to December 15, 1941 ,
in cost of specified miscellaneous articles and services included in cost-of-living index
Article
Automobiles_______________________
Laundrv soap______ ________________
Movies," adult...........................................
Laundrv service.........................................
Haircut, men’s_______________ _____
Toilet soap_________________________
Tooth paste___ ____________________
Telephone service_________ _________
Cigarettes_______________ __________
Gasoline.......................................................

i No change.




Percent­
age
change
+18.8
+10.0
+9.5
+8.3
+7.1
+6.7
+6.3
+6.0
+5.7
+5. 6

Article
Tires and tubes.. ________
Household paper.................................. . _
Newspapers................................................
Motor oil . _____
Medical services_________ ___________
Streetcar and bus fares
Postal service
___
Castor oil__________________________
Railroad fares______________________

Percent­
age
change
+4.0
+3.1
+2.5
+1.9
+1.5
o)+ '7
-1.7
-8.5

23

COST OF LIVING IN 1 9 4 1
Cost o f Living in Five Emergency Cities

Living costs rose, on the average, 14.5 percent between January 1941
and January 1942 in five cities especially affected by war activities, for
which the Bureau of Labor Statistics has been making cost-of-living
surveys. The areas included in this survey are Bridgeport, Conn.,
Corpus Christi, Tex., Gadsden, Ala., South Bend, Ind., and San Diego,
Calif. Of these five cities the largest rise over the year was reported
from Gadsden, where total living costs advanced by 17.4 percent. The
smallest increase was that of 14.5 percent for Corpus Christi.
These recent changes brought the average increase in living costs
in these five cities to 16 percent of the average in October 1939, as
compared with an increase of 11.7 percent, on the average, in large
cities throughout the country.
In all five defense areas included in this survey there has been a
shortage of dwellings to house the new defense workers still coming
to these centers. Some public-housing projects have been completed
in these cities and others are under way. There are striking differ­
ences among the five cities in the movement of average rental costs.
Rents in Corpus Christi rose only 1.4 percent over the year, but the
increase in San Diego was 12.0 percent.
12.— Percentage change in the cost of goods 'purchased by wage earners and
lower-salaried workers in 5 emergency cities from Oct. 15, 1989 , to successive
pricing periods to Jan. 15, 1948

T able

Percentage increase or decrease over Oct. 15, 1939, in the cost of—
City and date
Bridgeport, Conn.
1940—June 15_______________
Oct. 15__________ _____
1941—Jan. 15..._____________
July 15_______________
Oct. 15_______________
1942—Jan. 15_______________
Corpus Christi, Tex.

1940—June 15.............................
Oct. 15_______ ________
1941—Jan. 15_______ ________
July 15..............................
Oct. 15................................
1942—Jan. 15...............................
Gadsden, Ala.

1940—June 15...........................
Oct. 15_______________
1941—Jan. 15____ ___________
July 15.............................
Oct. 15___________ .....
1942—Jan. 15______________
San Diego, Calif.

1940—June 15..............................
Oct. 15.............. ................
1941—Jan. 15___ ___________
July 15______ ________
Oct. 15..............................
1942—Jan. 15_______________
South Bend, Ind.

1940—June 15__............................
Oct. 15...............................
1941—Jan. 15................................
July 15...............................
Oct. 15................................
1942—Jan. 15_______________
1No change.




All items

Food

Clothing

Kent

Fuel, elec­ House- Miscel­
tricity, furnish­ laneous
and ice ings

+1.0
+.7
+1.3
+7.8
+12.2
+14.8

+2.7
- .5
+• 7
+12.3
+14.5
+19.9

0)
0)
-1.2
+1.8
+15.4
+16.0

+0.5
+2.9
+3.9
+7.3
+9.8
+10.4

+2.6
+3.4
+3.9
+4.9
+7.1
+7.4

-0 .6
+.1
+.8
+7.1
+16.2
+20.3

-0.9
+.4
+•8
+5.3
+10.9
+12.4

-2.4
-.3
+.8
+5.7
+11.3
+14.5

-6.6
-1 .5
+. 6
+10.7
+16.8
+22.2

+1.3
+1.2
+. 4
+3.4
+14.4
+19.1

+1.2
+1.9
+4.6
+5.9
+6.0
+6.1

- .9
- .9
- .9
- .9
- .9
- .9

-2.8
-2.5
-2 .5
+2.4
+7.8
+13.4

-1.4
- .2
+.2
+3.2
+9.6
+11.5

-1.7
+.2
+1.3
+6.3
+12.9
+17.4

-5.0
- .5
+2.4
+11.6
+20.1
+25.5

+1.2
+1.1
+1.1
+4.3
+14.2
+19.2

+.9
+1.3
+2.0
+4.2
+5.9
+10.1

-2.2
+1.9
+1.9
+5.2
+8.4
+11.8

-2 .9
-2.2
-2.0
+5.6
+13.6
+16.7

- .8
0)+.6

- .8
+• 1
+1.0
+6.5
+11.9
+16.7

- .2
- .3
+. 3
+12.5
+20.9
+29.5

C).2
-

- .4
*+. 8
+7.6
+12.9

0)
+1.0
+4.8
+10.9
+14.3
+17.4

-1.8
-1.8
-4.3
-8.1
-8.1
-8.1

-1.3
-1.2
- .6
+3.9
+12.4
+19.2

-2.0
+.4
+.9
+2.8
+6.3
+8.4

+.3
+2.2
+2.2
+8.3
+12.8
+16.8

+.3
+1.7
+1.6
+15.2
+19.3
+27.9

+.4
+.3
* - .9
+1.0
+11.8
+14.7

+4.0
+7.3
+7.9
+10.4
+12.1
+14.1

-5.3
-2.1
-1.9
+.4
+1.5
+1.9

-1.9
-1 .5
-.7
+5.7
+12.3
+16.5

-.1
+1.9
+1.8
+4.5
+9.5
+10.8

+3.9
+10.3
+14.5

24

COST OF LIVING IN 1941

Estimated Changes From October 1939 to January 1942
in Cost o f Living in Five Cities in W hich Partial
Price Collections A re Made

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has made estimates of changes in
total cost of living for moderate-income families in 5 cities in which
there has been special interest and for which prices were already being
collected for the food, fuel, and rent groups of family expenditures.
The estimates have been made by combining price data on food, fuel,
and rents in each city with data on average changes in prices for cloth­
ing, housefurnishings, and miscellaneous goods and services in the 34
other large cities located throughout the country. Changes in prices
of food, fuel, and rental costs are likely to vary considerably from city
to city, while prices of clothing, housefurnishings, and most of the
miscellaneous goods and services have been following similar trends
throughout the country.
Table 13 shows the estimated percentage change in the cost of goods
purchased by wage earners and lower-salaried workers in these five
cities from October 15, 1939, to successive pricing periods to 1942.
During the coming months the Bureau of Labor Statistics will re­
lease similar estimates for Knoxville, Tenn., Little Rock, Ark., New
Haven, Conn., Peoria, 111., and Rochester, N. Y.
13 .— Estimated 'percentage change in cost of goods purchased by wage
earners and lower-salaried workers in special cities from Oct. 15, 1939, to successive
pricing periods to 1943

T able

Percentage increase or decrease over Oct. 15, 1939, in
the cost of—
C ity and pricing period
All items
Charleston, S. C.
1940—June............. ............................................................
October. .................................................................
N ovem ber..............................................................
D ecem ber............................. ................................
1941—February................................................................
M ay.........................................................................
A ugust......................................................................
October. .................................................................
N ovem ber...............................................................
1942—February................................................................
Dallas, Tex.
1940—June....... ..................................................................
O ctober........................ .........................................
1941—J anuary..................................................................
April___________________________________
July___________________________________
October________________ ________________
1942—January___________________ _____________
Louisville, K y.
1940—O ctober................ ..................................................
1941—April_________________________ __________
J u ly ......................... ..............................................
A ugust....................................................................
September____ __________________________
October________ ________________________
N ovem ber____ __________________________
December............................................................ ..
1942—January....................................................................

1No change.




Food

- 0 .8
- .4
- .6
- .1
- .3
+ 1 .6
+ 5 .4
+ 8 .9
+ 9 .6
+ 13.6

- 2 .7
- 2 .5
- 3 .5
- 2 .2
- 2 .6
+ 1 .5
+ 9 .5
+ 14.3
+ 14.8
+ 20.6

- 1 .4
- .5
- .7
+ .7
+ 3 .3
+ 8 .4
+10.3

- 4 .8
- 2 .8
- 3 .3
- .1
+ 5 .3
+ 14.9
+ 17.6

- .2
+ 2 .5
+ 6 .9
(2)
(2)
+10.8
(2)
+12.2
+13.6

- 1 .7
+ 3 .3
+11.8
+11.7
+ 14.9
+15.7
+ 18.2
+ 17.8
+ 21.0

2Data not available.

R ent

Fuel, elec­
tricity, and
ice

+ 0 .5
+ .6
+ .5
+. 6
+ 1 .0
+ 1 .2
+ 2 .0
+ 3 .2
+ 4 .1
+ 1 2 .2

+ 1 .1
+ 1 .1
+ 1 .0
+ 2 .0
+ 2 .0
+ 2 .0
+ 3 .7
+ 4 .7
+ 5 .7
+ 5 .7

+• 1
+. 1
+ .2
+ .7
+ 1 .1
+ 1 .9

- .1
+. i
+ .2
+ .2
+ .2
+ .2
+ .5

+ .4
+ 4 .5
+ 8 .0
(2)
(2)
+10.8
(2)
+11.5
+ 11.7

+ 1 .9
+ 2 .1
+ 3 .5
+ 4 .6
+ 4 .8
+ 4 .8
+ 4 .8
+ 4 .8
+ 4 .8

0)

25

COST OF LIVING IN 1 9 4 1

13.— Estimated percentage change in cost of goods purchased by wage
earners and lower-salaried workers in special cities from Oct. 15, 1989y to successive
pricing periods to 1942 — Continued

T able

City and pricing period

Percentage increase or decrease over Oct. 15,1939, in
the cost of—
All items

Newark, N. J.
1940—June..............................................................
October.......................................................
November....................................................
December...................................................
1941—January.......................................................
April..............................................................
July..............................................................
October.............. ..........................................
1942—January.......................... ..............................
Wichita, Kans.
1940—June...................... ......................................
October................ ........................................
November..................................................
1941—January_______________ ____________
February__________________________
M ay...........................................................
July....-------------------------------- --------October_______________ ____________
1942—January____________________________

Food

Rent

Fuel, elec­
tricity, and
ice

+1.4
+.3
+ .2
+.7
+.8
+2.3
+4.8
+8.7
+11.2

+3.7
+.1
-.3
+ .8
+1.4
+4.6
+8.9
+14.2
+19.1

+0.2
+ .4
+ .5
+ .5
+• 5
+1.0
+2.3
+4.7
+5.5

+0.7
+1.7
+2.1
+2.5
+2.5
+2.1
+3.8
+5.4
+5.4

+.6
1
+.1
+.53
+.
+3.2
+5.6
+9.9
+13.3

+2.0
-2.7
-2.4
- .8
-1.5
+5.9
+9.6
+13.2
+19.6

+ .6
+1.4
+1.6
+1.7
+1.9
+2.6
+5.6
+12.1
+15.4

-.1
+3.3
+3.3
+3.3
+3.3
+3.3
+3.3
+5.9
+5.9

Changes in Cost of Living in N ew port N ew s
to December 1941

According to a special study, made in view of the particular interest
in an area especially affected by war activity, living costs in Newport
News were found to be 16.0 percent higher in December 1941 than in
September 1940.
The rise in living costs over the period of a year and a quarter in
Newport News has been somewhat greater than the average increase
for the large cities of the country and slightly less than for Norfolk.
In general, the cities where living costs have shown the greatest rise
are those that have been involved most directly in the war effort. In
both Newport News and Norfolk, increased employment and higher
earnings in the shipyards have brought increased patronage to local
stores, and greater demand on available housing.
Food.—The 24.5-percent rise in retail food costs between September
1940 and December 1941 in Newport News, which compares with the
average advance in the large cities of 16.4 percent and in Norfolk of
23.5 percent, was due to a general rise in prices of all foods. Prices
of meats, dairy products, eggs, and most fruits and vegetables showed
greater increases in Newport News and Norfolk than in the large cities
as a group. Over the last quarter, food costs rose 3.2 percent in New­
port News as compared with 2.2 percent in the large cities combined
and 4.0 percent in Norfolk.
Clothing— As in other large cities throughout the country, the
sharpest advance in clothing prices noted over the period of a year
and a quarter was in men's work clothing, particularly overalls, work
shirts, work trousers, and work shoes. Prices of woolen wearing apparel
for men and women, and women's silk hose also rose substantially.
From September 1940 to December 1941, the total increase in clothing



COST OF LIVING IN 1 9 4 1
26
costs in Newport News was 14.8 percent, as compared with 13.0 per­
cent in other large cities and 14.9 in Norfolk. In the last quarter,
clothing costs in Newport News rose 2.5 percent.
Rent.—Rents in Newport News moved upward steadily at all rent
levels, advancing almost 10 percent over the 15-month period. Of
this rise, 1.3 percent occurred in the last quarter. In Norfolk, rent
increased 15.1 percent over the 15-month period and 6.1 percent
between September and December 1941. This compares with an
average rise of only 3.3 percent over the year and a quarter, and 1.3
percent in the last 3 months in total rental costs to wage-earners in
the large cities throughout the country.
Fuel, electricity, and ice.—No change occurred in fuel costs over the
quarter ending in December 1941, as compared with a seasonal increase
of 2.8 percent over the corresponding quarter of 1940.
Housefurnishings.—Prices of housefurnishing goods were 15.7 per­
cent higher in December 1941 than 15 months earlier. In large Ameri­
can cities as a whole, the average increase was 16.5 percent and in
Norfolk 19.3 percent. Prices of towels, sheets, radios, and suites of
furniture such as bedroom, living-room, and dining-room suites ad­
vanced considerably. From September to December 1941, costs of
housefurnishings increased 3.7 percent in Newport News, while in
large cities they rose 4.3 percent and in Norfolk, 5.5 percent.
Miscellaneous.—The cost of miscellaneous goods and services in­
creased 4.2 percent between September and December 1941 aiid were
then 12.5 percent above their level in September 1940. The sharp
advances during this period were due in part to higher prices for serv­
ices and to the defense tax imposed on October 1, 1941, affecting
particularly automobiles, tires, tubes, movies, telephone and railroad
rates, and toilet goods.
14.— Percentage change in the cost of goods purchased by wage earners and
lower-salaried workers in Newport News, Va., from September 1940 to December
1941.

T able

Date

All
items

September 1940 to December 1941.................. .
September 1940 to December 1940...............
December 1940 to March 1941..........................
March 1941 to June 1941............ ........................
June 1941 to September 1941..............................
September 1941 to December 1941...... .........

+16.0
+1.3
+1.8
+4.6
+4.5
+3.0

Fuel, House­
elec­
Food Cloth­ Rent tricity, furnish­
ing
and ice ings
+24.5 +14.8 +9.7 +7.5 +15.7
+2.3 0)
+1.2 +2.8 +.1
+3.9 +1.5 +2.0
- .3
+7.8 +2.1 +2.3 0)
+2.7
0)
+5.2 +8.1 +2.6 +4.5 +8.9
+3.2 +2.5 +1.3 +.1 +3.7

Mis­
cella­
neous
+12.5
+.4
+. 3
+4.9
+2.3
+4.2

1No change.
Changes in Cost of Living in 11 Small Cities to
December 1941

Average living costs in the 11 small cities rose 10.8 percent between
December 15, 1940, and December 15, 1941, as compared with 9.7
percent in the large cities. The rise brought the level of living costs
in the small cities to a point 13.7 percent above June 1939.
The advances have differed considerably from city to city according
to the industrial character of the community. In general, the small
cities where living costs have shown the greatest rise are those that



27
nave been involved most directly in the war effort. Increases over
the 2K-year period ranged from 11.0 percent in Bloomington, Ind.,
to 16.5 percent in Chester, S. C. The comparatively large rise in
the cost of living in Chester is explained by the presence of nearby
military encampments, which brought increased patronage to local
stores, and by higher earnings in the textile mills. Prices in Clinton,
Iowa, Battle Creek, Mich., and Lebanon, Pa., have also been affected
by increased consumer incomes, and the purchases by men at nearby
army camps have influenced the trend in Battle Creek and Lebanon.
The survey of 11 small cities has been made by the Bureau of
Labor Statistics at the request of the Office of Price Administration
in order to supplement the Bureau’s survey in larger cities. This
survey in the small cities is being extended at the present time to 9
additional cities, and will hereafter cover 20 typical communities
ranging in population from 5,000 to 50,000.
Table 15 gives the percentage change in the cost of goods purchased
by wage earners and lower-salaried workers in 11 small cities from
June 15, 1939, to successive pricing periods to December 15, 1941.
COST OF LIVING IN 1 9 4 1

15 .— Percentage change in the cost of goods 'purchased hy wage earners and
lower-salaried workers in 11 small cities from June 15, 1939, to successive pricing
periods to Dec. 15, 1941

T able

Percentage increase or decrease over June 15, 1939, in the cost of—
City and date
Battle Creek, Mich.
1939—Dec. 15..............................
1940—June 15..............................
Dec. 15..............................
1941—Mar. 15_______________
June 15------------------Sept. 15--------------------Dec. 15................. ...........

Fuel, elec­ House- Miscel­
tricity, furnish­
and ice ings laneous

All items

Food

Clothing

+0.9
+1.6
+3.9
+5.1
+8.9
+13.3
+15.7

+1.4
+3.9
+6.5
+8.4
+15.8
+22.1
+23.4

+0.1
+ .3
+.4
+• 7
+2.2
+11.8
+15.9

+0.1
-.1
+2.3
+4.8
+5.7
+7.2
+7.4

+3.5
+3.9
+6.6
+6.6
+6.6
+12.6
+12.8

(9
-3.1
-3.6
-2.7
- .3
+5.1
+11.1

+0.5
+1.1
+4.1
+4.4
+8.3
+10.4
+14.7

+1.1
+1.0
+2.3
+2.7
+5.8
+8.2
+11.0

+2.5
+3.4
+7.2
+8.3
+16.2
+20.6
+24.2

+.3
+ .8
+.4
+.8
+2.2
+6.4
+11.9

+.5
+ .6
+.4
+.4
+.4
+.5
+.3

+1.9
+.3
- .9
-2 .0
-2 .0
- .4
+ .2

- .5
-4 .6
-5 .0
-4.9
-2.4
+2.5
+7.3

+.3
-.1
+ .9
+1.1
+2.2
+3.2
+6.1

+3.5
+1.5
+3.7
+5.7
+8.1
+13.0
+16.5

+6.5
+1.1
+5.2
+11.1
+16.5
+25.4
+31.2

+. 1
+1.1
+1.4
+1.5
+3.8
+15.6
+17.8

+7.7
+12.1
+12.1
+12.2
+12.3
+13.0
+13.8

+3.3
(9
+3.3
+3.2
+3.2
+ 5.0
+6.1

+1.0
-1.9
-1.3
+1. 5
+3.2
+10. 5
+ 13.6

+.7
-1.3
+.6
+1.1
+2.3
+3.4
+7.0

- .2
- .6
+. 3 . +1.3
+5.1
+2.2
+7.3
+3.0
+6.5 +16.6
+9.6 +19.9
+12.8 +24.6

+• 1

- .6
- .8
+ .3
+. 5
+4.9
+11.7
+15,8

+.1
+.1
+1.8
+2.1
+3.7
+5.9
+9.5

Rent

Bloomington, Ind.

1939—Dec. 15...............................
1940—June 15—................... ........
Dec. 15.......... ...................
1941—Mar. 15........... ............
June 15...............................
Sept. 15..............................
Dec. 15..............................
Chester, S. C.

1939—Dec. 15...............................
1940—June 15........................... .
Dec. 15.................... .........
1941—Mar. 15..............................
June 15...............................
Sept. 15............................
Dec. 15...............................
Clarksburg, W. Va.

1939—Dec. 15...............................
1940—June 15...............................
Dec. 15.............................
1941—Mar. 15..............................
June 15...............................
Sept. 15..............................
Dec. 15...............................
1No change.




+ .2
+.3
+.3
+1.4
+11.6
+15.9

- .1
- .2

0)
0)

+ .2
+ .4
+.9

0)

- .9
+.7
+ .7
-1 .4
-1.4
-1 .4

28

COST OF LIVING IN 1 9 4 1

15.— Percentage change in the cost of goods purchased by wage earners and
lower-salaried workers in 11 small cities from June 15, 1989, to successive pricing
periods to Dec. 15, 1941— Continued

T able

Percentage increase or decrease over June 15,1939, in the cost of—
City and date
Clinton, Iowa
1939—Dec. 15...............................
1940—June 15...............................
Dec. 15...............................
1941—Mar. 15..............................
June 15..............................
Sept. 15..............................
Dec. 15..............— ............

All items

Food

Clothing

+1.3
+2.0
+4.7
+5.8
+10.3
+12.8
+15.9

+1.8
+3.7
+8.9
+11.0
+20.5
+22.4
+25.9

+0.1
• +.3
+.3
+.3
+1.2
+11.0
+13.4

+1.8
- .2
+2.3
+2.1
+6.4
+9.8
+13.5

+7.1
+2.0
+9.1
+8.2
+19.5
+25.8
-1-30.8

+.3
+.3
+ .5
+. 9
+1.6
+10.0
+13.2

+1.0
+1.0
+2.4
+3.2
+7.4
+11.6
+14.6

+2.1
+2.8
+4.8
+5.8
+16.6
+22.9
+26.0

+ .3
+ .2
+. 9
+2.1
+3.0
+11.1
+15.3

+.7
+1.4
+2.5
+2.7
+5.3
+9.9
+13.0

+1.6
+4.1
+6.0
+5.9
+12.8
+21.3
+24.1

+ .3
+.4
+ .9
+1.9
+6.4
+12.3

(9

+ .6
+• 7
+1.8
+2.1
+6.4
+10.0
+12.5

+1.4
+2.3
+3.9
+5.1
+14.9
+20.0
+22.8

+.7
+• 7
+1.1
+2.2
+5.8
+10.3
+12.7

+1.3
+2.2
+1.9
+3.9
+11.6
+17.5
+19.6

+.6
+.9
+1.7
+2.9
+5.3
+9.6
+12.7

+1.7
+4.2
+4.3
+8.2
+14.3
+22.9
+25.5

Rent

Fuel, elec­ House- Miscel­
tricity, furnish­
and ice ings laneous
+5.7
+3.6
+5.7
+7.1
+6.5
+10.0
+10.0

+0.7
-1.6
-1.8
-1.5
+1.4
+7.8
+10.0

+0.8
+1.2
+3.1
+3.3
+6.0
+6.8
+12.0

+ .2
+ .2
+. 3
+2.0
+2.4
+3.4

-2 .2
-7.3
-7.6
-7.6
-2 .6
-2 .6
-2 .6

- .2
-3.6
-3.8
-3.8
+ .2
+7.6
+12.7

- .1
- .7
+1.2
41.3
+2.4
+3.2
+7.8

+. 6
+1.2
+1.6
+2.0
+2.0
+3.0
+4.0

+.1
- .8
+1.3
+1.3
+2.8
+5.4
+5.4

- .2
-3 .0
-2.4
-1.3
+2.1
+8.2
+15.5

+ .7
+ .4
+2.1
+2.9
+4.3
+6.6
+10.5

+.1
-.1
+.3
0)
+ .6
+1.2

+4.6
+2.1
+2.7
+2.3
+2.1
+5.0
+3.1

- .2
- .4
- .6
+. 6
+2.9
+7.7
+15.1

- .5
- .2
+1.6
+1.7
+3.0
+6.5
+11.0

+ .2
+1.0
+. 9
+1.6
+2.3
+11.6
+16.3

+ .2
+1.1
+1.3
+1.1
+1.8
+2.0
+2.2

- .4
-1 .9
-.1
- .1
+.3
+2.7
+1.5

+•
-3 .31
-3 .2
-3 .7
- .8
+7.6
+13.0

+ .4
- .1
+1.4
+1.2
+3.6
+5.2
+8.3

+.1
+.5
+ .5
+. 8
+2.8
+15.0
+18.6

- .3
- .3
- .2
+ .2
+.5
+1.7
+2.0

+3.1
+.1
+1.9
+1.9
- .5
+2.9
+3.4

+ .3
-2 .7
-2.1
+• 4
+6.9
+14.4
+18.3

(0
0)

0)

0)

+1.3
+3.4
+5.4
+9.1
+9.9
+10.6

Globe, Ariz.

1939—Dec. 15...............................
1940—June 15..............................
Dec. 15............. ................
1941—Mar. 15..............................
June 15...............................
Sept. 15..............................
Dec. 15...............................

0)

Lebanon, Pa.

1939—Dec. 15...............................
1940—June 15...............................
Dec. 15...... ........................
1941—Mar. 15..............................
June 15...............................
Sept. 15..............................
Dec. 15...............................
Mattoon, III.

1939— Dec. 15____ . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1940—June 15.............................
Dec. 15...............................
1941—Mar. 15...............................
June 15............................Sept. 15..............................
Dec. 15...............................

0)

Oswego, N. Y.

1939—Dec. 15...............................
1940—June 15...............................
Dec. 15..............................
1941—Mar. 15...............................
June 15..............................
Sept. 15..............................
Dec. 15...............................
Vineland, N. J.

1939—Dec. 15...............................
1940—June 15...............................
Dec. 15...............................
1941—Mar. 15........... ..................
June 15...............................
Sept. 15..............................
Dec. 15...............................

0)

+.3
+1.4
+2.3
+4.9
+6.6
+10.1

Walla Walla, Wash.

1939—Dec. 15...............................
1940—June 15. ......... ..................
Dec. 15..............................
1941—Mar. 15..............................
June 15.............................
Sept. 15..............................
Dec. 15„............................

0)

0)
+• 1
+.2
+1. 5
+10.7
+13.1

- .2
-.1
0)
(0
+ .1

- .3
- .3
- .6
-3 .4
-3 .7
+4.1

+. 5
-2.1
-1.5
- .6
+2.1
+11.0
+13.0

+. 3
- .3
+1.7
+2.0
+3.4
+4.7
+8.9

iNo change.

Data similar to the foregoing for nine other small cities 3 are being
currently prepared and will be released during the coming months.8
8 Falls City, Nebr., Goldsboro, N. C., Jonesboro, Ark., Oconto, Wis., Stillwater, Okla., Torrington
Conn., Vicksburg, Miss., Watertown, S. Dak., and Zanesville, Ohio.



COST OF LIVING IN 1 9 4 1

29

Changes in Living Costs of Federal Employees in
Washington, D . C ., from December 1940 to December
1941

Living costs of Federal employees and their families in Washington,
D. C., increased 8.6 percent during the year 1941. This was slightly
less than the 10-percent increase shown by the Bureau of Labor
Statistics’ indexes of living costs for wage earners and lower-salaried
workers in Washington between December 1940 and December 1941.
The general price rise was most sharply felt by families of custodial
employees for whom food requires a larger portion of the family in­
come than that spent by Federal employees with higher earnings.
Food prices have been rising faster than prices of other goods. For
custodial employees, the average rise in all costs was 9.6 percent.
Living costs of employees living as single individuals showed the
second largest advance, 9.2 percent, while the increase for families
of employees in the CAF and professional services were 8.5 and 8.4
percent respectively.
The special study on which these figures are based is conducted
annually in Washington by the Bureau of Labor Statistics by pricing,
in representative stores, a list of the most important goods bought by
Federal employees and their families. This list of expenditures and
their relative importance in budgets of Federal workers in Washing­
ton were determined by a study made in the fall of 1933 of the ex­
penditures of 336 families of Federal employees and 123 single indi­
viduals.
Food.—Prices for nearly all types of food in the family market
basket rose over the year, with the largest increases reported for
fresh fruits and vegetables, pork, lard, coffee, and sugar.
For custodial employees for whom food costs represented 34.3
percent of total expenditures for living, there was a 16.9 percent rise
in these costs. The 16 percent rise in food costs for professional
employees as a group was considerably less important since foods
constitute only 24.9 percent of their total expenditures.
Clothing.—Clothing costs for all Federal employees averaged 16.7
percent higher in December 1941 than in December 1940. As in the
rest of the country, prices of cotton work clothing rose most rapidly.
Housing.—Housing costs for Federal employees were 1.3 percent
higher, on the average, at the end of the year. For employees living
as single individuals, who largely rent furnished rooms, the increase
in housing costs was much above the average, almost 4 percent
higher than a year earlier. Of the employees living in family groups,
it was again the custodial employees who experienced the sharpest
rise. The increase of 1.5 percent in housing costs for that group com­
pares with an increase of only 0.9 percent for other employees with
basic salaries of less than $2,500 and 0.7 percent for employees with
basic salaries over $2,500.
Household operation.—The rise in the cost of household operation
for all types of Federal employees was due to increases of approxi­
mately 5 percent in coal prices, of 5 to 7 percent in laundry service,
and of 6 percent in telephone rates (the latter as a result of the de­
fense excise tax as of October 1, 1941). The 10- to 15-percent in­
crease in the cost of domestic service was less significant in the family
budget of the custodial group than for other groups of Federal em­



COST OF LIVING IN 1 9 4 1
30
ployees; on the other hand, the average rise of nearly 20 percent in
the prices of cleaning supplies was more important in the spending of
custodial families.
Furnishings and equipment,—On the average, costs of furnishings
and equipment increased about 16 percent. As in the rest of the
country, prices of suites of furniture, sheets, and towels advanced
rapidly.
Transportation.—The average rise of more than 11 percent in trans­
portation costs reflects the higher cost of buying, maintaining, and
operating automobiles at the end of 1941 than in December 1940.
In the transportation costs of families of custodial employees and
employees living as single individuals, automobiles are less important
than the expenditure for streetcar and bus fares. Since no increase
occurred in 1941 in the cost of public transportation, the advance in
total transportation costs for these two groups was less than for other
Federal employees.
Personal care.—Rising costs of barber- and beauty-shop services
and of toilet articles increased the cost of personal care nearly 10 per­
cent, on the average, for all Federal employees in Washington. Ac­
cording to reports to the Bureau, the cost of haircuts in barber shops
patronized by Negroes rose about 30 percent in 1941, while the cost
of haircuts for men in barber shops with white patronage increased
about 20 percent, and the price of women’s haircuts remained un­
changed.
Recreation.—Higher admission prices to movies contributed to the
advance of 3.1 percent in the average costs of recreation of various
kinds.
T able

16

.— Percentage change in cost of goods 'purchased by Federal employees in
Washington, D. C., Dec. 15, 1940, to Dec. 15, 1941
Employees living in family groups
Item

All items.........................................
Food...............................................
Clothing........................................
Housing........ ................................
Household operation....................
Furnishings and equipment........
Transportation.............................
Personal care.................................
Medical care..................................
Recreation.....................................
Formal education.........................
Life insurance.-...........................
Retirement fund...........................
* No change.




All em­
ployees

+8.6
+16.2
+16.7
+1.3
+5.7
+15.9
+11.1
+9.8
+.2
+3.1
0) +1.9
0)

Custodial
employees
with basic
salaries of
less than
$2,500

Other em­
ployees
with basic
salaries of
less than
$2,500

+9.6
+16.9
+17.8
+1.5
+4.2
+16.3
+7.7
+14.2
+.6
+4.2
0)+2.0
0)

+8.5
+16.2
+16.7
+. 9
+5.2
+15.9
+11.8
+9.3
+ .2
+3.1
(9 +1.9
0)

Other em­
ployees
with basic
salaries of
$2,500 and
over
+8.4
+16.0
+16.3
+• 7
+6.3
+15.8
+12.7
+10.1
+.2
+2.9
0)
+2.0
0)

Employees
living as
single in­
dividuals
+9.2
+16.3
+16.4
+3.8
+6.5
+14.3
+6.1
+8.6
+.1
+3.0
0) +1.9
0)

T able 17.— Indexes of cost of goods purchased by Federal employees in Washington , D. C.t January 1928 through Dec. 15, 1941
[Average 1935-39=100]
ALL EMPLOYEES
Group

112.1
123.7
114.0
109.8
116.2
101.9
108.2
117.4
103.2
105.9
91.1
92.5
100.0

92.7
87.6
76.4
100.5
101.3
72.7
94.9
105.5
99.1
96.6
98.2
97.4
100.0

95.3 96.9 97.9 98.8
90.0 93.4 97.2 101.3
95.1 96.5 96.5 94.8
96.5 96.9 97.5 97.5
102.2 100.5 102.3 100.9
89.0 93.1 93.0 92.9
95.9 99.8 98.1 98.7
104.0 100.1 97.3 97.0
99.0 99.1 100.0 100.4
97.6 100.2 98.0 97.5
98.5 98.5 98.6 98.6
97.6 98.2 98.2 98.7
100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

98.4
101.4
94.5
97.7
98.1
93.0
98.5
96.8
100.2
97.0
98.8
99.3
100.0

98.9
102.0
94.6
98.0
100.6
94.2
98.0
96.3
100.1
97.0
98.9
99.3
100.0

99.2
101.9
95.3
98.5
100.5
95.4
99.3
95.5
99.7
97.1
98.9
100.2
100.0

98.4
98.7
95.1
98.8
99.6
95.8
100.0
95. 4
99.7
97.1
98.9
99.8
100.0

99.9
101.0
99.9
100.1
99.8
99.7
96.1
103.8
99.9
97.7
100.6
100.4
100.0

102.0 100.3 99.6 100.7
102.9 97.5 95.3 98.6
105.3 101.7 102.6 103.2
101.5 101.1 100.7 100.8
100.5 100.3 98.8 99.0
105. 5 101.8 104.6 105.9
102.0 102.9 100.4 97.1
101.6 100.7 101.0 100.4
99.9 100.0 100.4 100.5
97.9 104.2 105.0 109.2
100.6 100.6 100.6 100.6
99.2 100.9 101.1 102.8
100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

109.4
114.6
120.4
102.1
104.6
122.7
107.9
110.2
100.7
112.6
100.6
104.8
100.0

EMPLOYEES LIVING IN FAMILY GROUPS
Custodial employees with basic salaries of less than $2,500
All items.......................................................
Food..........................................................
Clothing. ...................................... ...............
Housing___________________ ................. .
Household operation............................. ......
Furnishings and equipment-......................
Transportation..............................................
Personal care________________________
Medical care__........................................... .
Recreation.....................................................
Formal education..................................... .
Life insurance.................................... ..........
Retirement fund...........................................




114.7
125.8
110.9
113.0
117.5
102.0
98.1
123.4
102.1
102.5
90.8
92.5
100.0

90.4
81.6
72.6
102.2
102.8
71.5
91.3
113.6
100.5
95.7
100.0
97.4
100.0

95.0
87.6
94.3
99.5
103.9
89.1
93.0
114.9
100.0
97.2
100.0
97.6
100.0

96.3
91.1
98.2
98.8
101.2
93.1
95.0
106.9
100.2
100.3
100.0
98.1
100.0

98.2
96.5
97.4
98.5
103.7
92.9
95.6
102.0
100.5
99.6
100.0
98.1
100.0

100.1
103.1
96.5
98.5
102.5
92.8
97.7
101.3
100.5
98.5
100.0
98.7
100.0

99.8
103.0
96.2
99.3
97.5
93.0
97.4
101.0
100.4
98.2
100.0
99.3
100.0

100.7
104.8
96.4
99.3
100.8
94.2
96.3
100.3
100.3
98.1
100.0
99.3
100.0

100.3
103.6
96.8
99.3
100.6
95.7
97.2
99.1
99.5
98.2
100.0
100.2
100.0

98.7
98.9
96.4
99,4
100.2
96.2
97.7
99.3
99.6
98.2
100.0
99.8
100.0

100.2
102.1
99.6
99.5
99.9
99.9
96.0
100.0
99.7
98.4
100.0
100.4
100.0

101.7
102.6
103.5
101.0
100.1
105.7
103:0
100.4
99.7
100.0
100.0
99.2
100.0

99.2 98.3 99.5
95.7 93.3 95.7
101.4 102.4 103.0
100.7 100.3 101.0
100.2 98.0 98.5
101.2 104.4 105.9
103.7 102.3 100.8
98.3 102.2 102.9
100.3 100.4 100.4
102.7 103.0 107.7
100.0 100.0 100.0
100.9 101.1 102.7
100.0 100.0 100.0

109.1
111.9
121.3
102.5
102.6
123.2
108.6
117.5
100.9
112.2
100.0
104.8
100.0

COST OF LIVING IN 1941

All items
Food..............................................................
Clothing.........................................................
Housing_____________ ________ ______
Household operation...............................__
Furnishings and equipment___________
Transportation_______ _______________
Personal care............................. ...................
Medical care...............................................__
Recreation-...................................... ......... .
Formal education _______ _____________
Life insurance____________ ___________
Retirement fund......................... ............__.

Janu­ March Decem­ June Nov. Mar. July 15, Oct. 15, Jan. 15, Apr. 15, Dec. 15, Dec. 15, Dec. 15, Dec. 15, Dec. 15, Dec. 15,
ary 1928 1933 ber 1933 1934 15,1934 15,1935 1935 1935 1936 1936 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941

T able

17

*— Indexes of cost of goods purchased by Federal employees in Washington , D. C., January 1928 through Dec. 15, 1941— Con.
EMPLOYEES LIVING IN FAMILY GROUPS—Continued
[Average 1935-39=100]
Group

Janu­ March Decem­ June Nov. Mar. July 15, Oct. 15, Jan. 15, Apr. 15, Dec. 15, Dec. 15, Dec. 15, Dec. 15, Dec. 15, Doc. 15,
ary 1928 1933 ber 1933 1934 15,1934 15,1935 1935 1935 1936 1936 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941
Other employees with basic salaries of less than $2,500
112.1 92.0 95.0 96.7 97.6 98.5 98.5
124.5 85.5 89.1 94.0 97.0 101.7 102.8
113.7 75.8 94.6 96.1 96.3 94.3 94.0
108.9 100.2 96.3 96.4 96.9 97.1 97.2
115.7 100.9 101.9 100.1 101.9 100.5 97.8
102.4 73.2 89.4 93.3 93.2 93. 1 93. 2
107.8 93.3 94.8 98.9 97. 5 98.1 97.8
118.2 105. 7 103. 7 99. 5 96.8 96. 5 96.3
103.1 98.6 98.8 99.0 100.0 100.4 100.2
106. 5 96.8 98.0 100.2 98.3 97.7 97.2
90.5 97.8 98.3 98.3 98.4 98.4 98. 7
92.5 97.4 97.6 98.1 98.1 98.7 99.3
100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

98.8
102.6
94.1
97.6
100.0
94.3
97.3
95. 8
100.1
97.2
98.8
99.3
100.0

99.1
102.1
94.8
98.4
99.9
95.6
98.7
95.0
99.7
97.3
98.8
100.2
100. 0

98.2
98.5
94.7
98.7
99.2
96.0
99.5
94.9
99.7
97.3
98.8
99.8
100.0

100.0
101.1
100.1
100.2
99.6
99.7
96. 1
104. 2
99.9
97.9
100. 6
100. 4
100.0

102.2 100.4
102.9 97.1
105.6 101.9
101.6 101.3
101.0 100.5
105.4 101.7
102.4 103.2
101.7 101.1
99.9 100.0
100.2 103.7
100.6 100.6
99.2 100.9
100.0 100.0

99.7
94.7
102.8
100.9
99.1
104.2
100.8
101.0
100.3
104.5
100.6
101.1
100. 0

100.6
98.1
103.4
100.8
99.2
105. 4
97.6
100.3
100.4
108.8
100.7
102.8
100.0

109.2
114.0
120. 7
101. 7
104. 4
122.2
109.1
109.6
100.6
112.2
100.7
104.8
100.0

Other employees with basic salaries of $2,500 and over
All items.......................................................
Food_______________ __________ ______
Clothing.................... ................................ .
Housing_________ __________________
Household operation........ ........................
Furnishings and equipment....................
Transportation--------- -----------------------Personal care______________ __________
Medical care..............................................
Recreation__ ________________________
Formal education........................................
Life insurance _______________________
Retirement fund.......... ............................... .




112.0 91.8 95.0
125.7 85.4 8878
113.5 76.4 95.2
108.3 99.1 95.4
117.7 101.0 101.8
101.9 72.7 88.8
110.4 93.2 95.3
114.9 104.1 103.1
104.0 99.5 99.1
106.4 95.4 96.4
92.1 98.6 98.6
92.5 97.4 97.6
100.0 100.0 100.0

■ 96.4
■—
91.4
96.6
96.3
100. 2
93.0
100.1
99.4
99.2
99.6
98.6
98.1
100.0

97.9—■ ■ 98.7 — 98.0 98.8
■
—
97.3 101.5 99.9 101.5
96.7 95.1 94.8 94.9
97.2 97.2 97.5 97.7
102.2 100.8 98.0 101.0
92.9 92.8 92.9 94.1
97.3 97.9 97.8 97.3
96.5 96.2 96.0 95.5
100.1 100.4 100.2 100.1
97.4 97.0 96.4 96.4
98.7 98.7 98.8 98.8
98.1 98.7 99.3 99.3
100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

109.1
100.4 99.7
99.3 ===== 99.9 102.2 ===== ===== —100.6= =====
— 98.3 .... —=====
98.4 114.1
102.4 98.5 101.1 103.5 97.3 95.0 103.2 120.0
95.5 95.4 99.8 105.3 101.5 102.4 100.3 101.0
98.3 98.6 100.2 101.8 101.2 100.5
100.9 99.7 99.8 100.3 100.3 98.8 99.1 105.3
95.3 95.6 99.6 105.5 101.9 104.8 106.0 122.8
96.9
98.9 99.5 96.6 102.7 102.8 100.5 100.9 109.2
111. 1
94.6 94.6 104.6 101.8 101.2 101.2
99.7 99.7 99.9 99.9 99.9 100.5 100.6 100.8
96.5 96.5 97.2 99.7 105.2 106.1 110.0 113.2
98.8 98.8 100.6 100.6 100.6 100.6 100.6 100.6
104.8
100.2 99.8 100.3 99.2 100.9 101.1 102.7 100.0
100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

COST OF LIVING IN 1941

All items....................................-...................
Food....................................... ....................
Clothing _______ __________ ____
Housing_______________ _______ ____Household operation__________________
Furnishings and equipment.---------------Transportation_______________________
Personal care__________ ____________
Medical care_________________________
Recreation_____________ _______ _____
Formal education____________________
Life insurance_______ ________________
Retirement fund_____________________

EMPLOYEES LIVING AS SINGLE INDIVIDUALS




111.1 98.1
116.5 100.8
116.9 79.4
114.5 103.8
109.2 103.4
97.8 68.7
107.4 105.7
117.0 104.3
102.2 98.4
105.3 98.0
90.4 97.8
92.5 97.4
100.0 100.0

97.9 98.4
9§. 0 96.8
96.5 96.4
98.2 98.3
103.9 103.7
86.0 90.7
101.6 103.4
101.7 99.8
98.7 98.7
98.8 100.9
98.3 98.3
97.6 98.2
100.0 100.0

98.7
97.7
96.4
99.5
103.6
91.2
102.8
98.0
99.9
97.8
98.4
98.2
100.0

98.8
99.1
94.6
99.4
101.6
91.4
103.1
97.7
100.2
97.5
98.4
98.7
100.0

98.8
99.3
94.3
99.4
101.5
91.6
102.9
97.6
100.0
97.1
98.7
99.3
100.0

98.8
99.5
94.3
99.3
101.9
93.3
102.6
97.2
99.9
97.1
98.8
99.3
100.0

98.9
99.5
95.3
98.6
101.9
94.5
103.3
96.5
99.6
97.2
98.8
100.2
100.0

98.9
99.4
95.3
98.9
100.9
95.3
103.6
96.5
99.6
97.2
98.8
99.8
100.0

99.4
100.1
100.0
99.6
101.0
99.4
94.5
103.3
100.0
97.7
100.6
100.4
100.0

101.3
101.9
105.3
100.9
99.0
105.8
98.8
101.4
100.0
99.9
100.6
99.2
100.0

100.7 100.3 101.8
99.8 98.6 102.1
101.7 102.6 102.9
100.6 100.6 102.1
98.6 98.1 98.0
102.0 107.1 110.0
101.9 98.1 94.5
100.3 100.3 99.2
100.1 100.4 100.4
104.1 104.9 109.1
100.6 100.6 100.6
100.9 101.1 102.8
100.0 100.0 100.0

111.2
118.7
119.8
106.0
104.4
125.7
100.3
107.7
100.5
112.4
100.6
104.8
100.0

COST OF LIVING IN 1941

All items . _
_____
___
Food...............................................................
Clothing.........................................................
Housing.........................................................
Household operation...................................
Furnishings and equipment.......................
Transportation...........................................„
Personal care_............................................ .
Medical care................................................. .
Recreation.....................................................
Formal education____________ _______
Life insurance................................................
Retirement fund..........................................

CO
CO

34

COST OF LIVING IN 1 9 4 1
C ity Coverage

The cities in which the Bureau of Labor Statistics collects data on
changes in living costs are listed below. The data available for these
cities show changes in the cost of all goods and services purchased
by wage earners and lower-salaried workers. Where figures are
released quarterly only, the name of the city is followed by (Q); where
monthly, by (M).
For some cities in which prices are not obtained for all the goods
included in the Bureau’s regular indexes, estimates of changes in living
costs are computed on the basis of food, fuel, and rental costs. The
names of these cities are followed by (*). For other cities, estimates
are now available until such time as pricing for all important articles
of family spending is begun. The names of these cities are followed
by (**).
T able

18

.— Cities for which prices are obtained for Bureau of Labor Statistics
cost-of-living index

State

City

Alabama....................... Birmingham (M).
Gadsden (Q).
Mobile (Q)
Arizona _________ Globe (Q).
Arkansas..................... Jonesboro (Q).1
Little Rock (Q).*i
California..................... Los Angeles (M).
San Diego (Q).
San Francisco (M).
San Francisco suburbs
(Q).1
Cninradn
Denver (M).
Connecticut________ Bridgeport (Q).
New Haven (Q).* i
Torrington (Q).i
District of Columbia.. Washington (M).
Florida.......................... Jacksonville (Q).
Georgia......................... Atlanta (Q).
Savannah (M).
Illinois........................... Chicago (M).
Mattoon (Q).
Peoria (Q).i *
Indiana____________ Bloomington (0).
Indianapolis (Q).
South Bend (Q).
Iowa_______________ Clinton (Q).
Kansas.......................... Wichita (Q).**
Kentucky..................... Louisville (Q)*
Louisiana______ ____ New Orleans (Q).
Maine. ....................... Portland (Q).
Maryland..... ............... Baltimore (M).
Massachusetts______ Boston (M).
Michigan........ ............. Battle Creek (Q).
Detroit (M).
Minnesota.................... Minneapolis (M).
Mississippi.................. Vicksburg (Q).1
Missouri....................... Kansas City (M).
St. Louis (M).

State
Nebraska....................
Nevada.......................
New Hampshire_____
New Jersey_________
New York....................
North Carolina...........
Ohio..............................
Oklahoma.....................
Oregon..........................
Pennsylvania_______
South Carolina............
South Dakota..............
Tennessee.................
Texas_____________
Virginia.... ...
Washington________
West Virginia..............
Wisconsin____ _____

City
Falls City (Q).1
Omaha (Q).***
Las Vegas (Q).1
Manchester (Q).
Newark (Q).**
Vineland (Q).
Buffalo (M).
New York (M).
Oswego (Q).
Rochester (Q).* *
Goldsboro (Q).1
Cincinnati (M).
Cleveland (M).
Zanesville (Q).1
Stillwater (Q).1
Portland (Q).
Lebanon (Q).1
Philadelphia (M).
Pittsburgh (M).
Scranton (Q).
Charleston (Q).**
Chester (Q).1
Watertown (Q).1
Knoxville (Q).* 1
Memphis (Q).
Corpus Christi (Q).
Dallas (Q).*
Houston (M).
Newport News (Q).
Norfolk (Q).
Richmond (Q).
Seattle (M).
Walla Walla (Q).t
Clarksburg (Q).
Milwaukee (Q).
Oconto (Q).1

1 Data available in 1942.
Estimated Intercity Differences in Cost o f Living,
December 15, 1941

To compare the cost of living in different cities of the country, a
standard budget was established by the Works Progress Administra­
tion in order to measure the cost of approximately the same level of
living, and to avoid differences due entirely to variations in income



35
and in local habits and customs. The figures presented in the attached
tables give a comparison based upon this standard budget, at a “main­
tenance” level for 33 cities.
This is not an official budget of the Department of Labor, nor does
it represent a recommended standard of living. This budget was preared and its cost in each of 59 cities in March 1935 was computed
y the Division of Social Research of the Works Progress Administra­
tion. Since 1939, the figures have been kept up to date by the Bureau
of Labor Statistics. For this purpose, the Bureau has utilized its
regularly reported changes in retail prices in various cities to estimate
changes in the cost of this standard budget each quarter. Comparisons
of the cost of such a budget can yield only approximate figures on
differences in living costs between cities.
The family budget devised by the Works Progress Administration
in 1935 is made up of a list of goods and services and the quantities
which they estimated were needed by a 4-person family of an unskilled
manual worker living at the “maintenance level.” The maintenance
level is described as above the “minimum of subsistence level” or
“emergency level” of relief budgets, but below the standard of the
skilled worker. It is stated that it does not “approach the content of
what may be considered a satisfactory American standard of living.”
The hypothetical family for which the budget was prepared is made
up, according to the Works Progress Administration, of a moderately
active man who wears overalls at work, his wife, a boy age 13, and a girl
age 8. No household help is employed. The family lives in a four- or
five-room house or apartment with an indoor bath and toilet; has
gas, electricity, and a small radio; uses ice for refrigeration; and has
no automobile. They read a daily newspaper and go to the movies
once a week. Their food is an “adequate diet at minimum cost.”
They pay for their own medical care. No savings other than life
insurance are provided.
An identical list of goods and services was priced in each of the 59
cities for which the study was made in 1935, with certain adjustments
is fuel, ice, and transportation to take account of climatic and other
local conditions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States
Department of Labor cooperated with the Division of Social Research
of the Works Progress Administration in obtaining prices necessary
to compute the original cost of the budget in 1935. Details of this
study and a description of the goods and services included in the
budget4 can be found in the report, “Intercity Differences in Costs of
Living in March 1935, 59 Cities,” Research Monograph XII, a copy of
which may be obtained from the Division of Research, Work Projects
Administration, Washington, D. C.
The budget has never been completely repriced since 1935. In
December 1938,5 th§ budget was in part priced again in almost all of
the cities and the food cost budget was entirely recomputed in terms
of the “ adequate diet at minimum cost” of the United States Bureau
of Home Economics (a somewhat more varied diet than that originally
used in the “maintenance” budget). At each quarter the food cost is
recomputed in this manner; for other parts of the budget, the current
COST OF LIVING IN 1 9 4 1

E

4 The report also includes details of a more restricted budget at an “emergency” level. That budget
has not been kept up to date by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
5 In connection with a study of “Differences in Living Costs in Northern and Southern Cities” made at
the request of the Wage and Hour Division. The July 1939 Monthly Labor Review carries an article de­
scribing the survey.



COST OF LIVING IN 1 9 4 1
36
cost is estimated by assuming the same changes as recorded in the
Bureau’s regular indexes of changes in living costs from time to time.6
These indexes are based on a budget composed of different qualities
of goods and having different relative importance in the total budget
than the Works Progress Administration “maintenance” budget.
Because of these differences, the cost figures resulting from applica­
tion of the cost-of-living indexes to the “maintenance” budget are
merely approximations to the actual current cost of that budget.
In view of the changes in buying habits, particularly during the last
2 years, the “maintenance” budget as defined in 1935 is not en­
tirely applicable to present conditions. The figures are presented,
however, for the convenience of those who find them useful, and in
the absence of any better measure of comparison of living costs be­
tween cities.
Table 19 shows the estimated dollar cost of the “ maintenance”
budget in 33 large cities as of December 15, 1941. Table 20 presents
these data as indexes on a base of the cost in Washington, D. C., at
that date as 100.
19 .— Estimated 1 cost of living for a four-person manual worker's fam ily at
maintenance level, as defined by the Works Progress Administration ,2 in 88 large
cities as of Dec. 15, 1941

T able

City

Total

Food

Furni­
ture, fur­
Fuel and nishings, Miscel­
Clothing Housing light household laneous
equip­
ment

Atlanta......................... .............. $1,473.79 $550.58 $187.96 $290.44 $94.00 $35.73 $315.08
Baltimore..................................... 1,482.37 557.33 188.19 268.33 106.08
42.94
319.50
Birmingham...........-............. ... 1,457.88 551. 75 202.68 261.17
74.65
37.19
330.44
Boston......................... .............. 1. 560. 56 553.02 189. 55 268.69 143.88
37.85
367.57
Buffalo.......................................... 1,470.05 548. 59 192.37 259.08 113.17
38.64
318.20
Chicago-....................................- 1,608.45 568.30 179.64 301.16 132. 77
36.88
389.70
98.25
Cincinnati................................... 1,487. 07 546.11 198.67 273.14
42.95
327.95
Cleveland.................................... 1,569. 54 546.84 206.13 307.39 115.72
39.25
354.21
Denver......................................... 1,429. 43 530.03 184. 69 241.72 113.14
37.29
322.56
Detroit.......................................... 1,607.00 541.74 193.34 334.03 122.34
37.03
378.52
Houston........................................ 1,435.67 533.02 184.81 246.34
86.31
39.58
345.61
38.86
Indianapolis................................. 1,464.12 540. 50 183.92 260.50
99.45
340.89
Jacksonville.................................. 1,487.79 574.54 172.89 245.49 111.66
38,31
344.90
Kansas City................................. 1, 385.72 527.79 192.15 218.56 108.32
37.41
301.49
Los Angeles................................. 1,471. 57 535.19 191.60 246.92
71.07
40.03
386.76
Manchester................................ . 1,491.43 571.39 174.46 198.89 166. 77
36.73
343.19
85.92
Memphis...................................... 1,458.99 526. 07 201.69 282.41
321.32
41.58
Milwaukee................................... 1. 541. 57 538.32 161.70 300.20 127.97
37.25
376.13
Minneapolis................................. 1, 543.24 541.03 186.14 308.42 140.24
37.12
330.29
Mobile.......................................... 1,373. 58 557. 23 183.91 219.60
82.29
38.27
292.28
New Orleans................................ 1, 427.30 562. 77 189.41 211.85
73.53
43.60
346.14
New York.................................... 1,628.15 599. 74 182.53 310.42 121.41
38.75
375.30
Norfolk....................................... 1, 540. 36 578. 61 195.85 285.32 110.88
40.33
329.37
Philadelphia................................ 1,466. 51 549.21 190.55 262.36 105.80
37.54
321.05
Pittsburgh.................................... 1, 522. 54 562.81 192.92 290.77
93.37
39.19
343.48
Portland, Maine......................... 1,483.98 562. 56 181.18 206.19 156.16
37.82
340.07
Portland, Oreg...........;........ ....... 1,485. 31 571.94 176.20 202.10 142.60
39.07
353.40
Richmond.................................. . 1, 473 94 533. 31 192.80 254.64 108.21
40.51
344.47
St. Louis....................................... 1, 539.85 575.39 184.90 291.05 114.13
41.28
333.10
San Francisco.............................. 1, 600. 27 571. 63 192. 62 290.14
86.06
42.29
417.53
Scranton....................................... 1, 504.74 562. 50 186.84 266.04
98.26
38.39
352.71
Seattle.......................................... 1, 547.66 587.13 192.83 216.29 126.58
40.75
384.08
Washington, D. C............. ........ 1,633.16 562. 52 201.60 355.26 117.50
42.72
353.56
* See explanation of method given on pp. 34-36.
2 See the Works Progress Administration publication, “Intercity Differences in Costs of Living in March
1935, 59 Cities,” Research Monograph XII, for the items included in the maintenance budget.
6 The Bureau’s indexes of changes in living costs from time to time measure changes in the cost of a budget
representing actual family expenditures of a cross section of employed wage earners and clerical workers in
each of 34 cities. Since these budgets are different in each city, depending on incomes, local habits, etc.,
indexes based on them cannot be used to compare living costs between cities.



37

COST OF LIVING IN 1 9 4 1
T

20.— Estimated 1 indexes of cost of living for a four-person manual-worker’s
fam ily at maintenance level, as defined by the Works Progress Administration ,2
in S3 large cities, as of Dec. 16, 1941, on a base of the cost in Washington, D. C.,
as of that date as 100

able

City
Atlanta........................................
Baltimore...................................
Birmingham................................
Boston. ........................................
Buffalo..........................................
Chicago........................................
Cincinnati...................................
Cleveland.....................................
Denver.........................................
Detroit.........................................
Houston......................................
Indianapolis............................
Jacksonville........................... .
Kansas City................................
Los Angeles.................................
Manchester.................................
Memphis....................................
Milwaukee..................................
Minneapolis................................
Mobile..........................................
New Orleans................................
New York....................................
Norfolk.........................................
Philadelphia............................ .
Pittsburgh.................................
Portland, Maine.......................
Portland, Oreg............................
Richmond....................... ............
St. Louis.................................... .
San Francisco..............................
Scranton......................................
Seattle.............. ........ ...................
Washington, D. C......................

Total
90.2
90.8
89.3
95.6
90.0
98.5
91.1
96.1
87.5
98.4
87.9
89.6
91.1
84.8
90.1
91.3
89.3
94.4
94.5
84.1
87.4
99.7
94.3
89.8
93.2
90.9
90.9
90.3
94.3
98.0
92.1
94.8
100.0

Food
97.9
99.1
98.1
98.3
97.5
101.0
97.1
97.2
94.2
96.3
94.8
96.1
102.1
93.8
95.1
101.6
93.5
95.7
96.2
99.1
100.0
106.6
102.9
97.6
100.1
100.0
101.7
94.8
102.3
101.6
100.0
104.4
100.0

Furni­
ture, fur­
nishings, Miscel­
Clothing Housing Fuel and house­ laneous
light
hold
equip­
ment
93.2
93.3
100.5
94.0
95.4
89.1
98.5
102.2
91.6
95.9
91.7
91.2
85.8
95.3
95.0
86.5
100.0
80.2
92.3
91.2
94.0
90.5
97.1
94.5
95.7
89.9
87.4
95.6
91.7
95.5
92.7
95.6
100.0

81.8
75.5
73.5
75.6
72.9
84.8
76.9
86.5
68.0
94.0
69.3
73.3
69.1
61.5
69.5
56.0
79.5
84.5
86.8
61.8
59.6
87.4
80.3
73.9
81.8
68.0
56.9
71.7
81.9
81.7
74.9
60.9
100.0

80.0
90.3
63.5
122.5
96.3
113.0
83.6
98.5
96.3
104.1
73.5
84.6
95.0
92.2
60.5
141.9
73.1
108.9
119.4
70.0
62.6
103.3
94; 4
90.0
79.5
132.9
121.4
92.1
97.1
73.2
83.6
107.7
100.0

83.6
100.5
87.1
88.6
90.4
86.3
100.5
91.9
87.3
86.7
92.6
91.0
89.7
87.6
93.7
86.0
97.3
87.2
86.9
89.6
102.1
90.7
94.4
87.9
91.7
88.5
91.5
94.8
96.6
99.0
89.9
95.4
100.0

89.1
90.4
93.5
104.0
90.0
110.2
92.8
100.2
91.2
107.1
97.8
96.4
97.6
85.3
109.4
97.1
90.9
106.4
93.4
82.7
97.9
106.1
93.2
90.8
97.1
96.2
100.0
97.4
94.2
118.1
99.8
108.6
100.0

1 See explanation of method given on pp. 34-36.
2 See the Works Progress Administration publication, “Intercity Differences in Costs of Living in March
1935, 59 Cities,” Research Monograph XII, for the items included in the maintenance budget.
Cost o f Living in Foreign Countries 7

The principal index numbers of the cost of living (official and un­
official), published in different countries, are given in table 21. These
data have been compiled by the International Labour Office from
figures published or communicated by the statistical authorities of
the various countries. In a few cases statistics compiled by unofficial
persons have been used. Most of the series given in the form of index
numbers have been computed by the International Labour Office on
the base of 1929 as 100. In the case of series not dating back to that
year, the index numbers have been computed on the base of the
year nearest to 1929, and shown in italics. The following explanation
of the foreign cost-of-living indexes has been excerpted from the
January 1942 issue of the International Labour Review, pages 104 and
106:
1 Data in table 21 taken from International Labour Review, January, April, and July, 1942.




38

COST OF LIVING IN 1 9 4 1

There are many differences in the methods of compilation of these statistics in
different countries, the more important of which are indicated as far as possible
in the table headings. Account of these must be taken in interpreting the figures,
but, on the whole, the statistics give a reliable picture of fluctuations in time, and
it is between these that international comparisons can most usefully be made.
The object of cost-of-living index numbers is to show the fluctuations in the
purchasing power of money or in average retail prices, calculated with reference
to the expenditure necessary to maintain a given standard of living or type of
consumption; they are usually compiled by weighting the prices, absolute or
relative, of a certain number of articles of common consumption according to
their relative importance. Average prices are recorded regularly (in a more or
less large number of towns in each country), and the weights are based either on
the results of family budget enquiries, on theoretical budgets, or on estimates of
the total consumption of, or total expenditure on, the items in question in the
whole country during a given period.
As a result of the many variations which are found in the methods of computing
cost-of-living index numbers (for example, in regard to geographical scope, the
groups of expenditure represented in the general index and the items included in
each group, etc.), the indices are far from being equally reliable and representative
of price movement. In any case the indices can be used only to measure fluctua­
tions in time of the cost of living in a given country, and not to compare the levels
of the cost of living in different countries at any given time.
The series of index numbers in the table [reprinted in table 21 of this bulletin]
have been recalculated for the most part by the International Labour Office on
the uniform base of 1929 as 100. This change of base has been effected by dividing
the index for each date by the corresponding index for 1929 (annual average)
and multiplying the quotient by 100. This procedure may perhaps give rise to
some slight inaccuracies, owing to the methods by which many of the indices are
compiled, but these errors are at most very slight, except when the fluctuations
of the indices reach a certain amplitude.
The headings of the table show the original base period of the indices, the
main groups of expenditure covered in the general indices—food, heating and
lighting, clothing, rent, and miscellaneous—and the number of towns in which
prices are recorded (in some cases this number varies according to the expenditure
group).

Data for several foreign countries have been deleted from the table
as presented in the International Labour Review, because cost-ofliving statistics have not been available for recent dates.




T a b l e % . — Indexes of cost of living for specified periods for the United States and certain foreign countries 1
1
fSeries recalculated by International Labour Office on base 1929=100:2 a=food; 6=heating and lighting; c=clothing; d=rent; e=miscellaneous]

Africa

Asia

America

South­ Union
Co­
Country....................................... | Egypt ern of Can­ United Argen­ Chile lom­ Costa Mex­ Peru Uru­ Bur­ China
States,
Rho­ South ada B.L.S. tine
guay ma
bia Rico ico
desia Africa
Town or number of localities... Cairo

6

9

69

Nether­
lands Iran
Indies

India

Mon­
San
Ba­
34-51 Buenos Santi­ Bogota Jos6 Mex­ Lima te­ Ran­ Shang­ Bom­ Ahmed- tavia
Aires ago
ico
video goon hai bay abad

7

Japan
To­
24 kyo

Composition of the index_____ a-e a, 6, d a-e
1930............................................ .
98 100
1931...........................................
91 96
1932.._____ _______________
87 92
1933.................................. ...........
83 87
1934___ ___________________
84 86
1935..............................................
86 85
1936............................................
86 85
85 88
1937.......................- ....................
1938_____ __________________
87 90
1939....................................... ......
87 90
1940.......................... .....................
98 92
1941 _______ ______ ____
1941—January............................. 103 92
February____ ___
105 92
March_____ _ __
107 92
April ______ ___ _
109 93
May_________________ 109 93
Jimp. ___________ ________
6 114
July _______________ 119 96
August ____________
122 97
September___________ 126 97
O cto b e r
98
98
November___________
December_______ •____
98
1942—January______________
99
100
February...........................




98
94
90
87
89
88
88
91
94
94
97
.102
98
99
100
101
101
102
103
102
102
103
104
104
106
107

a-e
99
90
81
78
79
79
81
83
84
84
87
92
89
89
89
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
95
95
95
95

a-e
97
89
80
75
78
80
81
84
82
81
82
86
82
83
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
90
90
91
92

a-e
101
87
78
83
78
83
91
93
92
93
»95
98
94
92
94
95
96
97
99
100
100
102
104
104
102
103

a-e

a-e

a-e

a-c a-e 3 a-e

99
98
104
130
130
132
144
162
169
171
193
222
198
200
206
211
218
220
224
227
237
241
240
242
245
250

(4)
(4)
(4)
(4)
(4)
(4)
(4)
100
118
118
115
118
111
118
114
118
115
115
118
113
111
118
113
113

(4)
(4)
(4)
(4)
(4)
(4)
100
106
107
108
105
108
105
105
10 4
105
107
108
109
110
110
111
US
114

(4)
(4)
(4)
(4)
100
108
114
189
153
155
157
164
158
159
158
157
158
160
160
161
164
176
177
179
177
176

114

116

96
90
86
83
«85
86
90
96
97
96
104
112
107
108
111
109
110
111
110
112
115
116
117
120
122
124

100
100
99
93
93
96
96
98
98
103
108
107
109
108
108
108
108
109
105
105
106
106
106
107
107
110

a-e

a-e

a-d

(4)
100
98
90
87
89
88
89
88
86
95

115
112
106
95
95
97
103
122
157
209
451

(4)
(4)
(4)
(4)
100
100
101
106
106
106
118

90
77
78
74
73
73
73
78
73
75
81

100
99

615
620
700
755
« 826
8 781
824
912
988
1,032

117
119
119
181
188
188
186
181
189
185
186

81
81
81
84
85
86
91
95
95
95
97

103
107
US
111
107

a-e

a-e

a-e

a-e a-c, e

(4)
(4)62
7
(4)
(4)52
7
749
52
53
53
55
61
59
59
59
60
60
60
60
61
62
63
63
65

(4)
(4)
(4)
(4)
(4)
(4)100
115
131
140
155

86
(4)
75
(4)
75
(4)
80
(4)
82
(4)
84
(4)
88
(4)
100
98
110 110
6180 123
143 «143

177

145
146
147
6 148
148
148

143
143
144
145
148
145
145
145
144
145
143
148
148

COST OF LIVING IN 1941

Jan.
Mar. 21,
July Ausrust
19351933Original base (=100).................. 1913- 1914 1938 1935-39 1935-39 Oct. Mar. Feb. 1936 1934 1913 1929 1931 1936 June 1926- Jan. Mar. 20, July July
1937 1914
July
July 1929
1933 1928 1937
1937
1914
1934 1927

T able 21,— Indexes of cost of living for specified periods for the United States and certain foreign countries— Continued

O

[Series recalculated by International Labour Office on base 1929=100: 2a=food; 6 = heating and lighting; c=clothing; d=rent; «=miscellaneous]

Asia—Continued

Oceania

Europe

Great
Tur­ Ger­ Bul­ Den­ Fin­ Britain Hun­ Ire­ Ice­ Nor­ Neth­ Por­ Swe­ Switz­ Yugoslavia Aus­ New
Zea­
er­
tralia land
key many10 garia mark land and N. gary land land way lands tugal den erland
Ireland

Town or number of localities..

Istan­
bul

3

72

Am­ Whole
Whole
Bud­
12-67 coun­ 36 24-509 apest 105 Reyk­ 31 ster­ coun­
javik
dam try
try

Oct.
Jan.1923Original base (=100)................ Jan. 1922 June 1, 1913-14 1914 1935 1935 July 1913 July Mar. July Sept. June
1914
1914
1914
1914 1939 1914
1924
Composition of the index........

a, lb,e

1930— .......................................
1931.................................... ........
1932............................................
1933............................................
1934.............................................
1935................................... ........
1936...........................................
1937..........................................
1938.— .......................................
1939.............................................
1940.......................................
1941..................................... ........
1941—January......................... .
February.......................
March_______________
April_______________
May________________
June________________
Ju ly ............................ .
August.............................

89
80
82
79
80
79
84
88




‘ 80 9 86
82 87
99 100
116 113
116 111
118 115
119 116
120 117
128 123
130 126
136 127

a-e
92
87
85
76
75
69
70
71
70
71
78
93
85
87
90
90
90
92
93
94

a-e
16
88
78
77
79
80
81
81
82
82
84
86
85
86
86
86
87
87
88
88

a-e
92
80
74
68
64
60
57
58
60
62
68
74
677
• 78
• 79
80
680
• 81
83

a-e

a-e

96
*90
90
92
96
99
101
104
106
109
139
157
(4)
(4)
152
()
(4)
152
(4)
(4)

92
85
84
82
80
81
81
*86
87
90
« 107
126
118
122
123
123
123
6 124
6 126
* 129

4

a-e
96
90
88
85
86
87
90
94
95
96
113
121
120
120
121
122
122
121
121
121

a-d

a-e

a-e

a-e

91
86
83
77
76
78
82
87
88
87
94
111
101
101
102
105
105
106
• 115

97
91
89
86
87
89
91
97
98
101
117
128
(4)
124

(4)

97
92
90
89
89
91
93
100
103
105
122

115

O)
(4)

125
(4)
(4)
130

(4)
(4>
0)
(4)
(4)
(4)
(4)
(4)

100
160

m

US

148
160
150
158
156
157
167

a-e af b,e
96
90
84
83
83
81
79
82
83
83
92

136 102
138 102
139
140
141 12 107
143 12 107
144 12 110
145

95
84
83
83
83
84
86
89
86
81
85
96
91
91
92
93
92
93
95
97

49

34

3
Bel­ (Croat. 30
grade and
Slav.)

4-25

1935

June 1926 July 1923-27 1926-30
1914
1914

a-e

a-d

97
94
*92
91
91
92
93
95
98
99
111
131
(4)
(4)

129
(4)
(4)
129
(4)
(4)

a-c, e

98 92
93 87
86 81
81 79
80 75
80 74
81 74
85 78
85 87
86 90
94 117
108
101 147
101 150
102
105
106
109
110
110

a-e
92
85
77
66
61
60
61
65
69
70
93
105
107
110
113
117
121
126
125

a-e
95
85
81
78
80
81
83
85
87
89
93
98
(4)
11 97
(4)
(4)
11 97
(4)
(4)
11 98

a-e
98
90
84
79
81
83
86
92
95
98
103
107
105
105
105
106
106
106
106
107

COST OF LIVING IN 1941

Country..................................... Palestine

1941—September .... __
146
October______________
November___________
December____________
1942—January_____________
February____________

132

97
98
100
103

87 84
86 87
86 94
86 100
87
88

159
(*)
(<)
160
(15
4
*
2)
<*)

«130
130
133
133
137

1 From International Labour Review, April 1942, pp. 466-471.
2 Except for series in italics, which use a year subsequent to 1929 as a base.
2 Up to September 1933 excluded heating.
4No indexes computed.
5New or revised series this year.
• Revised figure.




121
122
123
122
122
122

119
120
120
121
124

( 4)
(4)

135
(4)
(4)
135

m
m
175
177
183
183

146
147
148
148
149

99
101
104
107
107

130
(*)
(4)
134
(4)
(4)

111
113
114
114
116
117

130

( 4)

u(4)
100
( 4)
( 4)

H102

108
108
109
109
109

7 Average calculated for a period of less than 1 year.
8New series priced in Arab markets.
8 New series priced in Jewish markets.
10 Territory before 1938.
11 Quarterly averages.
18Trend since May 1940 based on trend of official prices in the whole country.

COST OF LIVING IN 1941