NOW AND THEN

100 years changeThe web site Visual.ly/100-Years-Change compares 1913 to 2013 in fashion, sports, tech, population, and every day life.

Average annual income was $800 then; now it’s $26,000. Population was 97 million, versus 312 million currently. Two percent had a bachelor’s degree back then, now t’s 28 percent. (Practically every cashier at our local supermarket has a bachelor’s degree.)

A big problem with the numbers for prices and incomes is that they are not adjusted for inflation. Another site, MeasuringWorth.com, deals with this problem and tries to establish a comparison using inflation, though some comparisons can’t be adjusted that way because of changes in manufacturing and transportation.

One approach is looking at purchasing power measured against the consumer price index. Using that comparison, one dollar in 1913, the year the Federal Reserve was established, is worth a little less than five cents today.

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