Prices and Wages by Decade

Source: University of Missouri Library, 2018

Links to U. S. government documents listing retail prices for typical consumer purchases, and wages for common occupations.

All data is for the United States unless specifically indicated.

This guide points to government publications listing retail prices for common items or “necessities of life.” Prices for foods, articles of clothing, household items, appliances, hardware, fuel and other physical goods fall within the domain of this guide.  We included prices for other types of common expenditures as well: transportation, cars, homes, rent, utilities, and school tuition for example.  Here you will also find typical wages, salaries, hours and earnings for workers dating back to the 1700s.  Again, we point to official government publications almost exclusively.