« AnteriorContinuar »
budgets in which the consumption of sausage exceeds 15 pounds per capita per annum, and in 19 such town groups the consumption is 6 pounds or less; in 6 of these it is below 3 pounds.
The relative proportion of each kind of meat to all meat in the whole group is set out below:
PERCENTAGE CONSUMPTION OF EACH KIND OF MEAT IN AMERICAN-BRITISH (NORTHERN) GROUP.
Among the component nationalities the Canadians, according to the budgets, use the largest proportion of beef, viz, 50.4 per cent, while the British-born show a consumption of mutton and lamb much greater than that used by either of the others, viz., 12.2 per cent, as against 7.6 per cent in the American returns and 6.8 per cent in the Canadian. There are also great differences in the consumption of pork, which forms 24 per cent of the whole in the case of the Canadians, 16 per cent in that of the Americans, and 12 per cent in that of the British-born as set out in the budgets.
Fish is of considerable importance, in these dietaries, the returns from the British-born showing a consumption of 0.42 pound per capita per week, the Canadian one of 0.33 pound and the American one of 0.27 pound. If fish be included with meat the average annual consumption of all meat per capita for the whole group is, as already stated, raised to 168 pounds.
The local figures of quantity of fish consumed reflect mainly differences in the degree of facility with which fish can be obtained, all the towns showing the highest consumption being within easy reach of the Atlantic seaboard. The actual consumption per capita per annum as shown by the budgets of the various geographical groups of towns is as follows:
The annual per capita consumption of and expenditure on all meat and fish and the percentage of income spent on such food is as follows in each of the income classes:
CONSUMPTION OF AND EXPENDITURE ON MEAT AND FISH IN AMERICAN-BRITISH (NORTHERN) GROUP.
The predominant range of consumption of all meat, poultry, and fish per capita per annum is from 140 to 190 pounds, 23 local nationality subgroups of at least 25 budgets each, comprising 2,201 families, falling within this range. The corresponding predominant range excluding fish and poultry may be taken as from 120 to 160 pounds. per capita per annum.
The consumption of meat of all kinds as shown by the budgets is in general high and much above European standards. As a rule nationality and occupation greatly influence the figures, and locality has been seen to be not without its effects, but when it is considered that in the lowest income class of the group of budgets under consideration the purchase of all meat and fish is 109 pounds per capita per annum (notwithstanding the fact that out of 119 children only two are earning and the remainder are of low average age), while it approaches double this figure in the highest income class, it is obvious that meat is regarded as a very important feature of the family dietary.
A general tendency for food consumption per capita to rise with income is shown in the budgets, but in this there is no regularity. On the whole it is more marked as regards the first three income classes, that is, for those earning up to and under £4 ($19.47) per week, but even in these classes in some commodities as, for instance, pork, bacon and ham; sugar; lard, suet, and dripping, and coffee, it is hardly apparent in the budgets. As regards the total meat consumption itself it is only in the classes with family earnings averaging less than £4 ($19.47) per week that the consumption tends to move consistently with income.
In addition to the large meat consumption, one of the most striking features of the American-British budgets is the great variety of food consumed and the relatively small proportion which the family food bill bears to total income.
UNITED STATES AND ENGLAND AND WALES COMPARED.
In the comparison of income and cost of living based on the family budgets, the report uses the American-British (northern) budgets as forming the fairest basis of comparison with conditions in England. In the United Kingdom about 70 per cent of all the budgets collected were of families with incomes of less than $9.73 per week; of those collected in the United States for all nationalities (and not for the American budget alone, in which the corresponding figure is a little over 2 per cent) less than 4 per cent fell within this range, and while in the United Kingdom about half the budgets were of families with incomes under $8.52 per week, in the United States the number falling below this figure is almost negligible, comprising only 1.4 per cent of the whole and, therefore, too small in number to form a separate income class. The difference, if not of standard at least of nominal range of income, as between the two countries, is manifest, and although it can not be concluded on the basis of this negative evidence that incomes of less than $8.52 per week are insufficient to maintain an ordinary family under American urban conditions, it is at least probable, say the investigators, that families maintaining a position of independence upon an income below this sum are exceptional.
The points in connection with which budget comparisons have been especially attempted between the United States and England and Wales are: (1) The percentage of income spent on food; (2) the percentage of income spent on similar items of food in both countries; and (3) the quantities consumed and amount spent on similar items. The following table shows for England and Wales and for the United States the average weekly family income and the average amount and per cent of the expenditure for food, the families being classified according to weekly family income:
AVERAGE WEEKLY FAMILY INCOME AND AMOUNT AND PER CENT OF INCOME EXPENDED FOR FOOD, BY CLASSIFIED FAMILY INCOME.
The point in the foregoing table which at once attracts attention is the much wider range shown between the various family incomes in the two countries than between the amounts actually spent on food, and consequently the much greater margin of income available in the American group after expenses for food have been met.
It will be observed that the average number of persons in the American budgets is 0.68 less than in those of the United Kingdom. Exact comparison in respect to age and proportionate contribution made to the family income by the children in the two countries is not possible, but the data available show that in these respects there is a general similarity.
The actual amounts spent on food per capita in each income class in England and Wales and in the United States are shown in the following table:
AVERAGE FOOD BILL PER CAPITA IN FAMILIES CLASSIFIED ACCORDING TO FAMILY
In the following table comparison is made of the consumption of certain articles of food by average workmen's families in the United States and in England and Wales: (1) Of families with total family income approximately similar; (2) of families with total amount spent for food approximately similar, and (3) of families with total amount spent for food approximately similar, allowance being made for the difference in retail prices in the two countries. Comparison is made on the basis of quantity wherever possible. Where quantity can not be given, the comparison is based on cost. The quantity consumed or the amount spent is taken as 100, and the relative consumption or expenditure in the American families as compared with this is shown in the table.
PER CAPITA QUANTITIES OF, OR AMOUNTS SPENT ON CERTAIN ARTICLES OF FOOD CONSUMED BY WORKMEN'S FAMILIES IN THE UNITED STATES (AMERICAN-BRITISH-NORTHERN GROUP), AS COMPARED WITH THE UNITED KINGDOM.
1 Fresh, dried, and canned fruit. In the United States, including a small quantity of sweet potatoes and jam.
In spite of the different bases upon which the above comparisons are made, a marked uniformity in the general results is shown in the consumption per capita, which is the basis of comparison adopted in all cases. The differences shown are nearly always those of degree and not of direction. Thus, even in the lowest income class of the American budgets, the consumption of certain commodities is always higher than that shown in the British budgets with which they can be compared, while other foods, even in the highest American income classes included in the table, show a consumption that is always lower. The most striking examples of the former characteristic are seen in meat and fish, in which the American consumption per capita ranges from an excess of 23 per cent to one of 95 per cent; eggs, in which the corresponding excess ranges from 8 to 116 per cent, and potatoes, in which the excess is comparatively uniform throughout, ranging from 32 to 43 per cent. On the other hand, a smaller consumption of bread and flour is always shown in the American budgets, and almost uniformly, the range being only from 27 to 34 per cent less. Much the same general results are shown in the case of cheese, in which the consumption is only something over half as much in the American families as in those of the United Kingdom, the figures showing a difference of from 57 to 29 per cent. Fresh milk and sugar are the only articles in which consumption is sometimes more and