Q:

How much did everyday items cost in 1964?

A:

In New York City in 1964, the rent for a two-bedroom apartment in a downtown neighborhood would have run about $250 per month, a two-way subway ticket was 15-cents and a gallon of milk was 93-cents. In contrast, those same items would cost approximately $4,500 per month, $2.50 for a one-way ride and $3.90 per gallon in 2014.

The minimum wage in 1964 was $1.15 per hour and the average annual income about $6,000. A gallon of gas was 25-cents. The basic cost of living increased roughly 18 times in the 50 year period between 1964 and 2014. The price of other common items reflects the standard of living of the times.

  • Two cans of Coca Cola were 27-cents.
  • A pack of cigarettes was $1.60.
  • A new Ford Mustang was $2,320.
  • A loaf of bread was 30-cents
  • A ticket to the movies was $1.25 to $2.
  • A popular record album was about $6.
  • A postage stamp in the U.S. was 5-cents.

Larger purchases are also good indicators of the overall standard of living. The average house cost $13,050 and the average rent was $115 per month. The yearly inflation rate was 1.28 percent in the U.S., contrasted by the U.K. at 3.5 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed that year at 874.


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