Statistics of Family Expenses in Shanghai
1980 1990 2000
Food & Clothing 68% 45% 20%
Recreation 3% 5% 8%
Education 6% 16% 22%
Health Care 6% 10% 16%
Others 17% 24% 35%
As is shown in the table above, dramatic changes have taken place in family expenses in the City of Shanghai within two decades (from 1980 to 2000). The most obvious change is in expense on food and clothing, which has dropped by 48%, while those on recreation, education and health care have increased respectively by 5%, l6% and l0%. Expenses on other things keep rising from 17% to 35%.
The statistics of rise and fall seem to exist in isolation but are in fact closely related to one another. The most likely factors accounting for these changes are as follows:
Development in economy is the fundamental one. The increased income results in the lowering percentage of food and clothing. That is to say, a small percentage of the total income is enou5h to cover food and clothing expenses.
Another factor lies in the development of people’s concept. When people are well fed and well dressed, they begin to interest themselves in recreation and education.
These changes should also be attributed to social reforms. In the 1990’s, college education was not totally free as it was before, which also accounts for the rising expenses on education. Soon after, the government gradually stopped offering houses to its citizens without charges. People had to save a large proportion of their money for housing. That's partly why the expenses for ''others'' doubled.