Interactive: A Dynamic Look At Rental Prices in the USA
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Interactive: A Dynamic Look At Rental Prices in the USA

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The homeownership rate in the U.S. is at lows not seen since 1965 – and as a result, there are more renters in the housing market than ever before.

With rental prices across the country continuing to rise from this demand, there is one question on the minds of many Americans: how and where can dollars spent on housing be stretched the furthest?

Housing market bloggers RentCafe have taken both of these key variables into account in the graphic below, which compares the square footage of an apartment with a fixed rent of $1,500 in the top 100 most populous U.S. metro areas.

Finding The Right Balance

Data like this helps to answer one of the most pressing problems that a prospective renter may have, which is finding the right balance in the trade-off between cost and size.

Cities like Cincinnati, Las Vegas, and St. Louis offer a benchmark for the American rental prices, as they have an average dollar-to-space ratio of 1:1.

This kind of value can’t be found in most cities on the list, however. And in cities like San Francisco, Boston, and New York, the ratios get really out of whack. In Manhattan, $1,500 gets you just 271 square feet of space, which is the equivalent of $5.53 per square foot.

Space: The Rental Frontier

The disparity between these spatial arrangements is made clear in the graphic below. A fixed $1,500 budget would allow a renter to live in nearly 2,000 square feet of space in Wichita, KS, compared to the aforementioned “closet” in Manhattan:

Comparison of Rental Prices Manhattan and Wichita

Adjusting For Income

Not all renters’ budgets will be fixed at $1,500 per month, of course.

To address the wide variation in income and percentage of income that individual renters will be able to devote to their housing expenses, this calculator shows the equivalent square footage for any given monthly rent in a selection of the cities in the main graphic above.

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Agriculture

Charted: U.S. Egg Prices More Than Double in 2022

This chart shows the increase in the national average price of a dozen Grade A eggs in the U.S. in 2022.

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This chart shows the increase in the national average price of a dozen grade-A eggs in the U.S. in 2022.

Charted: U.S. Egg Prices Double in 2022

Eggs are a staple food for many countries around the world, and the U.S. is no exception. Americans eat between 250‒280 eggs a year on average.

Eggs are also easy to cook, protein-dense and supply many daily vitamins needed for healthy living, making them a popular meal or ingredient. So when egg prices rise, people notice.

MetalytIQ charted the rapid rise of egg prices in the U.S. during 2022, using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS).

Eggs-asperating Prices

Over the course of 12 months, the national average price for a dozen large Grade A eggs more than doubled, to $4.25 in December from $1.93 in January.

Egg Prices Per Month (2022)Price per dozen
January$1.30
February$2.10
March$2.50
April$2.52
May$2.86
June$2.71
July$2.94
August$3.12
September$2.90
October$3.42
November$3.59
December$4.25

The biggest culprit has been an avian flu outbreak that resulted in 43 million chickens culled to prevent the spread of the disease.

This led to a severe shortfall in egg supply. Egg inventories in December had fallen by one-third compared to January. Combined with increasing demand during the holiday season, prices skyrocketed and empty shelves became apparent in some states.

This is not the first time avian flu has disrupted the industry.. In 2015, a similar outbreak pushed egg prices up 40% in nine months, reaching a high of $2.97 per dozen eggs in September 2015.

Will Egg Prices Drop in 2023?

Avian flu isn’t the only storm the egg industry has been facing in 2022.

The prices of soybean and corn—the main components of bird feed—account for half of the cost of eggs. They’ve been heavily affected by the war in Ukraine, which has driven grain prices higher.

In the near-term, egg prices are expected to remain high. Containing the avian flu outbreak will remain the biggest factor in determining the prices, but as suppliers increase production, prices may cool off a little in 2023.

Eggs and dairy make up nearly 10% of the average person’s daily calorie intake. Check out the rest of our dietary make-up in Visualizing a Rapidly Changing Global Diet.
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