• $1.99 — price of a gallon of 1% milk at Fred Meyer, a big-box chain store, in Seattle
  • $5.69 — price of a gallon of organic 1% milk at Whole Foods in Seattle
  • $4.29 — price of a Big Mac Extra Value Meal at a Seattle McDonald’s (Big Mac, medium fries, medium soft drink)
  • $3.65 — price of a venti (large) latte with organic milk at a Seattle Starbucks
  • 38.7 — average percentage of income that American households in the lowest 20 percent of income-earners spent on food in 2003, amounting to $3,178 1*
  • 7.1 — average percentage of income that American households in the highest 20 percent of income-earners spent on food in 2003, amounting to $9,039 1**
  • $2.30 — average price of a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline in 2005 2
  • 79.4 — percentage of Americans who reported that a single-passenger vehicle was their principal means of getting to work in 2003 3
  • 4.4 — percentage of Americans who reported that public transportation was their principal means of getting to work in 2003 3
  • $8,759 — average annual cost of owning and operating a midsize car in the U.S. in 2004 (assuming 15,000 miles driven per year) 4
  • $590 — estimated annual cost of riding public transit (assuming a base fare of $1.25 per ride) 5
  • 0.9 — average number of vehicles in American households in the lowest 20 percent of income earners in 2003 1
  • 2.9 — average number of vehicles in American households in the highest 20 percent of income earners in 2003 1
  • 1.8 — average number of drivers per household in 2001-2002 6
  • $81.42 — average monthly residential electricity bill in the U.S. in 2003 7
  • $2.22 — average price of heating oil, per gallon, in 2005 8
  • $1,199 — average per-household expenditure for heating oil during the winter of 2004-2005 9
  • $1,577 — expected average expenditure per household for heating oil during the winter of 2005-2006 9
  • $786 — average cost of heating bills per household during the winter of 2004-2005, across all principal heating methods (natural gas, heating oil, propane, and electricity) 9
  • $1,044 — expected average cost of heating bills per household during the winter of 2005-2006 across all principal heating methods (natural gas, heating oil, propane, and electricity) 9
  • 11 — percentage of U.S. children from non-poor families that had been diagnosed with asthma in 2002 10
  • 16 — percentage of U.S. children from poor families that had been diagnosed with asthma in 2002 10
  • $618 — average annual cost of all medical expenses for a child without asthma (1996 data in 2003 dollars from a study published in 2005) 11
  • $1,042 — average annual cost of all medical expenses for a child with asthma (1996 data in 2003 dollars, from a study published in 2005) 11
  • $7,538 — average cost of one asthma-related hospitalization for a child in 2003 (most current data available) 12

 

Sources:
1. “Consumer Expenditures in 2003″ [PDF], U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, June 2005.
2. “Gasoline, Unleaded Regular,” Consumer Price Index, Average Price Data, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
3. “Principal Means of Transportation to Work,” National Transportation Statistics 2005, Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
4. “Automobile Driving Costs, 2004,” American Public Transportation Association.
5. “Examples of Cost of Riding Public Transportation,” American Public Transportation Association.
6. a href=”http://www.bts.gov/press_releases/2003/bts019_03/html/bts019_03.html” target=”new”>”DOT Releases New NHTS Showing Vehicles in Households Outnumber Drivers,” Bureau of Transportation Statistics press release, 26 Aug 2003.
7. “Basic Data by Fuel,” Energy Basics 101, Energy Information Administration.
8. “Fuel Oil, Per Gallon,” Consumer Price Index, Average Price Data, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
9. “Short-Term Energy and Winter Fuels Outlook,” Energy Information Administration.
10. “Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Children: National Health Interview Survey, 2002″ [PDF], Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dey A.N., Schiller J.S., Tai D.A., March 2004.
11. “Direct and Indirect Costs of Asthma in School-Age Children,” Preventing Chronic Disease, Wang L.Y., Zhong Y., Wheeler L., January 2005.
12. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project.

*[Correction, 27 Apr 2006. This statistic was originally misstated as 17.2 percent.]
**[Correction, 27 Apr 2006. This statistic was originally misstated as 11 percent.]