US culture is one of the most well-known in the world as the mass media has disseminated the US way of life across the globe; from popular tv shows that are streamed to Afghanistan and beyond, to US music, Hollywood movies, and even American fast food as chains pop up in countries across the world.
However, as digitalization has changed the way we live across the globe, the US is no exception. Below, we’ll take a look at how lifestyle in the US has changed over time.
According to the census bureau, 50 years ago the median income for the average American family was $11,120. However, new data shows that in 2020, the average income for American families is now $67,521.
There are a number of reasons for the increase in income, including:
- Gender equality in the home – As the modern depiction of gender roles has become updated, many women now also have careers, meaning households have a double income.
- More skilled jobs – the growth of technology has meant that more skilled jobs have become available to people. Additionally, as many companies have switched to remote working, even people living in rural areas can earn a higher income than usual, only city workers would earn,
- More educated people – While 50 years ago it was less common for people to attend college, many households today attend college as a norm and a higher skill level equals a higher income.
50 years ago, the way people spent their leisure time was vastly different from the way modern Americans spend it. In the 1970s America, people would go to drive-in movies, go bowling, ride bikes, play sports, and generally lead a slower pace of life.
However, with all the modern conveniences of today, people spend their leisure time very differently. Thanks to modern technology, many people spend their free time playing video games or occupying themselves on a phone or tablet.
While years ago people would have played games in a traditional casino environment, today people can play popular casino games like EZ Baccarat online as there are many providers to choose from. What’s more, people across the world can access these online casinos in addition to people living in the US.
Climate change has been a significant factor to affect people’s lifestyles in recent years as its effects have become evident in the more and more severe weather being experienced across the US. From wildfires in California, to flash flooding on the east coast, the effects of global warming are changing many aspects of life, from the type of packaging used for grocery bags to how often people use their cars and what type of fuels are used for powering the US.
The legal drinking ages
As of 1972, the legal drinking age in the United States was 18 years old. Today, young Americans must wait three years longer until they can legally consume any alcohol and this in itself has changed a lot in the US.
For starters, turning 21 is a big event in the US where people have large celebrations and go out to buy their first drink. As drinking under this age is forbidden legally, of course, it is a driving factor for many young Americans to have parties and drink alcohol which has become a large part of young people’s culture.
Not that many years ago in the US, traditional banking involved storing money in an account with the bank, in which you would have to physically visit the bank if you wanted to deposit or withdraw money. People would pay others by cheque and the international currency was unheard of.
However, today’s Americans bank very differently as almost all banking is now done exclusively online. From applying for a mortgage to opening a savings account and making international transfers, most of this can now be done at the touch of a button on a smartphone or tablet from anywhere and at any time.
In addition, more modern forms of banking are now appearing such as e-wallets like Venmo and PayPal which allow people to store money digitally. These e-wallets are becoming highly popular as they are much more convenient to use.
Current Trends in US Lifestyle
Due to technological advances, increased access to information, globalization, and other key factors, the way Americans live is changing rapidly. Life in the United States looks drastically different than it did even a couple of decades ago. Below are some of the major trends that have emerged over the past few years which have transformed and shaped American life.
Advances in Technology
The internet, smartphone devices, aerial drones, and virtual reality have made many aspects of modern life more efficient and convenient for everyone. While technology can impact our lifestyle in positive ways by adding comfort and convenience, it also can have its drawbacks as it has been associated with depression, decreased productivity due to distraction from digital devices/social media, etc., as well as conflicting personal relationships.
The Gig Economy
More of them are searching for side hustles or jobs outside traditional work settings such as full-time positions or corporate cubicles. With more people working remotely or freelancing, tech companies like Uber, Airbnb, Fiverr, and UpWork offer platforms for the burgeoning gig economy throughout the US.
According to census data from 2013 – 2017 (ACS): population growth in cities continues to outpace growth rates throughout rural regions with more people living in urban areas than ever before due to greater access to resources and job opportunities within an increasingly globalized economy. This shift has created both opportunities and challenges related to population shifts from rural areas into cities where public transit might not be readily available or affordable.
Americans are becoming increasingly mindful about their lifestyle choices beyond just physical activity – this includes what we are eating & drinking, the quality of products consumed & potential exposure to toxins both natural & man-made resource consumption patterns, gasoline depletion, etc. Such conscious mindfulness may lead not only toward becoming more informed but also to reduce the overall impact on the environment per person making a conscious effort toward sustainability through various government initiatives eco-labeling etc.
Overall, life in the US has changed a lot over the last few decades. From the way Americans shop to the way they spend leisure time, the cars are driven, and even the modern convenience diet. Who knows what the US will be like in another 50 years’ time but it sure will be interesting to find out.