The latest U.S. Census Bureau report shows that Americans are buying more burgers than they ever have before, and they’re willing to pay a premium for them.
The median price of a $3.75 hamburger at McDonald’s is up 22.2 percent over the past three years, while the median price for a $1.75 bun is up 35.3 percent.
That’s a huge jump from the nearly 15 percent jump in median burger prices that occurred in 2014.
But, as you might expect, prices are going up fast, even for Americans with modest incomes.
The median household income of $61,845 is up 12.4 percent over three years to $60,081.
But the median income for those with annual household incomes of $70,843 is up 14.9 percent over that time.
For many, the rising costs of hamburgers and bun is the reason they aren’t able to afford them.
“I just can’t go out, go to McDonald’s, or go anywhere else, to buy any food,” said Melissa Lea, a mother of two who lives in Washington, D.C. “I’ve had to cut back on spending and I’ve had a lot of financial issues.”
The rise in prices has also created a financial hardship for some.
According to the report, the average consumer in 2018 had a savings account worth $9,400, which is nearly double the average savings account for a middle-class family.
And the average household had an annual income of less than $30,000.
This means that when you factor in the inflation rate, Americans are still paying a premium in the form of higher food prices.
“The more that we have to pay, the more we have for food,” one person told Politico.
“So we’re going to have to eat more, which will make things a little bit more expensive.”
“It’s the only thing we have that’s going to keep us from starving,” said another.