Graph Writing # 31 - Expenses in 7 different categories in 1966 and 1996 by American Citizens

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1/ Graph Writing - Pie Charts:

» You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The given pie charts compare the expenses in 7 different categories in 1966 and 1996 by American Citizens.

Write a report for a university lecturer describing the information below.

» Write at least 150 words.

Expenses in 1966 by American citizens

Expenses in 1996 by American citizens


Model Answer 1:
The pie charts compare how Americans spent on different commodities in 1996 with that of 1966. The expenses are given as percentages and it is obvious that cars consumed the highest percentages of American citizens’ expenditure in 1996 while it was food that required the highest ratio of money in 1966.  

According to the illustration, four-tenths of Americans’ expenses went on food in 1966 and they spend almost one-fourth on cars. The lowest spending Americans made was for computers which was merely 1%. Expenses by them in 1966 on furniture and petrol was roughly one-tenth each and their budget for books and restaurant meals were 6 and 7 percentages respectively.

After three decades, the expenditure pattern by Americans on those goods changed noticeably.  They spent 45% on cars, which constituted their highest ratio of spending on a consumer product and spending on food preparation dropped by 30%. It is interesting to note that the spending on books reduced to barely 1% while this figure went up to 10% for computers. They spend exactly double for outside meals than they did in 1966 and their cost for petrol dropped by 1% despite a hike in spending on automobiles. Finally, Americans share of spending for purchasing furniture reduced by 2% in 1996 than that of 1966.

Sample Answer 2: 
The pie charts compare the expenditure of US residents in two different years in seven categories namely food, cars, petrol, restaurants, furniture, computers and books.

It is clear that the largest proportion of American citizens’ spending went on foods and cars. On the other hand, computers and books have the lowest percentage in the chart in 1966 and 1996 respectively. In 1966, 23% of American citizens’ expenditure went on cars. The percentage rose to nearly double at 45% in 1996.The proportion of spending on food fell from 44% in 1966 to only 14% in 1996.

Expenditure on computers stood at only 1% in 1966 but reached 10% in 1996. The percentage of American citizens spending on restaurants had doubled from 7% in 1966 to 14% in 1996. Spending on books was highest in 1966, at 6%. By contrast, there was no significant change in the proportions of petrol and furniture over a period as a whole.

(Approximately 156 words | by - Safa Ahmed


Sample Answer 3:
The pie charts compare Americans' expenditure in 7 different categories namely food, cars, petrol, restaurants, furniture, computers and books in 1966 with that of 1996. Overall, the least significant percentage of spending by Americans went on computers in 1966 while the food cost them the highest percentage. After three decades, cars became the largest segment of expenses by American residents and the smallest segment was spent on books, percentage-wise.

Cars accounted for 23 percent of expenses by Americans in 1966 and after thirty years, this ratio remarkably increased to 45%. The expense of dining out in 1966 was 7 percent and it had doubled in 1996 (14%). Only 1 percent of the American population's money went on purchasing computers but this figure rose to 10 percent in 1996. Food comprised 44 percent of all the expenses made by Americans in 1966, and it fell to 14 percent in 1996. In 1966, petrol and furniture outlay was at 9 percent and 10 percent respectively and remained relatively unchanged over a 30-year period. Lastly, expenditure on books had plunged from 6 percent to 1 percent at the end of the period.

[Written by - John]


Sample Answer 4: 
The pie charts show changes in American spending patterns between 1966 and 1996. Generally speaking, Americans spent the highest proportion of their money on food and car in 1996 and after three decades, cars comprised their highest costs.

Food and cars made up the two biggest items of expenditure in both years. Together they comprised over half of household spending. Food accounted for 44% of spending in 1966, but this dropped by two-thirds to 14% in 1996. However, the outlay on cars doubled, rising from 23% in 1966 to 45% in 1996. Other areas changed significantly. Spending on eating out doubled, climbing from 7% to 14%. The proportion of salary spent on computers increased dramatically, up from 1% in 1996 to 10% in 1996. However, as computer expenditure rose, the percentage of outlay on books plunged from 6% to 1%. Some areas remained relatively unchanged. Americans spent approximately the same amount of salary on petrol and furniture in both years.

In conclusion, increased amounts spent on cars, computers, and eating out were made up for by drops in expenditure on food and books.

(Approximately 159 words)  


Sample Answer 5: 
The two provided pie charts compare the expenditure of Americans in 7 different categories namely food, cars, petrol, restaurants, furniture, computers, and book between 1966 and 1996.  

It is evident from the information provided that foods and cars made up the biggest proportions of spending among Americans in both years. Specifically, in 1966, the highest proportion of expenses went to food with 44% of the total expense, followed by cars with 23%. After 30 years, this figure observed a reversal when the spending for cars accounted for a massive 45% while that for food dropped to just 14%.  

Turning to the other expenses, petrol and furniture stood for roughly equal proportions of money spent with 9% and 10% respectively in 1966 and both 8% in 1996. The expenditure for restaurant experienced an increase of 7% in 1966 and a double to 14% after 30 years. It is also interesting to note that the spending on books and computers changed conversely. Over the 30-year period, the figure for books declined from 6% to a negligible 1%, in contrast, money spent on computers underwent a remarkable growth from 1% to 10%.  

In short, Americans spent most of their money on food and cars in both 1966 and 1996, and the spending for computers increased considerably after 30 years.

[Written by  - Phuong Anh]

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 4.19 (50 Votes)

The pie charts give a comparison of the expenditures made by Americans on different categories - namely - food, cars, petrol, restaurants, furniture, computers and books in 1966 and 1996.

Overall, it can be seen that food cost was the highest in the early years but after three decades, Americans spent the highest amount on their cars.

To begin with the data presented for the year 1966, American families spent the highest on food, which accounted for 44% of their expenditure. Automobile expenses were 23% in that same year. In contrast, after three decades, food expenses grossly decreased to 14% whereas expenses for cars went to 45%, covering about one-third of their expenses surpassing all other categories at the end of 1996.

Looking at the other categories, little or no noticeable differences were seen in the expenditures on fossil fuel and restaurant expenses. Three decades later, it is seen that the purchases of computers increased from its initial 1% in 1966 to 10% in 1996, thereby replacing the purchase of books which was 1% at the end of the trend in 1996.

The pie chart shows the comparison of the consumption expenses in seven different categories of consumer products of American residents in the years 1966 and 1996.

Overall, at the beginning of the period, computers were the least significant part of the expenses of American residents, whereas food made up the biggest part of the chart. In comparison, at the end of the period, cars became the largest expenses segment and the lowest was for books.

The car sector accounted for 23% of America's expenses and experienced a significant increase to 45% in 1996. The expense for computers was 1% in 1969 and had dramatically increased by ten folds in 1996. At the beginning of the period, restaurant expense was 7% in 1969 and it doubled (14%) in 1996.

Food, which comprised almost a third of America's expenses in 1969, fell to 14% in 1996. In 1969, petrol and furniture sectors were at 9% and 10%, respectively, both having a slight decrease to 8% after a 30-period year. Finally, expenses for books were 6% in 1969 and it had considerably decreased to 1% in 1996.

The pie chart compares the proportion of expenditures in 7 different categories by Americans in 1966 to that of 1996.

Overall, it can be seen that American people spent the highest amount of their money on food in 1966, whereas the least on computers. After 30 years, cars replaced food and took their position as the highest expenditure catego9ry, while books became the lowest spending area for these people.

Looking firstly at the details of food, it stood at 44% in 1966, which was by far the greatest area of expenses during that period. However, this figure experienced a dramatic decrease in the final year by 30%. Likewise, the spending on furniture and petrol decreased from 10% to 8% and from 9% to 8% between 1966 and 1996, respectively. Moreover, the investment in books also witnessed a 5% decrease in 1996 from its initial figure at the beginning of the period (6%).

Focusing on cars and restaurants, the spending on both of these categories doubled in the final year, as the former increased from 23% to 45%, while the latter from 7% to 14%. Computers, on the other hand, which had only 1% of total expenses in 1966, increased ten folds at the end of the period given.

Ansumane Lima
The provided graph presents data on the percentages of money spent by Americans in 7 distinct categories (food, car, petrol, restaurants, furniture, computer and book) in 1966 and 1996. As a general trend, there was an alteration of paradigm with car costs overtaking food costs remarkably in just three decades.

According to the illustration, in 1966 food corresponded the highest portion of expenses for American citizens which accounted for nearly half of the total expenses. Contrary to that, computers cost them the least - representing only 1% of expenses by Americans. Furniture and petrol cost them almost the same - 10 and 9% respectively. When it comes to the book, restaurants and car expenses ratio, together they charged 36% of money spent by citizens in that period.

Thirty years later, the scenery changed, and it was a tremendous evolution in the car costs by Americans- which was almost half of the total costs. Expense ratio in other categories remained fairly the same apart from restaurant costs as it doubled. Petrol and furniture pictured similar valour 8% each, while the cost on books decreased sharply to 1%.

The two pie charts compare percentage-wise expenditures of Americans in seven categories between 1966 and 1996. Overall, in 1966, the highest expense ratio by Americans went on food and the least on purchasing computers. However, after three decades, they spent the biggest portion of their income to own cars and the lowest for books.According to the illustration, Americans spent 23% of total expenses for buying cars in 1966 and it nearly doubled after 30 years. Expenditure on cars was the highest portion of their total expenses in 1996. Likewise, restaurant meals accounted 7% of their costs in 1966 which doubled after three decades. Besides, purchasing computers consumed merely 1% in the beginning, but dramatically increased by ten times in the later year.On the other hand, Americans spent 44% for food, the highest proportion in 1966, but this percentage shrank to only 14% after thirty years. Interestingly, expense ratio to buy petrol remained almost the same despite a hike in car expenses. A similar trend could be observed in the ratio of furniture purchasing which cost 8% in 19966, one percent less than that of 1966. Finally, Americans paid considerably lower to buy books in later years than they did in 1966.
:-| I think you can't use between when you compare two years without the knowledge of the period between these two years.
Safa Ahmed
Your work is excellent dear Safa.
The pie charts compare the expenses of Americans in 7 different categories between 1966 and 1996. Noticeably, there was a significant shift in the proportion of expenses by Americans after 30 years. Evidently, in 1966, Americans allotted 44% of their expenses for food, followed by cars with roughly drained one-quarter of the total cost. Additionally, the US citizens spent one-tenth of their money on furniture which was slightly higher than expenses for petrol, restaurants and books. Meanwhile, Americans spent the least on computers, only 1% of total expenditure.However, after three decades, the percentage of expenditures by the US citizens changed remarkably. They spent the highest proportion of money on automobiles, 45%. On the other hand, food cost by Americans dropped from 44% to 14%, and in 1996, Americans spending on food was same as it was for restaurants. Expenses on furniture and petrol each witnessed a slight decrease and reached to 8%, while expenditure on computer devices by Americans overwhelmingly increased to 10% from merely 1% in three decades ago. In addition, money spent on books declined significantly to 1% from 6%.
The pie charts compare the US citizens' spending in 7 different categories in 1966 and 1996. It is worth noticing from the pie charts that Americans spent a large portion of their total money for buying foods in 1966, but in 30 years that spending took a nosedive and their highest spending went on cars. According to the illustration, Americans spent close to half of the total amount on account of cars in 1996 while it was food that consumed their highest amount three decades ago. In 1966, the percentage of spending on books was 1 but after 30 years the spending went up to 6%. A significant spending was made for computers in 1996, which was one-tenth of the total but that was ignorable in 1966. The outlay for restaurants wasn’t so high in 1966, only 7%, which soared to double in 1996. Moreover, spending proportion by Americans did not change considerably for furniture and petrol. The most striking feature of the diagram is the significant decline in the ratio of spending on food by Americans in 1966 and a remarkable increase in spending on cars thirty years later.
The pie charts compares the expenditure of Americans in 7 different categories namely food, cars, petrol, restaurants, furniture, computers, and books between 1966 and 1996. At a glance it is clear that expenditure ratio on food by Americans had decreased significantly while the percentages of money spent by them for automobiles had increased remarkably.Initially in 1966, almost half of the total spending by Americans went on food, making it the highest spending area. With nearly one-fourth spending ration for cars, Americans spend the second highest amount for their automobiles. Additionally 9% money was spent for petrol which was slightly higher than the spending on restaurants and marginally lower than their expenditure ratio for furniture. The lowest spending in 1966 was for computer, only 1%, and books cost their 6% money. After 30 years, the spending pattern of Americans changed noticeably and their highest proportion of money was spent on cars. The ratio of money spent on food plummeted and reached to only 14%. Spending percentage on fuel by Americans very slightly fell and spending ratio on books increases greatly. However, it is clear that their spending ratio on books in 1996 fell than they did 30 years earlier.
The supplied charts compare the expenditure of US residents in two different years for seven different categories such as food, cars, petrol, restaurants, furniture, computers and books.

At a first glance, food and cars made up the highest proportion of expenditure in both years and significant changes occurred in both cases over the period. Moreover, computer-purchasing expenses by US citizens increased modestly during thirty years.

While food expenses dropped by two-thirds to 14% in 1996, cars expenses increased and nearly doubled at 45% in 1996. Computer expenses, which had the lowest proportion of expenses in 1966, was ten times higher in 1996. Besides, restaurant-related expense in 1996 was twice as much as in 1966, 7% in 1966 and 14% in 1996. In contrary to restaurants and computers, there was a five percent shrinkage of books expenditure between 1966 and 1996 (%6 and %1 respectively). Finally, petrol and furniture expenses in 1966 were nearly equal to the expenses of 1996.

This is the best of all, you are awesome!
The pie charts illustrate the percentage of money spent on seven categories in the USA in 1966 and 1996. Overall, food and car were the main expenditure in both period of time, which were over one-half of the total.American spent the least money on computers in 1966 compared to books in 1996. On the first hand, the food segment courted for 44% of the total in 1966, which was the largest expenditure in that period, but dramatically dropped to only 14% share in 1996. The expenditure of restaurant had a double increase from 7% in 1966 to 14% in 1996 due to the decrease in food spending. On the contrary, the car segment represented 23% of total spending in 1966 but jumped to 45% share in 1996 which became the main expenditure in 1996.On the other hands, American spent the least money on computers in 1966, which was only 1% of total amount of money but had 10 times increased to 10% in 1996. Due to the proliferation of computer, the amount of money spent on books dropped from 6% in 1966 to only 1% in 1996. There was no big change in both petrol and furniture expenditure.
The given pie charts compare the expenditure of Americans in seven various categories in two different years- 1966 and 1996. Overall, it can be seen that the major proportions of Americans’ spending were on food and cars in both years while for books their expenditure was the lowest. In 1966, the proportion of Americans’ spending on cars stood at 23%, second largest, and this percentage is then rose to 45%, nearly double, in 1996. The largest percentage of their expenditure was on food which was 44% in 1966 but it dramatically declined to only 14% in three decades when cost causes the largest proportion of the expense. On the other hand, the ratio of spending by them on both petrol and restaurant in 1966 were 9% and 7% respectively and after 30 years this spending dropped by 1% and rose by 7% respectively. Again, expenditure on furniture dipped slightly from 10% to 8% between 1966 and 1996, a drop of 2 percent in while there was a significant growth (9%) in expenses for computers. In contrast, the expenditure on books by Americans declined significantly, by 5 percent, over the years.
The provided pie charts elucidate the comparison of expenditure by the US residents on 7 diverse categories over 30 year periods i.e. between 1960 and 1990. Overall, more than half of the total expenses were made for food and cars. As is observed, Americans spent their income mainly on food (44%) in 1960 while 23% went purchasing and maintaining their cars. After 30 years, this scenario reversed and a major part of their expenses was paid for cars (45%) and only 14% for their food. Interestingly, dining out was less popular in 1960 and expenses for it doubled in 1990 by Americans. Obviously, the popularity of computers increased significantly in 1990 as expenses on it increased to 10% from merely 1% in 1960. The expense on books plummeted to 1% in 1990 from 6% initially in 1960. All other areas where the American citizens spent money on, such as furniture and petrol remained almost the same with little fluctuations in spending. To summarise, living style and expenses on different categories by the US citizens changed dramatically over the given 3 decades.
Samue Yemane
The pie chart shows the comparison of expenditures on different commodities by the US citizens for two years - 1966 and 1996. As it is observed from the given illustration much was spent by the Americans on cars and food in 1966 and 1996. As it is presented, Most of the American citizens spent their money on buying car which was peak in 1996 which was almost doubled on the other hand 44% of the US citizens were spending their money on food which decreased to 14% later on.The money spent on shows a significant increase from 1% to 10% on computers in the year 1966 and 1996 while the reverse was true in books, 1% to 6% in books. Similarly the expense of American's doubled in restaurants however it showed some fluctuations on petrol and furniture spending. In conclusion much money was spent by the American citizens on buying cars in 19196 as compared to 1966 which was 23%.
IELTS Mentor
Dear Sky, you are correct. We have changed accordingly.
Is it correct to use 'were' in this sentence? There 'were' no significant change in the proportions of petrol and furniture over a period as a whole. I think it should be 'was'...
The presented pie charts depict expenses on 7 different categories namely food, cars, petrol, restaurant, furniture, computers and books in1966 and 1996 by American Citizens. As is provided as a census of perusal of two supplied charts, petrol and furniture had the lowest oscillations 9% and 10% in 1966 and 8% and 8% 1996 respectively. The ratio of restaurant expense was 2 times more from 7% in1966 to 14% in 1996. An enormous change occurred in computer section expense: in 1966 this section had only 1% but in 1996 this amount reached to 10% but unfortunately, the proportion of books expenses slumped from 6% to 1%. In different scenario usage percentage of cars rocketed with 22% growth meet 45% as the summit in 1996. The most diminution belonged to food from 44% in 1966 and fell to 14% in 1996.In conclusion, cars and food expenses proportions had the most growth and reduction between other categories with 22% and 30% respectively could be observed.
Rishabh Jain
Hey, Rama Krishna. You have compared two charts considering that variations are shown for the same year. However, those data are for 2 different years with a gap of 30 years (1966 and 1996).
Rama Krishna
The given pie charts compare the expenses in the USA in 7 different categories namely: food, cars, petrol, restaurant, furniture, computers and Books in 1966 and 1996.The expenditure by the Americans on foods was huge in the beginning, 1966, which comprised 44% of overall expenditures. It, however, plummeted and reached to about 14% of the total expenditure in 30 years. then the expenditure on the car was about 23% in 1966 and it rose up to 45 percent of the total cost in 1996. Again, the US citizen's cost of petrol was very less in 1966. Furthermore, restaurants cost was 7% which in 30 years was doubled. Furniture, which was initially 10 percent of the total cost, reduced and settled at 8 percent of the total expenditure in 30 years. Computers and books contributed to 1 and 6 percent expenditure respectively. However, their contributions changed in three decades. A ten-time cost increase could be observed in the case of computers while the expenditure on books reduced to only 1%. Finally, expenditure on the cars almost doubled from the initial ratio of 23% in 1966.
Muhammad Shahid Shilon Rehman
Your work is really remarkable. Thank you.
Julia Robert
IELTS Academic Writing section is very important for the overall IELTS score. You can improve your Academic IELTS writing through tips and practice.