The Chart Below Gives Information About How Families in One Country Spent Their Weekly Income

The chart below gives information about how families in one country spent their weekly income in 1968 and in 2018.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

This essay question is from Cambridge IELTS 17 Test 3 Writing Task 1.

1968 and 2018: average weekly spending by families

the chart below gives information about how families in one country spent their weekly income

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Sample Essay

The bar graph presents data on how the average family in one particular country spent their weekly income in 1968 and 2018.

Overall, the way families spent their income had changed significantly by 2018 compared with 1968. Most notably, leisure and housing had overtaken food as the largest areas of expenditure.

In 1968 families spent most on food, accounting for 35% of their weekly income, while in 2018 this figure decreased by almost half to around 17%. In 1968, the proportion of weekly income spent in any of the other categories never exceeded 10%. However, leisure and housing both showed a significant increase, replacing food as the largest expenses with approximately 22% and 19% of family income respectively.

Expenditure on transport also rose, to almost 15% of weekly income, whilst money spent on household goods remained at roughly 7%. Furthermore, clothing and footwear, fuel and power, and personal goods all saw a reduction to no more than 5% of weekly income. (161 Words)

How to Paraphrase the Introductory Text

  • The bar graph presents data on how the average family in one particular country spent their weekly income in 1968 and 2018.

The title of the bar graph says “average weekly spending by families”. This means the figures in the graph are averages. They added up the expenditures in the various categories and divided the totals by the number of weeks and the number of families. Therefore, in our paraphrase, we can use “the average family”, which refers to per-family numbers.

Here’s another example.

  • The average American generates about 19 tons of carbon dioxide a year. — The New York Times

The number is the total CO2 produced by that country, divided by the number of people in that country. It is a per-person number for the country.

One CommentLeave A Comment

  1. Hi! Lilie How are you?
    Could you please evaluate my writing and give a score?

    The bar graph presents data on how average family in one particular country spent their weekly income in 1968 and 2018.

    Overall, the way families spent their income had changed significantly by 2018 compared with 1968. All categories had experienced a downward trend, while the reverse was true for housing, transport, and leisure. Only household goods had remained unchanged.

    Food dominated initially, with 35% before dropping almost half to around 17% in 2018. Clothing and footware and personal goods had followed the same trend, while fuel and power decreased slightly from about 6% to 4%.

    In 2018, it is noteworthy that leisure and housing had overtaken food as the largest areas of expenditure at approximately 22% and just below 20%, respectively. Transport had almost doubled its figure from roughly 8% in 1968 to just below 15% in the next 40 years, whereas household goods had remained the same at around 8%.

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