The Chart Below Gives Information About How Families in One Country

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

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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.

20 CommentsLeave A Comment

  1. Hi, Lilie King, how is it going? Please can you check my writing and give score if you can, I would be happy with your answer. Thank you in advance.

    The graph demonstrates data on spending weekly income by families in exactly country between 1968 and 2018.

    In general, it can be seen that in the past time most people liked to spend money their food, clothing and footware and personal goods. Another interesting point is that in the recent year relaxing and transport was concentrated more.

    Food sector was accounted for the highest percentage of average income spending with 35% in 1968. However it witnessed a sharp decrease to under 20% in 2018. Although clothing and footware was the second highest level at 10% in 1968, its share decreased a half to only 5% in 2018.

    If we look at the section of leisure, it was lower like household goods and personal goods at just under 10% in 1968, but it overtook food section as a dominant on spending money at around 22% in 2018. Transport was the same as personal goods in 1968, but in 2018 its ration increased considerably from 8%to 14%.

  2. Here’s another copy I have written. I welcome any feedback or criticism of my paper.

    The chart above illustrates how families in one particular country disbursed their weekly earnings in 1968 and 2018, respectively.
    Overall, it is obvious that people spent a relatively balanced amount of money on different things in 1968. but it is not very uniform in 2018. Despite this, people in 1968 are paying more money for food rather than enjoying their lives, which is quite contrary in recent years.
    The money spent on food cannot be overlooked, it is most prominent in 1968, but then decreased by almost half to around over 15%. And other things that money being spent were all between10% to 15% of all the money. They spend more money on clothing, personal goods, fuel, and power than we do today.
    In today’s society, we spend more money to please ourselves, and we can see the most outstanding data in the chart is leisure, it’s almost doubled from 50 years ago like the money being spent on housing doubled. And we spend more money on transport and housing than we did before. Also, one noticeable thing is the money proportion being spent on household goods didn’t change.

  3. Ma’am, you have not mentioned year in last paragraph, just figures are there but not year, is it enough? Clarify please? Is assumptions fine that examiner will understand?

    1. Hi, thanks for your comments. In fact, it isn’t good to mention the two years again and again. In the introductory paragraph, I’ve established the context that the years are 1968 and 2018. So if I say “increased to 15%”, it will be understood to mean “increased to 15% in 2018”. Hope this helps.

      1. Yes now cleared. Thanks ma’am for giving us new perspectives on every topic. Stay Blessed and happy forever.

  4. Hi Lilie, thank you again for such a wonderfully written essay!! I have a question here and please help me!! In the first sentence of the third paragraph ‘In 1968 families spent most on food, accounting for 35% of their weekly income’, I noticed the subject in terms of meaning of the participle clause ‘accounting for …’ is actually ‘food’, which is the object instead of the subject of the main clause. I wonder if this is grammarily OK?

    1. Yes, the sentence is correct. If you ask the question “what accounted for 35% of their weekly income”, the answer has to be food. “Their” refers to the families. The essay was checked by a native speaker. There is no error.😊

  5. “The largest areas of expenditure” or “the largest area of expenditure”? I think “s” is redundant.

  6. Dear Lilie,
    In the first sentence, “the average family” may imply that people who from the middle-class background, while the “average” must be meant the “the average amount of money”, referring to “income” rather than “family”.

    Please, correct me if I am wrong.

  7. Hi Lilie,
    This is my essay. Could you please help to me give feedback and score it? I would really appreciate that.
    The bar chart illustrates the average weekly expenditure of eight different categories of families living in a country in 1968 and 2018.
    Overall, it is readily apparent that while food, fuel n power, clothing and footwear, and personal goods witnessed a downward trend, the opposite was true for the rest. In addition, food represented the most significant proportion.
    In 1968, food accounted for 35% of the weekly income, which took the lead. Whereas the initial figures for the other categories did not exceed 10%. In the following 50 years, the percentages of housing and leisure increased dramatically to roughly 19% and 22% respectively. By contrast, the period witnessed a steep decline in expenditure on food, reaching just about 17%.
    Regarding transport, its starting point was equivalent to household goods at 7%. In 2018, while the former jumped to 14%, the latter remained stable. The final year also saw a moderate decrease in the income spent on fuel and power, clothing and footwear, and personal goods, whose figures were no more than 5%.
    Thank You!

    1. Dear Lilie,
      Would you mind to comment of essay i have written.
      The inevitable ways and means to ride from poverty are to earned income and every family in the world splash out income on daily, weekly and forth nightly basis. The bar graph illustrates about the percentage of weekly income spent by families in 1968 and 2018.
      Over all, the families have significantly spent income they have earned on food in 1968 and in 2018 they have spent more amount on leisure. Besides from the huge amount spent on food and leisure, the minimum income was expended on fuel and power in 1968. Needless to say, that equal percentage of income was paid for fuel and power and personal goods in 2018.
      To begin with, the larger share of weekly income was splash out at 35% on food items in 1968 and likewise, in 2018, 23% of income was spared at higher side on leisure comparing to other mode of expenditure. On the contrary, least amount of income depleted was on fuel and power at 6% in 1968 whereas, less amount was incurred on fuel and power and personal goods at 4% in 2018 proportionately. Furthermore, in 1968 they have spent same amount of income on housing and clothing and footwear at 10% and 8% equally on household goods, personal goods and transport.
      To Embark further, unlike other expenses, the income used on household goods stood at same point at the rate of 8% in 1968 and 2018. However, the way of spending income weekly in each year has complete variation against like; I). 35% and 17% on food. ii). 10% and 19% on housing. iii). 7% and 4% on fuel and power. iv). 10% and 5% on clothing and foot wear. v). 9% and 4% on personal goods. vi). 8% and 14% on transport. vii). 23% and 9% on leisure.

  8. Hi Lillies!
    Can you tell me the differences between ‘compare with’ and ‘compare to’?
    It confuses pretty much every time I want to use them and some clarification would be much appreciated.

      1. Thanks. It is such an informative article.
        I feel like I can use them right the next time I encounter such situations.

  9. 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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