Infographic of the Day: How the Recession Changed Us

Over the past two years, our culture has shifted in ways that are both granular and vast.

Infographic of the Day: How the Recession Changed Us

In the news, the main number you hear about the recession is the unemployment rate, which is hovering just below 10% — as compared to 5% just a couple years ago. If you were only hearing that, the recession can seem less dramatic (if still quite harsh) than it is: All this hubbub about a mere 5% of the population?

Obviously, the Great Recession has brought considerably greater–and more wide-reaching– changes to our society. To appreciate the scope, take a look at How the Recession Changed Us, a sprawling infographic created by The Atlantic.


[Click for full-sized version]

It reveals a multitude of tectonic shifts, wrought in a short time. For example, since October 2007, our federal deficit has grown from $161 billion to $1.3 trilllion (a sevenfold gain); personal bankruptcies have doubled, from 775,334 to 1,538,033; and active militias have swollen from 43 to 127 (while firearm sales have spiked). Meanwhile, 24% of 18-29 year olds moved in with their parents at some point, and the savings rate — which economists used to scream about, but which never used to budge — has doubled. Again, this is all within just over two years.


[Click for full-sized version]

The point is, the recession really did create a different America — and just how those changes will affect our future remains to be seen.

See the whole thing here.

About the author

Cliff is director of product innovation at Fast Company, founding editor of Co.Design, and former design editor at both Fast Company and Wired.



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