Super Bowl 50 between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., will bring out a lot of fans for game-time parties, generating tons of trash talk about the teams, the players, the halftime performances and TV commercials.
As an alternative to the usual sports and entertainment banter, the U.S. Census offers some other details that people might care to bring up during lulls in the action. For instance, the first Super Bowl was played on Jan. 15, 1967, at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in a contest between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers. The score was 35-10 Green Bay.
America has changed a lot since then. The population in 1967 was 197.5 million people compared with 322.8 million today. The population of Santa Clara was 86,118 in 1970 and 122,192 today. The world population more than doubled from 3.5 billion in 1967 to 7.3 billion today.
Housing costs certainly have changed since 1967 when the median sales price of a new single-family home was $22,700 compared with $282,800 today. Despite the recent drop in the price of gasoline, it still doesn’t compare with the 33 cents per gallon that people paid for gas in 1967, although in 2015 dollars that amounted to $2.13 per gallon. Gas is under $1.45 a gallon in Kansas City now.
Milk in 1967 was $1.03 a gallon. In 2015 dollars that would have been $7.32. In 2015 milk was $3.31 a gallon.
Postage has more than kept pace with inflation. A first-class stamp in 1967 was 5 cents, or 36 cents in 2015 dollars compared with 49 cents today. But why send a letter when people today send text, email or use one of the many forms of social media to communicate with others?
In 1967 the median age for first marriages was 23.1 for men and 20.6 for women. Today it’s age 29.2 for men and 27.1 for women.
The number of foreign born people in the U.S. in 1970 was 9.6 million, constituting 4.7 percent of the total population. Italy back then was the leading country of origin. Today, 42.4 million people in the U.S. are foreign born, and they comprise 13.3 percent of the population. Mexico is the leading country of origin. (Can you say NAFTA? Thank you Bill Clinton.)
The average American household size in 1967 was 3.28 people compared with 2.54 people today. The number of people age 65 or older in the U.S. in 1967 was 19.1 million compared with 46.2 million by 2014.
When Super Bowl I was played, the average age of the U.S. population was 28.1. By 2014 a bit more gray was showing with the average age climbing to 37.7.
The life expectancy in 1967 was 70.5. As of 2013 it had climbed to 78.8 years.
The percentage of women age 16 and older in the labor force was 41.1 percent in 1967. By 2015 it had climbed to 56.7 percent.
The country is more educated today. In 1967, 51 percent of people age 25 and older had at least a high school diploma. By 2014, it was 88.3 percent.
The median annual household income in 1967 was $7,143 (or $44,282 in 2014 dollars). By 2014, the median annual household income was $53,657. Try talking about that during game day.
In 1967 the most popular names for newborns were Michael and Lisa. In 2014 they were Noah and Emma.
In 1967 the nation was embroiled in the Vietnam War and there was a military draft so 3.4 million people were active duty military personnel compared with 1.3 million as of November 2015 for the all-volunteer service, fighting in Afghanistan and other parts of the Middle East. That makes very little sense.