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What’s Going On in This Graph? | Price of Eggs

What’s going on with the price of eggs?

A graph titled "Monthly average price of a dozen eggs" has an x-axis showing years from 2000 to 2022 and a y-axis showing dollars, up to $4.

Prices have risen for just about everything over the past couple of years. But anyone shopping for groceries recently has probably noticed the cost of one item in particular: eggs. Buying eggs has become very expensive.

In February 2023, the average price of Grade A, large eggs in U.S. cities was $4.21 per dozen. Some of the causes that have contributed to record-high egg prices can be found in the two graphs below:

On Wednesday, April 5, we will moderate your responses live online. By Friday morning, April 7, we will provide the “Reveal” — the graphs’ free online link, additional questions, shout outs for student headlines and Stat Nuggets.

1. After looking closely at the graph above (or at this full-size image), answer these four questions:

  • What do you notice? If your notice makes a claim, where in the graph is the evidence to support it?

  • What do you wonder?

  • How does this relate to you and your community?

  • What’s going on in this graph? Create a catchy headline that captures the graph’s main idea.

The questions are intended to build on one another, so try to answer them in order.

2. Next, join the conversation online by clicking on the comment button and posting in the box. (Teachers of students younger than 13 are welcome to post their students’ responses.)

3. Below the response box, there is an option to click on “Email me when my comment is published.” This sends the link to your response which you can share with your teacher.

4. After you have posted, read what others have said, then respond to someone else by posting a comment. Use the “Reply” button to address that student directly.

On Wednesday, April 5, teachers from our collaborator, the American Statistical Association, will facilitate this discussion from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern time.

5. By Friday morning, April 7, we will reveal more information about the graph, including a free link to the article that includes this graph, at the bottom of this post. We encourage you to post additional comments based on the article, possibly using statistical terms defined in the Stat Nuggets.

Reveal

Americans consumed an average of 278 eggs last year. Eggs are a great source of protein and are a favorite food for Americans, especially during the spring holidays of Easter and Passover and around the December holidays. However, recent events have disrupted the supply of eggs. Producers are facing hundreds of outbreaks of contagious avian flu in dozens of states. More than 58 million egg-laying hens have been affected. In addition, the war in Ukraine has decimated the world’s wheat and grain market that feeds hens.

Given these circumstances, what has happened to the price of eggs in the past year? The price of eggs has doubled. (The United States Department of Agriculture listed in its Egg Markets Overview that the average “ad price” per dozen of conventional, large white eggs was $4.94 on March 24, 2023.)

These graphs were in the Morning newsletter “Why Eggs Cost So Much,” published on Feb. 3, 2023. The top graph shows egg prices adjusted for inflation (see Stat Nugget below), which are at a historic high, even when the prices are converted to today’s dollars. The price increase is caused by many factors, including a 10% reduction in the number of egg laying hens and the war in Ukraine, which has resulted in increases in the costs of both grains and the gas needed to deliver eggs. With little reduction in the demand for eggs, prices have risen from about 18 cents per egg to 35 cents in the past year. That is an annual food budget increase just for eggs from $50 to about $100.

The headlines this week were extraordinary. First, we have a list of specially created words for this egg price graph.

Eggs-treme. Egg-flation. Egg-nore. Eggs-tential. Egg-citing. Eggs-pensive. Egg-cellent. Eggs-cuse. Eggs-plosion. Eggs-aggerated. Egg-stastic. Egg-spectation. Eggs-press . Eggs-ponentially! Eggs-plain. Eggs-orbitant.

Here are the headlines that capture the main ideas of the graph: “Shelling Out Too Much on Eggs?” by John of Atlanta; “Crack the Case: Egg Prices on the Rise.” by Owen of Pewaukee HS, WI; “Sunny-Side Up? Not These Egg Prices!” by J of Auburn; “Eggs Are Making Our Wallets Scrambled” by Hudson and “Egg-treme Numbers of Chicken Deaths Cause Our Prices to Go Up” by Annmarie, both from OH; “Prices Appear to Be More Scrambled Over Time” by Jessemberly and “Getting to the Yolk of It: What’s REALLY Causing Those Egg Prices?” by Alexis, both from Perth Amboy HS, NJ; and “A Crack in the Egg Industry” by Frank and “Egg Prices Have Had a Shell-Shocking Spike in Recent Years!” by Briggs, both from Portsmouth HS, NH.

And, a new category of headlines — the funniest headlines that relate to the graph: “The Chickens Have Come Home to Roost: The Recent Rise in Egg Prices.” by Joseph from Andover, MA; “Easter Bunny Can’t Afford Eggs in 2023!” by Emmerson of Pewaukee HS, WI; “What Came First? The Chicken, the Egg, or Inflated Prices?” by Yohandry of Perth Amboy HS, NJ; and three headlines from Portsmouth HS, NH: “These Eggs-treme Prices Are No Yolk!” by Anna; “The Scoop from the Coop: The Rise of Egg Prices by Ava and a special recognition for “What’s Going on in this Egg-cellent Graph?” by Teak.

You may want to think about these additional questions:

  • What do you notice and wonder from this map showing counties that have reported bird flu outbreaks? What surprises you?

  • This graph of egg prices and egg prices adjusted for inflation (see Stat Nugget below) was produced using data from the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. (To learn how average food price data is collected and analyzed, go to this Federal Reserve website.)In 2015, egg prices and inflation adjusted egg prices were about the same. What does that mean? What else do you notice and wonder from this graph?

Keep noticing and wondering. We continue to welcome your online responses.

We’ll host live moderation for our next graph, which focuses on final brackets for the 2023 N.C.A.A. women’s and men’s basketball tournaments, on April 19. By subscribing to the Learning Network newsletter here, you can receive notices of the “What’s Going On in This Graph?” releases on Fridays preceding Wednesday’s moderation.

Stat Nuggets for “Why Eggs Cost So Much”

Below, we define mathematical and statistical terms and how they relate to this graph. To see the archives of all Stat Nuggets with links to their graphs, go to this index.

TIME SERIES GRAPH

A time series graph shows how a numerical (quantitative) variable changes over time.

In the Price of Eggs graph, the numerical variable is price adjusted for inflation (see Stat Nugget below) of a dozen eggs from 2000 to 2022. There have been substantial increases in the inflation adjusted price of eggs in 2004, 2008, 2015 and 2022. There are differences between the three time series graphs in the release. The Price of Eggs graph is a time series line graph displaying monthly values. The Grain graph is a time series line graph displaying annual values. The Hens graph is a time series bar graph displaying monthly values.

PRICE VS. PRICE ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION

Price is the “price tag” for a good or service. Price adjusted for inflation (also called “adjusted price”) is considered the price for a good or service after the effects of inflation, as calculated from the Consumer Price Index (CPI), is taken into account.

In the Price of Eggs graph, the 2000 to 2022 prices of eggs are displayed in 2022 real dollars. Here’s an example of how to convert price to price adjusted for inflation. If the monthly average price of a dozen eggs was about $0.90 in the year 2000 and if $1 in 2000 was worth about $1.95 in 2022, the real price of a dozen eggs adjusted for inflation in the year 2000 would be about $1.75 ($0.90 x ($1.95/$1)), as shown on the graph. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a CPI (Consumer Price Index) Calculator and other information on how inflation adjusted prices are calculated and interpreted.

The graphs for “What’s Going On in This Graph?” are selected in partnership with Sharon Hessney. Ms. Hessney wrote the “reveal” and Stat Nuggets with Roxy Peck, professor emerita, California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, and moderates online with Tonya Atkins, a statistics teacher at North Carolina Virtual Academy and Carolinas College of Health Sciences in Charlotte, N.C.

More?

• See all graphs in this series or collections of 60 of our favorite graphs, 28 graphs that teach about inequality and 24 graphs about climate change.

• View our archives that link to all past releases, organized by topic, graph type and Stat Nugget.

• Learn more about the notice and wonder teaching strategy from this 5-minute video and how and why other teachers are using this strategy from our on-demand webinar.

• Sign up for our free weekly Learning Network newsletter so you never miss a graph. Graphs are always released by the Friday before the Wednesday live moderation to give teachers time to plan ahead.

• Go to the American Statistical Association K-12 website, which includes teacher statistics resources, Census in the Schools student-generated data, professional development opportunities, and more.

Students 13 and older in the United States and the Britain, and 16 and older elsewhere, are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public.

You are watching: What’s Going On in This Graph? | Price of Eggs. Info created by GBee English Center selection and synthesis along with other related topics.