The Average House Payment the Year You Were Born

Fourth of July


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Fourth of July

House Costs Through History

As you scroll through house listings on Zillow and shake your head about prices, it’s easy to think about how bad modern homebuyers have it. And it truly is harder to afford a home now — but exactly how bad do the buyers of 2022 have it? We scoured 24/7 Wall Street’s list of average home prices back to 1950 in real dollars and in dollars adjusted for inflation (for easy comparison with today’s average price, which is upward of $300,000). We also include the growth rate of the gross domestic product at the time and other economic indicators from The Balance to see what might have affected housing markets that year, as well as some touchstones of culture and technology that defined those eras.

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Elvis and Ed Sullivan
Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain, CBS


Adjusted: $141,354 
Non-adjusted: $12,788
GDP: 8.7%
The “Peanuts” comic strip appears in newspapers for the first time. The first credit card is patented in the United States by Ralph Schneider. The film “Cinderella” is released by Disney. The United States enters the Korean War. “The Ed Sullivan Show” premieres.

Related: The Highest-Grossing Movie the Year You Were Born

I love lucy
Wikimedia Commons
Operation Castle thermonuclear test, Castle Romeo shot
Wikimedia Commons


Adjusted: $141,870 
Non-adjusted: $14,159
GDP: 4.1%

Elizabeth II becomes Queen of England. The first hydrogen bomb is detonated successfully by the U.S. The first issue of Mad magazine is published.

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Polio vaccine postage stamp


Adjusted: $156,514
Non-adjusted: $15,748
GDP: 4.7%

The first polio vaccine is developed by Jonas Salk. The DNA model is revealed by Francis Crick and James Watson based on work they did with Rosalind Franklin. The first James Bond novel, “Casino Royale,” is published.

Related: Life Expectancy the Year You Were Born

Ellis Island
Archive Photos/Getty Images


Adjusted: $157,089
Non-adjusted: $15,855
GDP: -0.6%

Segregation is declared unconstitutional in the landmark case of Brown vs. Board of Education. After decades of being the first point of entry to the United States by immigrants, Ellis Island officially closes. Frozen TV dinners are introduced by Swanson. The Dow returns to its 1929 high.

Home-Buying Myths Debunked

Rosa Parks
Wikimedia Commons


Adjusted: $158,085
Non-adjusted: $15,911
GDP: 7.1%

Rosa Parks is arrested in Alabama after refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger, sparking the beginning of the Civil Rights movement. The United States adds “in God we trust” to all paper currency. McDonald’s is franchised by Ray Kroc.

Related: Surprising Things You Didn't Know About McDonald's

Aerial Clover Leaf


Adjusted: $156,092
Non-adjusted: $15,950
GDP: 2.1%

Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier of Monaco. The Federal-Aid Highway Act becomes law, paving the way for construction of interstate highways.

An integrated classroom in Anacostia High School, Washington, D.C., in 1957
Wikimedia Commons


Adjusted: $155,259
Non-adjusted: $16,395
GDP: 2.1%

Little Rock Central High School is integrated with the help of federal troops. The Soviet Union launches Sputnik, the first satellite. The country enters a recession.

NASA Launch Control at Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral
Hawaii (XXLarge)


Adjusted: $151,675 

Non-adjusted: $16,620

GDP: 6.9%

Alaska and Hawaii become states. Fidel Castro comes into power in Cuba.



Adjusted: $150,341

Non-adjusted: $16,714

GDP: 2.9%

The first oral contraceptive pill is authorized for use. The laser is invented by Theodore Maiman. “Psycho” premieres at the box office. Bubble wrap is created.

Related: This Was the Scariest Movie the Year You Were Born

West Side Story (1961)
Wikimedia Commons


Adjusted: $149,460

Non-adjusted: $16,794

GDP: 2.6%

The film “West Side Story” debuts. “The Mike Douglas Show” airs for the first time.

Related: Talk Shows You Probably Forgot About

The Beverly Hillbillies


Adjusted: $149,335

Non-adjusted: $16,981

GDP: 6.1%

“The Beverly Hillbillies” debuts on television.

President Kennedy
Wikimedia Commons


Adjusted: $149,043

Non-adjusted: $17,158

GDP: 4.4%

The United States releases a vaccine for measles. Betty Friedan’s book “The Feminine Mystique” is published. The first liver and lung transplants take place. President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas.

The Beatles
Wikimedia Commons


Adjusted: $149,451

Non-adjusted: $17,425

GDP: 5.8%

The Beatles come to the United States. The first supercomputer, the CDC 6600, is released. U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry confirms that smoking causes cancer. “Mary Poppins” premieres. “The Addams Family” debuts on television. Medicare and Medicaid are launched.

Related: Reduce Your Health Care Costs With These Expert Tips for Seniors

8-Track Tapes with Tape Deck


Adjusted: $149,137 

Non-adjusted: $17,664

GDP: 6.5%

Audiophiles meet the eight-track player. “The Sound of Music” premieres.

Star Trek
Wikimedia Commons


Adjusted: $147,174

Non-adjusted: $17,957

GDP: 6.6%

“Star Trek” debuts on television and the limbo dance becomes popular. Ronald Reagan is elected governor of California and the United States sees its first mass shooting: Charles Whitman, at the University of Texas.

Thurgood Marshall
Keystone/Stringer/Hulton Archive/Getty Images


Adjusted: $145,197 

Non-adjusted: $18,207

GDP: 2.7%

Thurgood Marshall becomes the first Black U.S. Supreme Court justice. The first heart transplant is conducted by Dr. Christiaan Barnard on Louis Washkanksky. The film “The Graduate” debuts.

Martin Luther King Jr


Adjusted: $143,233

Non-adjusted: $18,728

GDP: 4.9%

The film “2001: A Space Odyssey” debuts. “What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong is released. The film rating system is introduced. “60 Minutes” debuts on CBS. Dr. Martin Luther King is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. The moon landing occurs, giving U.S. consumers confidence, thereby giving a boost to GDP.

Wikimedia Commons


Adjusted: $144,640

Non-adjusted: $19,945

GDP: 3.1%

The Woodstock Music and Art Fair takes place in Bethel, New York. John Wayne wins Best Actor for the film “True Grit.”

Jackson 5
Wikimedia Commons


Adjusted: $147,631 

Non-adjusted: $21,546

GDP: 0.2%

The Jackson 5 debuts with “ABC” and “The Love You Save,” which are instant hits. The first jumbo jet takes off. The country enters a recession.

Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka and Peter Ostrum
Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images


Adjusted: $149,373 

Non-adjusted: $22,736

GDP: 3.3%

“Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” is released. Radio and TV cigarette ads are banned. Muhammed Ali is defeated by Joe Frazier. Disco is born. The first Starbucks opens in Seattle. “All In The Family” debuts on CBS. Wage-price controls are put into place.

'The Godfather'
Best Buy


Adjusted: $150,613

Non-adjusted: $23,675

GDP: 5.3%

The film “The Godfather” premieres. ABBA debuts in Stockholm. The first video game, Pong, is created by Atari. HBO launches with the film “Sometimes a Great Notion.” The first digital watches are sold — with a price tag of $2,100. The country is in stagflation, which means there is both high inflation and high unemployment.

A DynaTAC 8000X (First commercially available mobile phone from 1984)
A DynaTAC 8000X (First commercially available mobile phone from 1984) by Redrum0486 (CC BY-SA)


Adjusted: $144,798

Non-adjusted: $24,167

GDP: 5.6%

“The Exorcist” becomes a smash hit. “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree” by Tony Orlando and Dawn is one of the top hits of the year. The “battle of the sexes” takes place with tennis greats Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) in Chicago is built. The first cell call is placed. 1973 marks the end of the gold standard.

Related: Skyscraper Bucket List: America's 32 Tallest Buildings

President Nixon
Wikimedia Commons


Adjusted: $140,209

Non-adjusted: $25,988

GDP: -0.5%

“The Towering Inferno” and “Blazing Saddles” debut. The first calculator, the HP-35 is introduced. Nixon resigns. Dial-A-Joke debuts. Stephen King’s “Carrie” is published. Congress impeaches President Richard Nixon over the Watergate break-in and cover-up, and Nixon eventually resigns.

Microsoft France headquarters entrance in Issy les Moulineaux near Paris
Jean-Luc Ichard/istockphoto


Adjusted: $139,724

Non-adjusted: $28,266

GDP: -0.2%

“Saturday Night Live” premieres. “Jaws” and “One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest” debut. Van McCoy releases “Do the Hustle,” introducing the popular dance. Microsoft is founded. The recession ends.

VHS tapes


Adjusted: $141,940

Non-adjusted: $30,364

GDP: 5.4%

The first “Rocky” film is released, the game show “Family Feud” comes to television and the Eagles' “Hotel California” tops the charts. VHS comes to home entertainment and Apple Computers is founded.  The classic film "Gone With the Wind" comes to television for the first time. The Fed lowers rates.

Related: The Greatest American Inventions of the Past 50 Years

Star Wars


Adjusted: $149,160

Non-adjusted: $33,983

GDP: 4.6%

“Star Wars,” “Saturday Night Fever,” and “The Spy Who Loved Me” arrive on the big screen, Fleetwood Mac releases “Rumours,” and Alex Haley's “Roots” comes to TV. Elvis Presley dies. The Concorde begins flying between London and New York. GPS debuts.

Related: Air Travel Perks We Miss

2010 Garfield stamp


Adjusted: $159,692 

Non-adjusted: $39,159

GDP: 5.5%

The film “Grease” debuts, as does “Superman.” The Bee Gees rack up several No. 1 songs. The comic strip “Garfield” appears in newspapers for the first time. “Laverne & Shirley” and “Three's Company” are hit sitcoms. Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” tops the charts. The Fed enacts a 20% rate hike, ending a round of inflation



Adjusted: $165,641

Non-adjusted: $45,189

GDP: 3.2%

The United States boycotts the summer Olympics in Moscow. The film “Alien” premieres. “Dallas” and “Alice” are hits on television. The country enters recession.

Arcade1UP Pac-Man Countercade


Adjusted: $160,028

Non-adjusted: $49,573

GDP: -0.3%

Pac-Man is released. The Sony Walkman is introduced. The Rubik's Cube released. “Who shot JR?” on the TV show Dallas is a summer cliffhanger, a mystery which captivated the nation.

Related: Toy Fads That Drove Grown-Ups Crazy



Adjusted: $154,302

Non-adjusted: $52,739

GDP: 2.5%

Prince Charles and Lady Diana marry. “Raiders of the Lost Ark” is a blockbuster. MTV launches. Reagan begins enacting tax cuts that will lead eventually to tax hikes.

Michael Jackson's "Thriller" is Released in 1984


Adjusted: $148,390

Non-adjusted: $53,828

GDP: -1.8%

"Cats" debuts on Broadway. “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” tops the box office. Michael Jackson's “Thriller” album is released. A recession ends.

1985 Vintage Swatch


Adjusted: $148,202

Non-adjusted: $55,487

GDP: 4.6%

Mario Bros. debuts. The Swatch watch takes over pop culture. The moonwalk becomes a popular dance after Michael Jackson performs it on a Motown 25th anniversary television special. Congress raises taxes and approves a massive defense spending bill.



Adjusted: $148,783

Non-adjusted: $58,100

GDP: 7.2%

“The Karate Kid” becomes a hit at the box office, as do “Ghostbusters” and “Sixteen Candles.” “Purple Rain” by Prince is the top song. The first CD player is introduced.

1988: Nintendo


Adjusted: $151,973

Non-adjusted: $61,450

GDP: 4.2%

“Back to the Future” and “The Color Purple” have people flocking to the movies. The first mobile phone call happens in the U.K. The Nintendo entertainment system is released.

1981: Space Shuttle
Everett Historical/shutterstock


Adjusted: $162,321

Non-adjusted: $66,880

GDP: 3.5%

The space shuttle Challenger explodes 74 seconds after liftoff. The film “Top Gun” is released, as is “Pretty in Pink” and the first Studio Ghibli film. “The Polar Express” wins the Caldecott award. Halley’s comet reappears, captivating the world. Hands Across America takes place. A tax cut is approved by Congress.

‘Dirty Dancing’ (1987)


Adjusted: $170,614

Non-adjusted: $72,873

GDP: 3.5%

The stock market loses 22.6% of value on Oct. 19, known as Black Monday. U2 releases its “Joshua Tree” album. “Moonstruck,” “Dirty Dancing,” and “Fatal Attraction” are box office hits.



Adjusted: $175,989

Non-adjusted: $78,234

GDP: 4.2%

“The Land Before Time” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” are blockbuster hits. Scrappy Doo is written out of the “Scooby Doo” cartoons. The first computer virus emerges. Prozac is released. The Fed raises rates.



Adjusted: $178,175 

Non-adjusted: $83,029

GDP: 3.7%

“Batman,” “The Little Mermaid” and “When Harry Met Sally” debut. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey is released, along with Madonna's “Like A Prayer,” and Pepsi drops Madonna. The running man and Electric Slide become popular dances. The savings and loan crisis arrives.

Home Alone (1990)


Adjusted: $172,240

Non-adjusted: $84,596

GDP: 1.9%

In South Dakota, Sue Hendrickson discovers the remains of a T-rex — the most complex and well-preserved skeleton to date (which is later named Sue).” Home Alone” debuts and is a smash hit. The country enters into a recession. 

MC Hammer


Adjusted: $163,072

Non-adjusted: $83,485

GDP: -0.1%

MC Hammer debuts “U Can't Touch This.” “Scarlett,” the follow-up to “Gone With The Wind,” is released by Alexandra Ripley (and is universally panned). The first McDonald's opens in the Soviet Union.

Reservoir Dogs


Adjusted: $159,133 

Non-adjusted: $83,936

GDP: 3.5%

“Reservoir Dogs” and Nirvana's “Nevermind” debut. The JPEG standard for photo files and 2G mobile phones arrive. The North American Free Trade Agreement is established.

Prince Rogers Nelson 1993
Pete Still/Getty Images


Adjusted: $156,774

Non-adjusted: $85,132

GDP: 2.8%

“Jurassic Park” and “Sleepless in Seattle” are box office hits and “Beavis and Butt-Head” debuts on MTV, beginning the shift away from music. Prince changes his name to the love symbol to protest a contract. Congress passes the Balanced Budget Act.

Amazon prime boxes and envelopes delivered to a front door of residential building
Daria Nipot/istockphoto


Adjusted: $156,855 

Non-adjusted: $87,397

GDP: 4.0%

Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson marry. Howard Stern convinces a caller not to jump off the George Washington Bridge in a conversation that airs live on radio. The TV show “Friends” debuts. McDonald's is sued over the third-degree burns caused by their coffee. Yahoo and Amazon are founded.

Related: Companies That Have Changed the Way We Live Over the Past Decade

eBay Headquarters
Wikimedia Commons


Adjusted: $155,514

Non-adjusted: $89,081

GDP: 2.7%

Auction site eBay — then called AuctionWeb — launches, and the first item sold is a broken laser pointer. “Apollo 13,” “Braveheart,” and “Clueless” debut to much success. The Fed raises rates.

Related: Iconic Companies Founded the Year You Were Born

Independence Day


Adjusted: $154,488

Non-adjusted: $91,087

GDP: 3.8%

A January blizzard strikes the East Coast, causing life to come to a standstill. The film “Independence Day” becomes a smash hit. Congress passes welfare reform.

‘Titanic’ (1997)


Adjusted: $155,540

Non-adjusted: $93,851

GDP: 4.4%  

The film “Titanic” is released, and the first Harry Potter book is released. Steve Jobs returns to Apple. Mike Tyson bites Evander Holyfield's ear.

Related: Famous Brands That Made Remarkable Comebacks

Then-CEO, and former Chairman of Google Eric Schmidt with cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page (left to right) in 2008
Then-CEO, and former Chairman of Google Eric Schmidt with cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page (left to right) in 2008 by Joi Ito (CC BY)
The Matrix


Adjusted: $169,306

Non-adjusted: $106,013

GDP: 4.8%

The Dow closes above 10,000 for the first time. “The Matrix” premieres and “Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears debuts. John F. Kennedy Jr. dies in a plane crash, which also takes the life of his wife and her sister.

Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
Getty Images/Handout/Hulton Archive/Getty Images


Adjusted: $177,980 

Non-adjusted: $115,208

GDP: 4.1%

The dot-com bubble bursts and, coincidentally, “Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire” begins its run on Fox.

Bear Witness At the 9/11 Memorial
Nick Starichenko/shutterstock


Adjusted: $186,981

Non-adjusted: $124,455

GDP: 1%

Terrorists hijack airlines and crash into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon; a passenger uprising on United Airlines Flight 93 keeps it from being flown into its target, and it instead crashes in a field in Pennsylvania. The 9/11 attacks cause consumer uncertainty, affecting GDP. The Victoria's Secret fashion show is broadcast on TV for the first time. 

Rob Prange/REX/Shutterstock


Adjusted: $198,862

Non-adjusted: $134,462

GDP: 1.7%

“American Idol” and the TV show “24” debut. The war on terrorism is credited with boosting consumer confidence and GDP. Gas drops to $1.61 per gallon.

Related: The Cost of Gas the Year You Were Born

Memorial flags


Adjusted: $212,663

Non-adjusted: $147,058

GDP: 2.9%

DNA sequencing identifies 99% of the human genome. Eminem wins an Oscar. “America's Next Top Model” premieres. The Iraq War begins.

Grey Flip Phone in the hand
Valerie Loiseleux/istockphoto


Adjusted: $233,014

Non-adjusted: $165,445

GDP: 3.8%

The Motorola Razr phone is launched. “Mean Girls” is released, and Disney’s “The Incredibles” becomes an instant smash.

Hurricane Katrina
Wikimedia Commons


Adjusted: $257,292

Non-adjusted: $188,881

GDP: 3.5%

Hurricane Katrina hits Louisiana. “Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani is a hit song, and “Million Dollar Baby” wins best picture. YouTube is introduced. Tom Cruise jumps on a couch to show his excitement over girlfriend Katie Holmes. Prince Charles marries Camilla Parker Bowles. Hurricane Katrina makes landfall, causing more than 1,800 deaths and $125 billion in damage, as well as pounding the administration of President George W. Bush.

Related: The Deadliest Hurricanes and Other Natural Disasters in the U.S.



Adjusted: $266,242

Non-adjusted: $201,756

GDP: 2.9%

“Brokeback Mountain” is named Best Picture. Disney buys Pixar. The one billionth song is downloaded through iTunes — Coldplay's “Speed of Sound.” Facebook opens to anyone over 13 with an email address. The Fed raises rates.

Related: Ways Disney Revolutionized Entertainment

First and third generations of the iPhone


Adjusted: $253,879

Non-adjusted: $197,876

GDP: 1.9%

The first iPhones and Amazon kindles are released; Netflix launches and Twitter becomes an independent company. The Cupid Shuffle dance is born. The real estate bubble bursts, and the ensuing bank crisis sends the U.S. economy into turmoil.

Related: Apple, Chanel, and Other Brands That Almost Never Go on Sale

Election of Obama
Wikimedia Commons


Adjusted: $222,928 

Non-adjusted: $180,423

GDP: -0.1%

“The Dark Knight,” with its star turn by Heath Ledger, is released. Barack Obama, the nation’s first Black president, is elected in time for a global financial crisis that arises when the stock market crashes — also tanking GDP.



Adjusted: $202,583 

Non-adjusted: $163,374

GDP: -2.5%

Kanye West interrupts Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards, and “Avatar” revives 3D films. The Stimulus Act is passed, in hopes it’ll help GDP.

Apple iPad 32GB


Adjusted: $194,043

Non-adjusted: $159,053

GDP: 2.6%

Apple unveils the iPad, and the game “Angry Birds” is released. Lady Gaga wears the meat dress to the VMAs, and One Direction debuts and quickly becomes one of the world's biggest boy bands. The oil rig Deepwater Horizon explodes in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 and spilling 134 million gallons of oil.

Oprah Winfrey
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images CC


Adjusted: $181,059

Non-adjusted: $153,096

GDP: 1.6%

The Oprah Winfrey Show airs its final episode, marking the end of the talk show host’s legendary (and sometimes controversial) 25-season run. “Game of Thrones” debuts on HBO. Government repeals "don't ask, don't tell," the 1993 law barring lesbians, gays, and bisexuals from serving in the U.S. military if they acknowledged their sexual orientation. An earthquake in Japan kills at least 20,000 people.

New Jersey, Hurricane Sandy


Adjusted: $179,668

Non-adjusted: $155,063

GDP: 2.2%

Hurricane Sandy strikes the East Coast. Encyclopedia Britannica suspends its print editions.



Adjusted: $194,115

Non-adjusted: $169,986

GDP: 1.8%

Beyonce releases a surprise album, upending the normal release protocol for modern musicians. Disney releases “Frozen,” which becomes one of the most popular animated films in history. The city of Detroit files for bankruptcy.

John Moore / Staff / Getty Images News / Getty Images Europe / Getty Images CC


Adjusted: $203,618

Non-adjusted: $181,200

GDP: 2.5%

Ebola becomes a global concern. “Late Night” host David Letterman retires. Kim Kardashian marries Kanye West.

Tesla dealership
AdrianHancu/ istockphoto


Adjusted: $212,797 

Non-adjusted: $189,593

GDP: 3.1%

Apple introduces the Apple Watch. Tesla introduces its autopilot technology — which has never matched up to the promise of its name.

Low angle view of people lined up to vote
SDI Productions/istockphoto


Adjusted: $236,139

Non-adjusted: $213,044

GDP: 1.7%

Ashley Graham becomes one of the first plus-sized supermodels. Samsung Galaxy Note 7s explode on the scene all too literally, causing the company to discontinue the product. An “Iguana vs Snakes” clip captivates viewers on “Planet Earth II.” The U.S. presidential race causes uncertainty, which makes GDP shrink.

Related: Companies' Most Cringe-Worthy PR Fails

A women against sexual harassment #Me Too


Adjusted: $244,607 

Non-adjusted: $225,385

GDP: 2.3%

A solar eclipse is visible in the United States for the first since 1918. The #MeToo movement begins to highlight sexual harassment.



Adjusted: $255,820

Non-adjusted: $241,474

GDP: 3%

The Nobel Prize for literature is canceled for the first time in 60 years. Apple becomes the first trillion-dollar company. Disney’s “Black Panther,” the first Marvel film with a predominantly Black cast, grosses $1.4 billion worldwide. Deficit spending increases GDP.

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods by Keith Allison (CC BY-SA)


Adjusted: $264,819

Non-adjusted: $254,498

GDP: 2.2%

Lil Nas X's “Old Town Road” becomes a hit. Tiger Woods wins the Masters after an 11-year absence. Conor McGregor makes his boxing debut — and so do Apple’s AirPods Pro. A trade war softens GDP.

Related: 21 New, Nifty, and Necessary Things to Buy in 2020

Asian woman Drive Thru COVID-19 testing with PPE medical staff


Adjusted: $277,220

Non-adjusted: $269,703

GDP: -3.41%
The COVID-19 pandemic brings the world to a standstill, with massive economic effects on travel, retail, entertainment, and health services. Netflix’s “Tiger King” is first among cultural phenomenons as homebound people search for things to keep them entertained, and people turn to shopping to replace entertainment they can usually find outside the home, adding to supply chain problems started by panic buying, In some areas, home sales skyrocket as people scramble to house themselves and, in some cases, family members who have returned home.

Related: Shoppers Can't Escape Out-of-Stock Messages This Holiday Season

Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Administered At Colorado Fire Department
Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images