According to my understanding, the thing you use the past perfect to describe should happen before the thing you use the past simple to describe. Therefore, I wonder if my use of the tenses is wrong. On the other hand, I think in the second sentence, had increased works better with by than increased.

40% of households owned a washing machine in 1920. This number then had increased to about 75% by 2019, with a small dip in 1980.

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    The first sentence is about the situation in 1920, the second about 2019. The past perfect is correct from the viewpoint of 2019. Jan 7 at 10:21


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