The Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) program consists of two surveys, the Quarterly Interview Survey and the Diary Survey, that provide information on the buying habits of American consumers, including data on their expenditures, income, and consumer unit (families and single consumers) characteristics. The survey data are collected for the Bureau of Labor Statistics by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The CE is important because it is the only Federal survey to provide information on the complete range of consumers' expenditures and incomes, as well as the characteristics of those consumers. It is used by economic policymakers examining the impact of policy changes on economic groups, by businesses and academic researchers studying consumers' spending habits and trends, by other Federal agencies, and, perhaps most importantly, to regularly revise the Consumer Price Index market basket of goods and services and their relative importance.

The most recent data tables are for 2012, and were made available on September 10, 2013. See Featured CE Tables and Economic News Releases sections on the CE home page for current data tables and news release.

The 2012 public-use microdata is the most recent and was released on September 10, 2013.

Announcements

  • NEW A Comparison of Consumer Expenditure Survey and Panel Study of Income Dynamics Expenditure Data: 1999-2009 (PDF)
  • NEW Consumer Expenditures in 2012 (PDF)
  • NEW Comparing global questions and answers to results from detailed specific questions: Data on food expenditures from the Consumer Expenditure Survey (PDF)
  • NEW Call for presenters and registration for the 2014 Microdata Users' Workshop and Survey Methods Symposium are now available
  • UPDATED The Gemini project's plan for a CE Redesign was released in July 2013. An updated Gemini website is now available with new features to help you understand the project and allow you to give feedback.

Latest CE News Releases

Consumer Expenditures

September 10, 2013
Average annual expenditures per household in 2012 were above $50,000 for the first time since 2008. The 3.5-percent increase in spending from 2011 to 2012 outpaced the 2.1-percent increase in prices during the same time period. More...
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Featured CE Tables

Annual Calendar Year Tables

2012

CURRENT COMBINED EXPENDITURE, SHARE, AND STANDARD ERROR TABLES

  • Age of reference person — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Composition of consumer unit — (PDF) (XLS)
  • REVISED Highest education level of any member — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Higher income before taxes — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Hispanic or Latino origin of reference person — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Housing tenure and type of area — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Income before taxes — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Number of earners in consumer unit — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Occupation of reference person — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Population size of area of residence — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Quintiles of income before taxes — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Race of reference person — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Region of residence — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Size of consumer unit — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Selected age of reference person — (PDF) (XLS)

Previous Years: 2012 »


CURRENT AGGREGATE EXPENDITURE SHARES TABLES

  • Age of reference person — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Composition of consumer unit — (PDF) (XLS)
  • REVISED Highest education level of any member — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Higher income before taxes — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Hispanic or Latino origin of reference person — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Housing tenure and type of area — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Income before taxes — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Number of earners in consumer unit — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Occupation of reference person — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Quintiles of income before taxes — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Race of reference person — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Region of residence — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Size of consumer unit — (PDF) (XLS)

Previous Years: 1989 to 2012 »

EXPENDITURE TABLES

The separate expenditure table format has been discontinued with the release of the 2012 data. Previous tables from 1972-73, and 1984 through 2011 are available at expenditure tables.
These separate data tables have been replaced by the combined expenditure, share, and standard error tables. The new table includes expenditure means, shares, and standard error data organized by various demographic characteristics.

Previous Years: 1972-73, 1984 to 2011 »

EXPENDITURE SHARES TABLES

The separate expenditure shares table format has been discontinued with the release of the 2012 data. Previous tables from 1989 through 2011 are available at expenditure shares tables.
These separate data tables have been replaced by the combined expenditure, share, and standard error tables. The new table includes expenditure means, shares, and standard error data organized by various demographic characteristics.

Previous Years: 1989 to 2011 »

STANDARD ERROR TABLES

The separate standard error table format has been discontinued with the release of the 2012 data. Discontinued tables from 2000 through 2011 are available at standard error tables.
These separate data tables have been replaced by the combined expenditure, share, and standard error tables. The new table includes expenditure means, shares, and standard error data organized by various demographic characteristics.

Previous Years: 2000 to 2011 »

2006 to 2012

MOST RECENT MULTIYEAR TABLE

  • 2006-2012 Multiyear table — (PDF) (XLS)

Previous Years: 1984 to 2012 »

Midyear Tables

July 2011 through June 2012

CURRENT COMBINED EXPENDITURE, SHARE, AND STANDARD ERROR TABLES

  • Age of reference person — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Composition of consumer unit — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Education of reference person — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Higher income before taxes — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Hispanic or Latino origin of reference person — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Housing tenure and type of area — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Income before taxes — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Number of earners in consumer unit — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Occupation of reference person — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Population size of area of residence — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Quintiles of income before taxes — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Race of reference person — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Region of residence — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Size of consumer unit — (PDF) (XLS)
  • Selected age of reference person — (PDF) (XLS)

July 2011 through June 2012 »

Additional CE Data Tables »

CE Microdata

CE Survey Forms

Current Survey Forms

All CE Survey Forms »

CE Publications

CE Frequently Asked Questions

CE Events in Your Area

CE is Coming to Your Town!

As part of ongoing outreach efforts, CE staff attend conferences outside the Washington, DC area when circumstances permit. You may be interested in attending their presentations, or in arranging for a CE staff member to visit your organization. To see a list of upcoming or past events, click on the links below.

CE Related Links

Other BLS Programs

  • Consumer Price Indexes --monthly data on changes in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of goods and services.
  • Price and Index Number Research experimental poverty measures -- CE data are used to estimate National Academy of Sciences (NAS) based poverty measures and a Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM)

Other Useful Links

Contact Us

Methods of Contact

The economists and administrative personnel of the Consumer Expenditure Survey staff are available Monday through Friday to respond to inquiries. Please use any of the methods below to contact the CE National Office. Inquiries should include your name, and phone number, fax number, mailing address, or e-mail address, along with a brief message.

Telephone
    (202) 691-6900

Incoming calls are connected to the office's voice mail and answered promptly.  

FAX
    (202) 691-7006
 

Mail
    Bureau of Labor Statistics
   Consumer Expenditure Surveys — Branch of Information and Analysis
    Postal Square Building, Room 3985
    2 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E.
    Washington, DC 20212-0001
 

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