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 America's 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 the Census Bureau as the source of thresholds for the Supplemental Poverty Measure, 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 July 2014 through June 2015, and were made available on April 15, 2016. See Featured CE Tables and Economic News Releases sections on the CE home page for current data tables and news release.

The 2014 public-use microdata is the most recent and was released on September 3, 2015.

Special Announcement

  • On October 14, the Consumer Expenditure Survey program will present a workshop at the International Atlantic Economic Conference (Washington, DC). Attendees will receive "hands-on" training in use of tabular and microdata. For details, see http://www.bls.gov/cex/ceconferences.htm ("Northeast"). For training materials, click here: ZIP

Announcements

  • NEW The 2015 Midyear Generation Table covering July 2014 through June 2015 is now available. (XLSX)
  • NEW The agenda for the 2016 CE Microdata Users' Workshop is now available. (PDF)
  • NEW The agenda for the 2016 CE Survey Methods Symposium is now available. (PDF)
  • NEW Monthly Labor Review article on the 2015 Consumer Expenditure Survey Methods Symposium and Microdata User's Workshop. (HTML) (PDF)
  • NEW Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) Survey 2015 is now available. (HTML)
  • NEW Using gasoline data to explain inelasticity (HTML) (PDF)
  • NEW A closer look at spending patterns of older Americans (HTML) (PDF)
  • NEW BLS Handbook of Methods, Consumer Expenditures and Income Chapter
  • NEW Expenditures on cellular phone services have increased significantly since 2007 (HTML) (PDF)
  • Consumer expenditures vary by age (HTML) (PDF)
  • Experimental Research Tables from the Consumer Expenditure Survey (HTML)
  • 2014 Supplemental Poverty Measure Thresholds Based on Consumer Expenditure Survey Data (HTML)
  • Standard Errors in the 2014 Consumer Expenditure Survey (PDF)
  • Consumer spending in World War II: the forgotten consumer expenditure surveys. (HTML) (PDF)
  • Comparison of BLS Price and Spending Measures (HTML)
  • USDA August 2014 Report on the Cost of Raising a Child, based on CE survey data (PDF)

Latest CE News Releases

Expenditures for July 2014-June 2015 are 5.9% higher than the July 2013-June 2014 average

04/15/2016

Average expenditures per consumer unit for July 2014 through June 2015 were up 5.9 percent compared with the July 2013 through June 2014 midyear average. Average incomes also increased, up 6.6 percent.
HTML | PDF | RSS

Average expenditures in 2014 were $53,495, a 4.7 percent increase from 2013 levels

09/03/2015

Average expenditures in 2014 were $53,495, a 4.7 percent increase from 2013 levels. In 2013, spending decreased 0.7 percent. Average pre-tax income per consumer unit increased at about the same pace as expenditures from 2013.
HTML | PDF | RSS

Archives

Reports

CE Databases

CE Database

Database Name Special
Notice
Top
Picks
Data
Finder
One
Screen
Multi-
Screen
Tables Text Files
Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE)
      One Screen Data Search for Consumer Expenditure Multi Screen Data Search for Consumer Expenditure Tables for Consumer Expenditure Text Files for Consumer Expenditure

 

More Tools

  • Series Report--Already know the series identifier for the statistic you want? Use this shortcut to retrieve your data.
  • Text files (FTP)--For those who want it all. Download a flat file of the entire database or large subset of the database.

CE Public Use 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
 

E Mail
  Contact us