News Release Information

13–82–NEW

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:
  • Martin Kohli (646) 264-3620

Consumer Expenditures for the New York-Northern New Jersey Area: 2010–2011

Consumer units in the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Conn.-Pa. metropolitan area spent an average of $58,172 per year in 2010-2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Chief Regional Economist Martin Kohli noted that this figure was almost 20 percent higher than the $48,926 average expenditure level for a typical household in the United States. While households in the New York area spent more than the U.S. average, they also allocated their dollars differently among the selected major categories, differing significantly in six of the eight. For example, the share of expenditures for healthcare, which accounted for 5.3 percent of a typical New York household budget, was significantly smaller than the national average of 6.6 percent. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

Chart 1. Percent distribution of average annual expenditures for eight selected major categories in the United States and New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Conn.-Pa., 2010-2011

Housing in the New York area averaged $23,154 annually and was the largest expenditure category, accounting for 39.8 percent of a New York area household’s total budget, significantly greater than the national average of 34.1 percent. (See tables 1 and 2.) Overall, 9 of the 18 published metropolitan areas had expenditure shares for housing measurably above the U.S. average. Four had shares that were significantly lower-than-average. (See chart 2.) Housing expenditures among the 18 areas ranged from 32.0 percent in Cleveland to 41.5 percent in Miami. (See table 3.)

The majority of housing expenditures in the New York area went toward shelter, 66.9 percent, which includes mortgage interest, property taxes, repairs, and rent, among other items; nationwide, 58.8 percent of the housing budget was allocated toward shelter. (See table A.) Utilities, fuels, and public services expenses accounted for 18.5 percent of the housing budget locally; nationally, they made up 22.1 percent. The rate of homeownership in the New York area, at 57 percent, was below the U.S. average of 65 percent.
Table A. Percent distribution of housing expenditures, United States and New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Conn.-Pa., 2010-2011
Category United States New York-Northern New Jersey

Total housing

100.0 100.0

Shelter

58.8 66.9

Utilities, fuels, and public services

22.1 18.5

Household operations

6.4 6.0

Housekeeping supplies

3.7 2.6

Household furnishings and equipment

8.9 6.1

Note: Columns may not add to 100 due to rounding.

At 13.5 percent of total expenditures, transportation was the second-largest expenditure category within the New York area; this was significantly lower than the national average of 16.3 percent. Among the 18 metropolitan areas nationwide, 6 had significantly below-average transportation shares, including New York. (See chart 3.)

Of the $7,843 spent annually for transportation by New York area consumer units, 85.6 percent was spent buying and maintaining private vehicles; this compared to a national average of 93.7 percent. The remaining 14.4 percent of New York area household expenditures was spent on public transit, which includes fares for taxis, buses, trains, and planes; this allocation was significantly above the 6.3-percent average for the nation. (See table B.) The average number of vehicles per household in New York (1.3) was below than the national average (1.9).
Table B. Percent distribution of transportation expenditures, United States and New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Conn.-Pa., 2010-2011
Category United States New York-Northern New Jersey

Transportation

100.0 100.0

Vehicle Purchases (net outlays)

32.9 24.1

Gasoline and motor oil

30.0 25.6

Other vehicle expenses

30.8 35.9

Public and other transportation

6.3 14.4

Note: Columns may not add to 100 due to rounding.

The portion of a New York area consumer unit’s budget spent on food, 12.7 percent, was similar to the 12.9-percent U.S. average. Among the 18 metropolitan areas, 12 had food expenditure shares that were not significantly different from the nationwide average.

Households in the New York area spent a greater percentage of their food dollars on food at home (56.5 percent) than they did for food away from home (43.5 percent). Food away from home includes restaurant meals, carry-out, board at school, and catered affairs. In comparison, the typical U.S. household spent 59.3 percent of its food budget on food at home and 40.7 percent on food away from home.

As noted, the New York area is 1 of 18 metropolitan areas nationwide for which Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) data are available. Metropolitan area CE data and that for the four geographic regions of the United States are available on our Web site at www.bls.gov/cex/tables.htm. Metropolitan area CE news releases are available at www.bls.gov/regions/consumerspending.htm.

Additional information

Data contained in this report are from the Consumer Expenditure Survey, which is collected on an ongoing basis by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The CE data were averaged over a two-year period, 2010 and 2011. CE data are available for the nation, the 4 geographic regions of the country, and 18 metropolitan areas. The metropolitan area discussed in this release is New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Conn.-Pa., which is comprised of Bronx, Dutchess, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties in New York State; Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren Counties in New Jersey; Fairfield County and parts of Litchfield, Middlesex, and New Haven Counties in Connecticut; and Pike County in Pennsylvania.

The survey consists of two components, a diary of recordkeeping survey, and an interview survey. The integrated data from the BLS Diary and Interview Surveys provide a complete accounting of consumer expenditures and income, which neither survey component alone is designed to do. Due to changes in the survey sample frame, metropolitan area data in this release are not directly comparable to those prior to 1996.

A consumer unit is defined as members of a household related by blood, marriage, adoption, or other legal arrangement; a single person living alone or sharing a household with others but who is financially independent; or two or more persons living together who share responsibility for at least 2 out of 3 major types of expenses – food, housing, and other expenses. The terms household or consumer unit are used interchangeably for convenience.

CE metropolitan area estimates are not comparative cost of living surveys, as neither the quantity nor the quality of goods and services has been held constant among areas. Differences may result from variations in demographic characteristics such as consumer unit size, age, preferences, income levels, etc. However, expenditure shares, of the percentage of a consumer unit’s budget spent on a particular category can be used to compare spending patterns across areas. Sample sizes for the metropolitan areas are much smaller than for the nation, so the U.S. estimates and year-to-year changes are more reliable than those for the metropolitan areas. Users should also keep in mind that prices for many goods and services have changed since the survey was conducted.

Expenditure shares for housing and transportation that are above or below that for the nation after testing for significance at the 95-percent confidence interval are also identified in charts 2 and 3 for the 18 metropolitan areas surveyed.

A value that is statistically different from another does not necessarily mean that the difference has economic or practical significance. Statistical significance is concerned with our ability to make confident statements about a universe based on a sample. It is entirely possible that a large difference between two values is not significantly different statistically, while a small difference is, since both the size and heterogeneity of the sample affect the relative error of the data being tested.

For additional technical documentation and related information, see www.bls.gov/opub/hom/homch16.htm.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200. Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

1See the Additional Information section for the definition of a consumer unit. The terms consumer unit and household are used interchangeably throughout the text for convenience.

Table 1. Percent distribution of average annual expenditures, United States and New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Conn.-Pa., Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2010-2011
Category United States New York-Northern New Jersey

Average annual expenditures

$48,926 $58,172  

   Percent distribution:

100.0 100.0  

Food

12.9 12.7  

Alcoholic beverages

0.9 0.9  

Housing

34.1 39.8 *

Apparel and services

3.5 4.5

Transportation

16.3 13.5 *

Healthcare

6.6 5.3 *

Entertainment

5.2 4.3 *

Personal care products and services

1.2 1.2 *

Reading

0.2 0.2 *

Education

2.2 2.8 *

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

0.7 0.4 *

Miscellaneous

1.7 1.3 *

Cash contribution

3.4 2.5 *

Personal insurance and pensions

11.0 10.6 *

*Statistically significant difference from the U.S. average at the 95-percent confidence level.

Note: Columns may not add to 100 due to rounding.

Table 2. Consumer unit characteristics and average annual expenditures, United States and New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Conn.-Pa., Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2010-2011
Category United States New York-Northern New Jersey

Consumer unit characteristics:

   Income before taxes

$63,685 $77,886

   Age of reference person

49.7 50.3

Average number in consumer unit:

   Persons

2.5 2.6

   Children under 18

0.6 0.6

   Persons 65 and over

0.3 0.3

   Earners

1.3 1.3

   Vehicles

1.9 1.3

Percent homeowners

65 57

Average annual expenditures

$48,926 $58,172

 Food

6,294 7,371

   Food at home

3,731 4,163

     Cereals and bakery products

516 597

     Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

808 996

     Dairy products

394 437

     Fruits and vegetables

697 858

     Other food at home

1,316 1,274

   Food away from home

2,562 3,208

Alcoholic beverages

434 522

Housing

16,687 23,154

   Shelter

9,819 15,479

     Owned dwellings

6,212 9,312

     Rented dwellings

2,965 5,360

     Other lodging

642 807

   Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,693 4,273

   Household operations

1,074 1,384

   Housekeeping supplies

613 610

   Household furnishings and equipment

1,487 1,408

Apparel and services

1,720 2,596

Transportation

7,987 7,843

   Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

2,629 1,891

   Gasoline and motor oil

2,395 2,006

   Other vehicle expenses

2,459 2,813

   Public and other transportation

504 1,133

Health care

3,235 3,089

Entertainment

2,547 2,512

Personal care products and services

608 679

Reading

108 113

Education

1,063 1,654

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

356 249

Miscellaneous

812 763

Cash contributions

1,677 1,473

Personal insurance and pensions

5,398 6,155

   Life and other personal insurance

318 357

   Pensions and Social Security

5,081 5,798
Table 3. Percent share of average annual expenditures for housing, transportation, and food, United States and 18 metropolitan areas, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2010-2011
Area Housing Transportation Food

United States

34.1 16.3   12.9  

Atlanta

37.1 * 16.1   11.7 *

Baltimore

37.4 * 11.9 * 12.5

Boston

32.5 * 14.1 * 12.5

Cleveland

32.0 * 17.1 * 12.4

Chicago

35.6 * 14.5   12.4

Dallas

33.4 17.1 12.8

Detroit

32.2 * 17.4 12.5

Houston

33.5 16.7 12.5

Los Angeles

37.6 * 16.2 13.2

Miami

41.5 * 15.7 12.9

Minneapolis

32.3 * 16.2 12.4

New York

39.8 * 13.5 * 12.7

Philadelphia

38.9 * 14.4 * 11.8 *

Phoenix

33.5 16.9 13.0

San Diego

40.8 * 14.9 11.1 *

San Francisco

37.7 * 13.1 * 11.5 *

Seattle

34.9 15.4 11.3 *

Washington

35.3 15.0 11.5 *

*Statistically significant difference from the U.S. average at the 95-percent confidence level.

Chart 2. Expenditure shares spent on  housing in 18 metropolitan statistical areas compared to the U.S. avearge, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 20010-2011

Note: Statistical significance testing at the 95-percent confidence interval.

Chart 3. Expenditure shares spent on  transportation in 18 metropolitan statistical areas compared to the U.S. avearge, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 20010-2011

Note: Statistical significance testing at the 95-percent confidence interval.

 

Last Modified Date: January 18, 2013