News Release Information

13-68-CHI

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

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Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (312) 353-1138

Consumer Expenditures for the Cleveland Area: 2010-2011


Consumer units1 in the Cleveland-Akron, Ohio, metropolitan area spent an average of $45,768 per year in 2010-2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Charlene Peiffer noted that this figure was 6.5 percent lower than the $48,926 average expenditure level for a typical household in the United States. Although households in the Cleveland area spent less than the U.S. average, they allocated their dollars similarly among almost all of the eight major categories with only housing differing significantly. For example, the share of expenditures for personal insurance and pensions, which comprised 11.6 percent of a typical household’s budget in the Cleveland area, was not significantly different than the nationwide average of 11.0 percent. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

Chart 1. Percent distribution of average annual expenditures for eight major categories in Cleveland-Akron area and the United States, 2010-2011

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

Housing in the Cleveland metropolitan area averaged $14,653 annually and was the largest expenditure category, accounting for 32.0 percent of a Cleveland area household’s total budget. (See tables 1 and 2.) This share was significantly lower than the 34.1-percent national average. Overall, 9 of the 18 published metropolitan areas had expenditure shares for housing significantly above the U.S. average. Four areas had shares for housing that were significantly below the U.S. average. (See table 3 and chart 2.) Cleveland had the lowest expenditure share for housing among the 18 areas, while Miami (41.5 percent) had the highest share. (See table 3.)

The majority of housing expenditures in Cleveland went toward shelter, 58.4 percent, which includes mortgage interest, property taxes, repairs, and rent, among other items; nationwide, 58.8 percent of the housing budget was allocated for shelter. (See table A.) Utilities, fuels, and public services expenses accounted for 23.4 percent of the housing budget locally; nationally, it made up 22.1 percent. The rate of homeownership in Cleveland was 70 percent, above the U.S. average of 65 percent.

Table A. Percent distribution of housing expenditures, United States and Cleveland, 2010-2011
Category United States Cleveland

Total housing

100.0 100.0

Shelter

58.8 58.4

Utilities, fuels, and public services

22.1 23.4

Household operations

6.4 3.9

Housekeeping supplies

3.7 5.0

Household furnishings and equipment

8.9 9.3

Note: Columns may not add to 100 due to rounding.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

At 17.1 percent of the total budget, transportation was the second-largest expenditure category in the Cleveland area; this was not significantly different from the national average of 16.3 percent. Among the 18 metropolitan areas nationwide, 6 had significantly below average transportation expenditure shares. (See table 3 and chart 3.)

Of the $7,815 in annual expenditures for transportation in Cleveland, 92.8 percent was spent buying and maintaining private vehicles compared to the national average of 93.7 percent. The remaining 7.2 percent of a Cleveland household’s transportation budget was spent on public transit, which includes fares for taxis, buses, trains, and planes. Nationally, 6.3 percent of transportation expenditures went to public transit. (See table B.) The average number of vehicles per household in Cleveland and the nation was 1.9.

Table B. Percent distribution of transportation expenditures, United States and Cleveland, 2010-2011
Category United States Cleveland

Transportation

100.0 100.0

Vehicle purchases (net outlays)

32.9 33.2

Gasoline and motor oil

30.0 26.7

Other vehicle expenses

30.8 32.9

Public transportation

6.3 7.2

Note: Columns may not add to 100 due to rounding.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The portion of a Cleveland consumer unit’s budget spent on food, 12.4 percent, was not significantly different from 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. (See table 3.)

Households in Cleveland spent $3,253, or 57.4 percent, of their food dollars on food at home and the remaining 42.6 percent on food away from home, such as 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, Cleveland is 1 of 18 metropolitan areas nationwide for which Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) data are available. We encourage users interested in learning more about the CE to contact the Midwest Information Office at (312) 353-1880.

Metropolitan area CE data and that for the four geographic regions of the United States are available on our Web site at http://www.bls.gov/cex/tables.htm. Metropolitan area CE news releases are available at http://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 and are available for the nation, the 4 geographic regions of the country, and 18 metropolitan areas. The metropolitan area discussed in this release is Cleveland-Akron, Ohio, which is comprised of Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, and Summit Counties in Ohio.

The survey consists of two components, a diary or 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, or 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 higher or lower than the national average, 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 http://www.bls.gov/opub/hom/homch16.htm.

Table 1. Percent distribution of average annual expenditures, United States and Cleveland-Akron, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2010-2011
Category United States Cleveland

Average annual expenditures

$48,926 $45,768 *

Percent distribution:

100.0 100.0

Food

12.9 12.4

Alcoholic beverages

0.9 0.9

Housing

34.1 32.0*

Apparel and services

3.5 3.6

Transportation

16.3 17.1

Health care

6.6 6.2

Entertainment

5.2 5.8

Personal care products and services

1.2 1.4

Reading

0.2 0.2

Education

2.2 2.7

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

0.7 0.7

Miscellaneous

1.7 1.5

Cash contributions

3.4 3.9

Personal insurance and pensions

11.0 11.6

* Statistically significant difference from the U.S. average at the 95-percent confidence level.
Note: Numbers may not add to 100 due to rounding.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Table 2. Average annual expenditures and characteristics, United States and Cleveland-Akron, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2010-2011
Category United States Cleveland
Consumer unit characteristics:

Income before taxes

$63,086 $58,358

Age of reference person

49.6 54.8
Average number in consumer unit:

Persons

2.5 2.3

Children under 18

0.6 0.5

Persons 65 and over

0.3 0.4

Earners

1.3 1.2

Vehicles

1.9 1.9

Percent homeowners

65 70

Average annual expenditures

$48,926 $45,768

Food

6,294 5,665

Food at home

3,731 3,253

Cereals and bakery products

516 466

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

808 600

Dairy products

394 331

Fruits and vegetables

697 578

Other food at home

1,316 1,278

Food away from home

2,562 2,412

Alcoholic beverages

434 397

Housing

16,687 14,653

Shelter

9,819 8,554

Owned dwellings

6,212 5,569

Rented dwellings

2,965 2,315

Other lodging

642 670

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,693 3,434

Household operations

1,074 577

Housekeeping supplies

613 728

Household furnishings and equipment

1,487 1,360

Apparel and services

1,720 1,657

Transportation

7,987 7,815

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

2,629 2,598

Gasoline and motor oil

2,395 2,086

Other vehicle expenses

2,459 2,572

Public transportation

504 559

Healthcare

3,235 2,849

Entertainment

2,547 2,671

Personal care products and services

608 626

Reading

108 103

Education

1,063 1,227

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

356 334

Miscellaneous

812 692

Cash contributions

1,677 1,769

Personal insurance and pensions

5,398 5,309

Life and other personal insurance

318 279

Pensions and Social Security

5,081 5,030

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


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

Chicago

35.6* 14.5* 12.4

Cleveland

32.0* 17.1 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.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Chart 2. Expenditure shares spent on housing in 18 metropolitan statistical areas compared to the U.S. average, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2010-2011


Chart 3. Expenditure shares spent on transportation in 18 metropolitan statistical areas compared to the U.S. average, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2010-2011

 

Last Modified Date: February 21, 2013