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13-171-CHI

Friday, February 15, 2013

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Consumer Expenditures for the Detroit Area: 2010-2011


Consumer units1 in the Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint, Mich., metropolitan area spent an average of $50,467 per year in 2010-2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Charlene Peiffer noted that this figure was similar to the $48,926 average expenditure level for a typical household in the United States. Detroit area households also allocated their dollars similarly among most of the eight major categories with only two differing significantly from the U.S. average. For example, the share of expenditures for apparel and services, which comprised 2.9 percent of a typical householdís budget in the Detroit area, was significantly less than the nationwide average of 3.5 percent. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

Chart 1. Percent distribution of average annual expenditures for eight major categories in Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint 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 Detroit metropolitan area averaged $16,267 annually and was the largest expenditure category, accounting for 32.2 percent of a Detroit area householdís total budget. (See tables 1 and 2.) This share was significantly below 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.) 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 Detroit went toward shelter, 57.4 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 24.8 percent of the housing budget locally; nationally, it made up 22.1 percent. The rate of homeownership in Detroit was 70 percent, compared to the U.S. average of 65 percent.

Table A. Percent distribution of housing expenditures, United States and Detroit, 2010-11
Category United States Detroit

Total housing

100.0 100.0

Shelter

58.8 57.4

Utilities, fuels, and public services

22.1 24.8

Household operations

6.4 5.5

Housekeeping supplies

3.7 3.9

Household furnishings and equipment

8.9 8.4

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

At 17.4 percent of the total budget, transportation was the second-largest expenditure category in the Detroit 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 $8,790 in annual expenditures for transportation in Detroit, 94.1 percent was spent buying and maintaining private vehicles compared to the national average of 93.7 percent. The remaining 5.9 percent of a Detroit householdís 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 Detroit was 2.1 while the national average was 1.9.

Table B. Percent distribution of transportation expenditures, United States and Detroit, 2010-11
Category United States Detroit

Transportation

100.0 100.0

Vehicle purchases (net outlays)

32.9 30.8

Gasoline and motor oil

30.0 29.6

Other vehicle expenses

30.8 33.6

Public transportation

6.3 5.9

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

The portion of a Detroit consumer unitís budget spent on food, 12.5 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 Detroit spent $4,034 or 63.7 percent, of their food dollars on food at home and the remaining 36.3 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, Detroit 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 Detroit-Ann-Arbor-Flint, Mich., which is comprised of Genesee, Lapeer, Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne Counties in Michigan.

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 Detroit-Ann Arbor, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2010-2011
Category United States Detroit

Average annual expenditures

$48,926 $50,467

Percent distribution:

100.0 100.0

Food

12.9 12.5

Alcoholic beverages

0.9 0.9

Housing

34.1 32.2*

Apparel and services

3.5 2.9*

Transportation

16.3 17.4

Health care

6.6 6.3

Entertainment

5.2 5.3

Personal care products and services

1.2 1.1

Reading

0.2 0.2

Education

2.2 2.9

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

0.7 0.8

Miscellaneous

1.7 2.7

Cash contributions

3.4 3.3

Personal insurance and pensions

11.0 11.4

* 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 Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2010-2011
Category United States Detroit
Consumer unit characteristics:

Income before taxes

$63,086 $65,060

Age of reference person

49.6 50.1
Average number in consumer unit:

Persons

2.5 2.5

Children under 18

0.6 0.6

Persons 65 and over

0.3 0.3

Earners

1.3 1.2

Vehicles

1.9 2.1

Percent homeowners

65 70

Average annual expenditures

$48,926 $50,467

Food

6,294 6,329

Food at home

3,731 4,034

Cereals and bakery products

516 573

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

808 837

Dairy products

394 406

Fruits and vegetables

697 782

Other food at home

1,316 1,436

Food away from home

2,562 2,295

Alcoholic beverages

434 445

Housing

16,687 16,267

Shelter

9,819 9,341

Owned dwellings

6,212 6,455

Rented dwellings

2,965 2,240

Other lodging

642 646

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,693 4,036

Household operations

1,074 891

Housekeeping supplies

613 631

Household furnishings and equipment

1,487 1,368

Apparel and services

1,720 1,448

Transportation

7,987 8,790

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

2,629 2,705

Gasoline and motor oil

2,395 2,606

Other vehicle expenses

2,459 2,956

Public transportation

504 523

Healthcare

3,235 3,178

Entertainment

2,547 2,673

Personal care products and services

608 580

Reading

108 121

Education

1,063 1,474

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

356 410

Miscellaneous

812 1,359

Cash contributions

1,677 1,646

Personal insurance and pensions

5,398 5,747

Life and other personal insurance

318 334

Pensions and Social Security

5,081 5,413

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 15, 2013