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Consumer Expenditure Surveys

The Consumer Expenditure Surveys (CE) program provides data on expenditures, income, and demographic characteristics of consumers in the United States. The CE program provides these data in tablesLABSTAT databasenews releasesreports, and public use microdata files.

CE data are collected by the Census Bureau for BLS in two surveys: the Interview Survey for major and/or recurring items and the Diary Survey for more minor or frequently purchased items. CE data are primarily used to revise the relative importance of goods and services in the market basket of the Consumer Price Index. The CE is the only Federal household survey to provide information on the complete range of consumers' expenditures and incomes. Here is an overview of the CE program and its methods.

To be notified when new datasets become available, sign up for CE updates. The menu will prompt you to select Consumer Expenditures. If you have comments or questions about this page and its contents, contact us.


  • Beyond the Numbers: Four personal tax liabilities trends that have emerged from recent tax legislation (5/30/2023) Read More »
  • The 2022 midyear public use microdata and Data Quality Profile are now available. (5/04/2023) Read More »
  • Monthly Labor Review: Developing a consumption measure, with examples of use for poverty and inequality analysis: a new research product from BLS (4/19/2023) Read More »

News Releases

Consumer unit expenditures in 2021 were $66,928; a 9.1% increase from 2020


Average expenditures for all consumer units in 2021 were $66,928, a 9.1-percent increase from 2020, and average income before taxes increased 3.7 percent.

Next Release

The Consumer Expenditures release is scheduled to be released on Friday, September 8, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time.
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The Economics Daily

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Consumer expenditures rise 8.6 percent in April–June 2022 quarter compared with year earlier

From April to June of 2022, total expenditures averaged $18,059 per consumer unit, an increase of 8.6 percent over the same period in 2021. The largest percentage increase was in transportation spending, a gain of 16.5 percent to a total of $3,215 per household for the quarter. read more »

Monthly Labor Review

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Developing a consumption measure, with examples of use for poverty and inequality analysis: a new research product from BLS

This article provides an update on the work being done by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to produce a research-based consumption measure and explores its potential use in poverty and inequality analysis. read more »

Beyond the Numbers

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Changing how BLS defines "geographic areas" in the Consumer Expenditure Surveys

This Beyond the Numbers article aims to provide an understanding of the changes and present findings for how these new definitions compare with the old definitions used to develop estimates prior to 2021, and discuss how these changes will impact data users. read more »

Spotlight on Statistics

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How the COVID-19 Pandemic Changed Urban and Rural Spending Habits

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic affected the United States profoundly. In addition to the heavy toll on health and life, the pandemic also brought significant economic challenges, such as a drastic shift in workplace culture and the highest unemployment rate since data began in 1948. This Spotlight on Statistics explores how the COVID-19 pandemic influenced the spending behaviors of urban and rural consumers. read more »