CE Geographic Data
The Consumer Expenditure Surveys (CE) program provides data for the following geographic areas: National, Census Regions, Census Divisions, selected States, selected Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), and by Population Size of Area. See the categories in Table 1 for information on what data are available for the geographic areas.
In order to protect respondent confidentiality, CE public data cannot provide additional geographic details, including Census tracts, Census blocks, or zip codes. Note that the CE sample only includes a subset of states.
See Table 2 for information on how Census Regions, Census Divisions, and states are related.
The CE national population represents the total non-institutionalized residents of the United States, both urban and rural. National tables can be found in the regular tables section and on the experimental research products page.
Census Regions are large areas of the United States defined by the Census Bureau. There are four Census Regions - Northeast, South, Midwest, and West. The public-use microdata (PUMD) provides the variable Region to identify the regions. Census region tables can be found here.
Census Divisions are geographic subsets within the four Census Regions in the United States. Divisions contain a number of states, and each Census Region contains two or three Divisions. Beginning with the 2015 data, the PUMD provides the variable Division to identify the divisions. Information on the geographic divisions used by the CE program is on the U.S. Census geography page. Census Division tables for 2017-2018 can be found here.
Estimates at the state-level are not calculated or published. The PUMD provides the variable State to identify the states.
As of December 2017, the CE program provides experimental weights that allow for statistically valid computation of selected states. Please see the PUMD documentation for further information on state identifiers and the experimental research products page for access to the current experimental weighting files for selected states. Please note that for confidentiality reasons some state codes have been suppressed for some or all sampled consumer units in that state.
Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) are areas with a high population density and close economic ties throughout, and are included in the CE survey's sample desgin as Primary Sampling Units (PSUs). Currently there are 23 MSAs for which estimates can be produced. The PUMD provides the variable PSU to identify the MSAs. MSA definitions are available on the MSA Definitions (2015-2016) page (PDF). MSA tables can be found here.
Population Size of Area
Estimates for all urban CUs by different population size categories are produced. There are six defined population size categories. The PUMD provides the variable popsize to identify the population size of a primary sampling unit (PSU). Population size of area tables can be found here for annual calendar year tables and midyear tables.
Last Modified Date: February 11, 2020