October 2016 Report 1063

Consumer Expenditures in 2014

Consumer Expenditures in 2014 image

Consumer spending increased 4.7 percent in 2014. This increase reverses the 2013 decline of 0.7 percent. These figures are based on annual data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE). Consumer units’ (CUs) average annual expenditures increased from $51,100 in 2013 to $53,495 in 2014.1 Accompanying the increase in expenditures was an increase in average income before taxes of 4.8 percent between 2014 ($66,877) and 2013 ($63,784). Prices, as measured by the average annual change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U, U.S. city average, all items, base period 1982–1984=100) rose by 1.6 percent in 2014, compared with the 4.7 percent increase in spending.2 In 2013, prices increased by 1.5 percent, compared with the 0.7 percent decrease in spending. This report highlights spending patterns for 2014 from the CE.

Developments in 2014

During 2014, spending increased across the six largest categories of expenditures tracked by CE: food, housing, transportation, healthcare, entertainment, and personal insurance and pensions. (See table A). Expenditures on transportation, food, personal insurance and pensions, and housing rose modestly ranging from a 0.8-percent increase to a 3.8-percent increase. During the same time period, expenditures on entertainment, apparel and services, and healthcare increased substantially, ranging from a 9.9-percent increase to an 18.1-percent increase.3 In 2013, changes in spending varied among these major categories.

Consumer confidence levels also increased in 2014, as reflected by the Consumer Confidence Index of the Conference Board, which registered an index value of 87 (86.900), up from 73 in 2013.4 (The level is an index, with 1985 =100. Levels of 100 or higher reflect greater consumer optimism compared with the base year.) The improvement in consumer confidence coincides with the gradual decline in the unemployment rate in 2014. The annual average monthly unemployment rate fell steadily throughout the year, but still remained above prerecession levels of 4.6 percent in 2006 and 2007.5 According to the Current Population Survey, the 2014 monthly rate fell from 6.6 percent in January to 5.6 percent in December, with an average of 6.2 percent. This compares to an average of 7.4 percent in 2013.6 The number of long-term (27 weeks or more) unemployed individuals, although declining from 4.3 million in 2013 to 3.2 million in 2014, was still higher than prerecession levels (1.2 million in 2007). In addition, consumer confidence may also be reflective of the gradual economic recovery, as evidenced by the 1.2 percent increase in real GDP in 2014.7

Table A. Average annual expenditures by major category of all consumer units and percent changes, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2011–14
Item2011201220132014Percent change
2011–122012–132013–14
Number of consumer units (in thousands)122,287124,416125,670127,006---
Consumer unit characteristics: 

Income before taxes

$63,685$65,596$63,784$66,8773.0-2.84.8

Age of reference person

49.750.050.150.3---

Average number in consumer unit:

 

People

2.52.52.52.5---

Children under 18

0.60.60.60.6---

Adults 65 and older

0.30.30.30.4---

Earners

1.31.31.31.3---

Vehicles

1.91.91.91.9---

Percent homeowner

65646463---
Average annual expenditures$49,705$51,442$51,100$53,4953.5-0.74.7

Food

6,4586,5996,6026,7592.20.02.4

Food at home

3,8383,9213,9773,9712.21.4-0.2

Cereals and bakery products

5315385445191.31.1-4.6

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

8328528568922.40.54.2

Dairy products

4074194144232.9-1.22.2

Fruits and vegetables

7157317517562.22.70.7

Other food at home

1,3531,3801,4121,3822.02.3-2.1

Food away from home

2,6202,6782,6252,7872.2-2.06.2

Alcoholic beverages

456451445463-1.1-1.34.0

Housing

16,80316,88717,14817,7980.51.53.8

Shelter

9,8259,89110,08010,4910.71.94.1

Owned dwellings

6,1486,0566,1086,149-1.50.90.7

Rented dwellings

3,0293,1863,3243,6315.24.39.2

Other lodging

6486496497100.20.09.4

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,7273,6483,7373,921-2.12.44.9

Household operations

1,1221,1591,1441,1743.3-1.32.6

Housekeeping supplies

615610645632-0.85.7-2.0

Household furnishings and equipment

1,5141,5801,5421,5814.4-2.42.5

Apparel and services

1,7401,7361,6041,786-0.2-7.611.3

Transportation

8,2938,9989,0049,0738.50.10.8

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

2,6693,2103,2713,30120.31.90.9

Gasoline and motor oil

2,6552,7562,6112,4683.8-5.3-5.5

Other vehicle expenses

2,4542,4902,5842,7231.53.85.4

Public and other transportation

5165425375815.0-0.98.2

Healthcare

3,3133,5563,6314,2907.32.118.1

Entertainment

2,5722,6052,4822,7281.3-4.79.9

Personal care products and services

634628608645-0.9-3.26.1

Reading

115109102103-5.2-6.41.0

Education

1,0511,2071,1381,23614.8-5.78.6

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

351332330319-5.4-0.6-3.3

Miscellaneous

7758296457827.0-22.221.2

Cash contributions

1,7211,9131,8341,78811.2-4.1-2.5

Personal insurance and pensions

5,4245,5915,5285,7263.1-1.13.6

Life and other personal insurance

31735331932711.4-9.62.5

Pensions and Social Security

5,1065,2385,2095,3992.6-0.63.6
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Expenditure shares

Table B provides the percent distribution of total annual expenditures by major expenditure categories for all CUs from 2010 to 2014. Expenditure shares usually do not fluctuate much in the short term and thus are more useful for identifying spending trends over time. As in previous years, housing was the largest component of overall expenditures, accounting for 33.3 percent of total expenditures in 2014. Housing expenditures were followed by transportation (17.0 percent) and food expenditures (12.6 percent). The most notable changes in expenditure shares between 2013 and 2014 were in healthcare and transportation, with healthcare increasing to 8.0 percent from 7.1 percent of expenditures. Transportation decreased to 17.0 percent from 17.6 percent, in part due to lower expenditures on gasoline and motor oil. Also of note, apparel and services, whose share of household expenditures shrunk over the 2011–12 and 2012–13 periods, increased in 2014 to 3.3 percent. Personal insurance and pensions continued a downward trend as a percentage of total expenditures decreasing to 10.7 percent from 10.8 percent.

Table B. Percent distribution of total annual expenditures by major category for all consumer units, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2010–14
Spending category20102011201220132014
Average annual expenditures100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0

Food

12.713.012.812.912.6

Food at home

7.57.77.67.87.4

Food away from home

5.25.35.25.15.2

Alcoholic beverages

0.90.90.90.90.9

Housing

34.433.832.833.633.3

Shelter

20.419.819.219.719.6

Utilities, fuels, and public services

7.67.57.17.37.3

Household operations

2.12.32.32.22.2

Housekeeping supplies

1.31.21.21.31.2

Household furnishings and equipment

3.03.03.13.03.0

Apparel and services

3.53.53.43.13.3

Transportation

16.016.717.517.617.0

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

5.45.46.26.46.2

Gasoline and motor oil

4.45.35.45.14.6

Other vehicle expenses

5.14.94.85.15.1

Public and other transportation

1.01.01.11.11.1

Healthcare

6.66.76.97.18.0

Entertainment

5.25.25.14.95.1

Personal care products and services

1.21.31.21.21.2

Reading

0.20.20.20.20.2

Education

2.22.12.32.22.3

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

0.80.70.60.60.6

Miscellaneous

1.81.61.61.31.5

Cash contributions

3.43.53.73.63.3

Personal insurance and pensions

11.210.910.910.810.7

Life and other personal insurance

0.70.60.70.60.6

Pensions and Social Security

10.510.310.210.210.1
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Housing

Average expenditures on mortgage interest and charges for homeowners decreased in 2014. Homeowners spent 19.1 percent less on this component of housing in 2014 ($4,691) than they did in 2007 ($5,799). This is likely the result of the continuing trend of lower interest rates, which has been in place since the recession that began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009.

In addition, while the recession led to an overall trend of fewer CUs owning homes, the CE reported a reversal of this trend in 2013, as the number of homeowners increased from 79.9 million in 2012 to 80.1 million in 2013. However, the declining trend of homeownership reasserted itself in 2014 as the number of homeowners declined to 79.6 million. This level was below the prerecession level of 80.2 million homeowners in 2007 (66.8 percent of all CUs in that year). In percentage terms, homeownership dropped from 63.7 percent in 2013 to 62.7 percent in 2014. Declining homeownership is even more evident from the increase in the number of renters since 2007. In 2007, there were 39.9 million renters, compared with 47.4 million in 2014. According to the CPI-U, rents for primary residences have increased 17.7 percent since 2007. During the 2007–14 time span, the average annual rental payments reported in the CE increased 23.6 percent ($9,559 in 2014, compared with $7,732 in 2007), reflecting the increase in demand for rental units.

Gasoline

Average expenditures on gasoline decreased again in 2014. CUs spent 5.5 percent less in 2014 ($2,284) than they did in 2013 ($2,418), reflecting the declining oil and gasoline prices of the second half of 2014. Chart 1 shows the percentage change in expenditures on gasoline and the price of gasoline between 2007 and 2014. With the exception of 2010, the change in consumer spending is similar to the change in prices. For 2014, the percentage decline in spending on gasoline was larger (5.5 percent) than the drop in the CPI index for gasoline (3.9 percent). For a more detailed discussion of gasoline prices and consumption, see http://www.bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-5/using-gasoline-data-to-explain-inelasticity.htm.

Gasoline expenditures decreased in every income quintile in 2014. The fifth (highest) quintile had the largest percentage decrease in expenditures from 2013 to 2014, a decline of 7.0 percent to $3,438 from $3,699. By age of reference person, all but one age group (75 years and older, up 4.4 percent to $1,180) decreased spending in 2014. The largest percentage decrease was in the 25–34 age group (down 8.1 percent to $2,299), followed by the 55–64 age group (down 7.9 percent to $2,381).

image of chart 1

Expenditures by income quintile

Spending increased across all five income quintiles between 2013 and 2014. This reversed the declines seen in four of the five income quintiles in 2013. (See chart 2). The lowest quintile increased spending by 5.9 percent in 2014, while the second through fifth quintiles increased spending between 2.7 and 6.8 percent. Further details on spending by income quintile can be seen in table C.

image for chart 2

All income quintiles showed higher spending on food away from home, housing, healthcare, and entertainment in 2014 relative to 2013. (See table C). Among these categories, healthcare expenditures increased most significantly, with the four highest quintiles reporting percent increases between 14.1 and 25.4 percent. Apparel and services spending declined for the fourth income quintile, and spending on personal insurance and pensions declined for the second quintile, but all other quintiles increased spending on both these categories. Results were more mixed for the categories of food at home, transportation, and cash contributions, with three of five quintiles in each showing decreases in spending. The category of all other expenditures increased for all quintiles.

Table C. Dollar change and percent change in average annual expenditures on major categories by income quintile, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2013–14
ItemLowestSecondThirdFourthHighest
DollarPercentDollarPercentDollarPercentDollarPercentDollarPercent
Average annual expenditure change 
Total$1,3205.9$9873.0$2,9006.8$1,5752.7$5,1265.2
Food120.3-27-0.62644.61241.64113.7

At home

-8-0.3-83-2.6641.8190.4-19-0.3

Away from home

201.8553.52009.41043.34308.4
Housing6807.65144.36404.34842.59112.9
Apparel and services628.6827.920215.2-9-0.556918.6
Transportation2286.9-160-2.74045.0-64-0.6-72-0.4
Healthcare784.440214.165119.369615.9146425.4
Entertainment10610.615010.636818.41023.64969.7
Cash contributions-71-12.3807.61158.8-182-8.7-177-4.3
Personal insurance and pensions388.2-59-3.6571.61522.37895.1
All other expenditures1869.870.41998.32738.173310.8
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Food

Food expenditures increased for all but the second quintile in 2014. This differs from 2013, where food expenditures increased for only the lowest two quintiles. The third quintile registered the largest percentage increase in food expenditures, an increase of 4.6 percent from $5,728 in 2013 to $5,992 in 2014. This reflected a 1.8-percent increase in food at home spending and a 9.4-percent increase in food away from home expenditures. The upper two quintiles had increases in overall food expenditures of 1.6 and 3.7 percent, respectively. This contrasts with decreases of 2.2 percent and 1.3 percent in 2013. Again, these were due to larger increases in food away from home expenditures of 3.3 percent and 8.4 percent, reversing the declines of 2.0 percent and 4.5 percent in 2013. Food at home expenditures for the lowest two quintiles did not change much, down 0.3 and 2.6 percent respectively, but like the upper three quintiles, food away from home expenditure increased, up 1.8 percent and 3.5 percent.

There was an increase in food expenditures in all but the youngest (under 25, which declined 5.9 percent) age group in 2014. The 25–34 age group had the highest percentage increase in overall food expenditures from 2013, with spending rising 7.0 percent in 2014. Middle-age groups exhibited relatively modest increases in spending—1.8 percent (age 35–44), 1.7 percent (age 45–54), and 1.3 (age 54–65)—while the older age groups experienced larger increases of 4.7 percent (age 65–74) and 4.9 percent (age 75 and older). Results were more mixed for 2013, with three age groups showing declines.

Notes

1 For the definition of Consumer Unit, see: http://www.bls.gov/cex/csxfaqs.htm#q3.
2 For more information regarding the Consumer Price Index data, see: http://www.bls.gov/cpi/.
3 A change in healthcare collection methods was made in 2013. For more information, please see the explanation in the 2014 new release: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/cesan_09032015.htm.
4 For more information regarding the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Survey, see: http://future.aae.wisc.edu/data/monthly_values/by_area/998?area=US.
5 According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the recession started in December 2007 and ended in June 2009. See: http://www.nber.org/cycles.html.
6 For more information about the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey see: http://www.bls.gov/cps/ and for the CPS monthly unemployment rate data, see: http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000.
7 For more information on the Bureau of Economic Analysis’s 2013 real GDP release, see: http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/2014/gdp4q13_3rd.htm.

Statistical Tables

Table 1. Quintiles of income before taxes: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2014
Item All consumer units Lowest 20 percent Second 20 percent Third 20 percent Fourth 20 percent Highest 20 percent

Number of consumer units (in thousands)

127,006 25,364 25,384 25,499 25,349 25,410

Lower limit

(1) (1) $18,362 $35,681 $59,549 $99,620

Consumer unit characteristics:

 

Income before taxes

$66,877 $10,308 $27,028 $47,056 $76,988 $172,952

Age of reference person

50.3 51.1 53.6 49.8 48.3 48.5

Average number in consumer unit:

 

People

2.5 1.7 2.2 2.5 2.8 3.2

Children under 18

.6 .4 .5 .6 .7 .8

Adults 65 and older

.4 .4 .5 .4 .3 .2

Earners

1.3 .5 .8 1.3 1.7 2.1

Vehicles

1.9 .9 1.4 1.9 2.3 2.8

Percent homeowner

63 39 53 61 74 86

Average annual expenditures

$53,495 $23,713 $33,546 $45,395 $60,417 $104,363

Food

6,759 3,667 4,754 5,992 7,779 11,595

Food at home

3,971 2,506 3,138 3,670 4,501 6,039

Cereals and bakery products

519 344 411 479 577 783

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

892 574 738 835 1,023 1,288

Dairy products

423 268 327 410 476 635

Fruits and vegetables

756 452 590 690 856 1,190

Other food at home

1,382 867 1,073 1,257 1,569 2,143

Food away from home

2,787 1,162 1,616 2,322 3,277 5,555

Alcoholic beverages

463 178 211 341 533 1,049

Housing

17,798 9,643 12,508 15,448 19,568 31,812

Shelter

10,491 5,873 7,243 8,913 11,286 19,133

Owned dwellings

6,149 1,925 3,017 4,436 7,175 14,190

Rented dwellings

3,631 3,779 3,979 4,098 3,450 2,849

Other lodging

710 169 248 379 660 2,095

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,921 2,387 3,230 3,805 4,505 5,674

Household operations

1,174 465 638 802 1,229 2,736

Housekeeping supplies

632 325 501 545 757 1,032

Household furnishings and equipment

1,581 593 896 1,384 1,792 3,236

Apparel and services

1,786 786 1,122 1,534 1,858 3,625

Transportation

9,073 3,555 5,696 8,475 10,844 16,788

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,301 1,149 1,737 3,207 3,905 6,503

Gasoline and motor oil

2,468 1,160 1,842 2,437 3,111 3,789

Other vehicle expenses

2,723 1,040 1,868 2,419 3,245 5,039

Public and other transportation

581 207 250 412 583 1,456

Healthcare

4,290 1,868 3,252 4,026 5,082 7,219

Entertainment

2,728 1,108 1,566 2,365 2,968 5,629

Personal care products and services

645 297 432 542 724 1,230

Reading

103 48 71 84 112 201

Education

1,236 922 416 592 1,022 3,227

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

319 275 330 348 363 280

Miscellaneous

782 360 459 676 904 1,510

Cash contributions

1,788 506 1,134 1,419 1,913 3,966

Personal insurance and pensions

5,726 501 1,594 3,553 6,746 16,232

Life and other personal insurance

327 87 172 206 344 828

Pensions and Social Security

5,399 414 1,423 3,348 6,402 15,403

(1) Not applicable

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Table 2. Income before taxes: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2014
Item All consumer units Less than $5,000 $5,000 to $9,999 $10,000 to $14,999 $15,000 to $19,999 $20,000 to $29,999 $30,000 to $39,999 $40,000 to $49,999 $50,000 to $69,999 $70,000 and more

Number of consumer units (in thousands)

127,006 6,115 4,980 8,243 8,243 14,916 13,122 11,086 18,036 42,265

Consumer unit characteristics:

 

Income before taxes

$66,877 $2,392 $7,987 $12,876 $17,411 $24,946 $34,701 $44,679 $59,111 $137,249

Age of reference person

50.3 45.6 46.0 54.8 56.6 53.7 52.0 49.3 49.1 48.4

Average number in consumer unit:

 

People

2.5 1.6 1.8 1.6 1.8 2.1 2.3 2.5 2.6 3.0

Children under 18

.6 .3 .5 .3 .4 .5 .6 .6 .6 .8

Adults 65 and older

.4 .2 .2 .4 .5 .5 .5 .4 .4 .2

Earners

1.3 .5 .5 .4 .5 .8 1.0 1.3 1.5 1.9

Vehicles

1.9 .8 .8 .8 1.1 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.1 2.6

Percent homeowner

63 33 30 41 51 51 57 59 67 82

Average annual expenditures

$53,495 $23,570 $20,818 $22,862 $27,324 $32,048 $37,846 $43,775 $51,242 $87,962

Food

6,759 3,618 3,314 3,473 3,939 4,432 5,194 5,936 6,486 10,116

Food at home

3,971 2,390 2,305 2,470 2,647 2,951 3,339 3,688 3,925 5,427

Cereals and bakery products

519 306 298 354 377 385 444 486 503 700

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

892 577 536 582 570 710 755 833 898 1,185

Dairy products

423 245 239 262 298 313 337 416 439 568

Fruits and vegetables

756 458 406 429 480 557 627 706 734 1,055

Other food at home

1,382 804 826 842 921 986 1,176 1,248 1,352 1,919

Food away from home

2,787 1,227 1,009 1,003 1,293 1,481 1,855 2,247 2,561 4,689

Alcoholic beverages

463 221 133 140 198 192 252 323 385 850

Housing

17,798 9,543 8,959 9,426 10,814 12,129 13,539 15,138 17,028 27,290

Shelter

10,491 6,048 5,589 5,687 6,290 7,061 7,790 8,882 9,799 16,233

Owned dwellings

6,149 1,924 1,617 1,867 2,402 2,795 3,581 4,198 5,556 11,606

Rented dwellings

3,631 3,981 3,858 3,639 3,676 4,054 3,878 4,273 3,812 3,072

Other lodging

710 144 114 181 212 211 331 410 431 1,555

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,921 2,256 2,065 2,416 2,818 3,169 3,477 3,735 4,113 5,258

Household operations

1,174 371 405 465 615 639 681 745 960 2,172

Housekeeping supplies

632 278 264 361 358 449 535 527 630 920

Household furnishings and equipment

1,581 590 635 496 731 810 1,056 1,249 1,527 2,708

Apparel and services

1,786 930 667 741 791 960 1,321 1,518 1,602 2,928

Transportation

9,073 3,276 3,090 3,538 4,203 5,749 6,435 8,289 9,488 14,579

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,301 980 1,179 1,253 1,195 1,906 1,970 3,151 3,442 5,582

Gasoline and motor oil

2,468 1,117 1,045 1,125 1,392 1,737 2,175 2,388 2,739 3,558

Other vehicle expenses

2,723 988 694 987 1,350 1,863 1,969 2,336 2,829 4,325

Public and other transportation

581 191 172 173 267 244 320 414 479 1,114

Healthcare

4,290 1,568 1,300 1,822 2,816 3,124 3,539 3,709 4,702 6,417

Entertainment

2,728 1,085 991 1,047 1,284 1,407 1,969 2,131 2,548 4,655

Personal care products and services

645 295 238 293 344 411 482 528 570 1,048

Reading

103 37 32 42 75 62 80 78 92 171

Education

1,236 1,547 862 798 504 367 530 444 764 2,394

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

319 267 287 257 291 336 345 331 356 315

Miscellaneous

782 498 240 203 489 391 577 726 833 1,248

Cash contributions

1,788 444 373 489 800 1,108 1,216 1,340 1,643 3,193

Personal insurance and pensions

5,726 240 332 594 775 1,380 2,366 3,284 4,743 12,758

Life and other personal insurance

327 84 45 81 127 131 227 206 251 648

Pensions and Social Security

5,399 156 288 514 648 1,249 2,139 3,078 4,492 12,111

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Table 3. Higher income before taxes: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2014
Item All consumer units Less than $70,000 $70,000 to $79,999 $80,000 to $99,999 $100,000 and more $100,000to $119,999 $120,000 to $149,999 $150,000 and more

Number of consumer units (in thousands)

127,006 84,741 6,771 9,869 25,625 8,271 6,332 11,022

Consumer unit characteristics:

 

Income before taxes

$66,877 $31,778 $74,748 $88,881 $172,392 $108,773 $133,145 $242,681

Age of reference person

50.3 51.2 48.6 48.1 48.5 47.9 48.4 48.9

Average number in consumer unit:

 

People

2.5 2.2 2.8 2.8 3.2 3.1 3.2 3.2

Children under 18

.6 .5 .7 .7 .8 .8 .8 .8

Adults 65 and older

.4 .4 .3 .3 .2 .2 .2 .2

Earners

1.3 .9 1.7 1.8 2.1 1.9 2.1 2.1

Vehicles

1.9 1.5 2.2 2.5 2.8 2.6 2.8 2.8

Percent homeowner

63 53 72 78 86 81 88 89

Average annual expenditures

$53,495 $36,081 $58,466 $67,058 $104,244 $78,461 $92,162 $130,513

Food

6,759 4,983 7,325 8,630 11,598 9,540 10,722 13,659

Food at home

3,971 3,196 4,022 5,006 6,036 5,306 6,054 6,555

Cereals and bakery products

519 423 511 639 784 684 797 848

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

892 735 927 1,144 1,281 1,191 1,287 1,343

Dairy products

423 346 432 506 638 567 649 682

Fruits and vegetables

756 596 749 958 1,191 1,031 1,193 1,304

Other food at home

1,382 1,097 1,403 1,759 2,143 1,833 2,127 2,377

Food away from home

2,787 1,787 3,303 3,624 5,562 4,234 4,668 7,105

Alcoholic beverages

463 258 541 596 1,056 770 791 1,435

Housing

17,798 13,037 19,193 21,340 31,760 24,198 27,921 39,632

Shelter

10,491 7,627 11,142 12,291 19,096 14,139 16,167 24,498

Owned dwellings

6,149 3,427 6,917 8,252 14,136 9,928 12,270 18,367

Rented dwellings

3,631 3,910 3,586 3,231 2,875 3,310 2,616 2,698

Other lodging

710 289 639 807 2,084 901 1,281 3,433

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,921 3,253 4,548 4,696 5,662 5,029 5,447 6,261

Household operations

1,174 676 1,210 1,407 2,723 1,689 2,202 3,799

Housekeeping supplies

632 478 599 888 1,030 968 948 1,129

Household furnishings and equipment

1,581 1,003 1,694 2,058 3,249 2,373 3,157 3,945

Apparel and services

1,786 1,184 1,624 2,203 3,629 2,489 3,222 4,718

Transportation

9,073 6,306 10,673 11,593 16,815 13,816 15,950 19,544

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,301 2,163 3,933 4,310 6,508 5,597 6,256 7,337

Gasoline and motor oil

2,468 1,925 2,986 3,325 3,799 3,607 3,849 3,914

Other vehicle expenses

2,723 1,903 3,259 3,308 5,051 3,819 4,804 6,102

Public and other transportation

581 315 496 649 1,457 794 1,041 2,192

Healthcare

4,290 3,226 4,841 5,470 7,205 5,878 7,155 8,232

Entertainment

2,728 1,748 3,111 3,301 5,625 4,183 4,884 7,112

Personal care products and services

645 438 686 848 1,234 939 1,176 1,483

Reading

103 69 111 132 202 155 181 249

Education

1,236 657 822 1,352 3,215 1,691 2,272 4,903

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

319 321 378 350 284 366 304 210

Miscellaneous

782 548 665 989 1,505 1,109 1,401 1,868

Cash contributions

1,788 1,088 1,760 2,233 3,941 2,752 2,816 5,479

Personal insurance and pensions

5,726 2,218 6,735 8,021 16,175 10,574 13,367 21,990

Life and other personal insurance

327 167 323 426 818 520 694 1,114

Pensions and Social Security

5,399 2,051 6,412 7,595 15,356 10,054 12,673 20,876

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Table 4. Age of reference person: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2014
Item All consumer units Under 25 years 25-34 years 35-44 years 45-54 years 55-64 years 65 years and older 65-74 years 75 years and older

Number of consumer units (in thousands)

127,006 8,405 20,594 21,778 23,556 23,466 29,207 16,648 12,559

Consumer unit characteristics:

 

Income before taxes

$66,877 $30,081 $61,042 $84,094 $87,859 $75,241 $45,100 $52,366 $35,467

Age of reference person

50.3 21.6 29.7 39.6 49.8 59.3 74.2 68.8 81.4

Average number in consumer unit:

 

People

2.5 2.1 2.8 3.3 2.8 2.2 1.8 1.9 1.6

Children under 18

.6 .4 1.0 1.4 .6 .2 .1 .1 (1)

Adults 65 and older

.4 (1) (1) (1) .1 .1 1.4 1.4 1.4

Earners

1.3 1.3 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.3 .5 .7 .3

Vehicles

1.9 1.1 1.6 1.9 2.2 2.1 1.7 1.9 1.4

Percent homeowner

63 11 39 58 70 77 80 81 80

Average annual expenditures

$53,495 $32,179 $49,547 $62,512 $65,651 $56,267 $43,635 $48,885 $36,673

Food

6,759 4,423 6,632 8,063 8,038 6,800 5,463 6,303 4,349

Food at home

3,971 2,497 3,711 4,675 4,644 4,109 3,399 3,735 2,952

Cereals and bakery products

519 367 460 622 611 503 468 504 419

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

892 547 852 1,046 1,079 923 725 810 611

Dairy products

423 263 399 498 484 431 376 404 340

Fruits and vegetables

756 449 719 882 848 778 685 742 609

Other food at home

1,382 872 1,283 1,626 1,623 1,475 1,145 1,275 973

Food away from home

2,787 1,926 2,921 3,388 3,394 2,691 2,064 2,567 1,397

Alcoholic beverages

463 303 529 505 559 457 354 455 219

Housing

17,798 11,459 17,404 21,222 20,781 18,006 14,779 15,838 13,375

Shelter

10,491 7,893 10,726 12,873 12,397 10,183 8,005 8,498 7,350

Owned dwellings

6,149 1,106 4,210 7,667 8,293 6,973 5,444 5,945 4,781

Rented dwellings

3,631 6,568 6,144 4,615 3,143 2,098 1,907 1,732 2,139

Other lodging

710 219 372 592 961 1,112 653 821 431

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,921 1,949 3,319 4,309 4,644 4,311 3,726 3,966 3,408

Household operations

1,174 450 1,433 1,722 1,076 951 1,048 939 1,192

Housekeeping supplies

632 229 492 629 734 782 652 723 557

Household furnishings and equipment

1,581 939 1,434 1,690 1,930 1,778 1,348 1,711 868

Apparel and services

1,786 1,285 1,914 2,250 2,247 1,789 1,101 1,417 683

Transportation

9,073 6,167 8,908 10,617 11,230 9,321 6,942 8,338 5,091

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,301 2,642 3,551 3,981 4,126 3,128 2,282 2,922 1,434

Gasoline and motor oil

2,468 1,687 2,447 2,986 3,044 2,594 1,757 2,117 1,279

Other vehicle expenses

2,723 1,521 2,386 2,967 3,383 2,967 2,400 2,657 2,059

Public and other transportation

581 317 523 683 678 633 503 642 320

Healthcare

4,290 1,103 2,659 4,033 4,497 4,958 5,849 5,956 5,708

Entertainment

2,728 1,319 2,418 3,372 3,184 2,852 2,403 2,988 1,626

Personal care products and services

645 307 533 741 793 674 609 692 499

Reading

103 44 75 86 93 123 145 152 135

Education

1,236 2,721 1,087 1,233 2,283 1,044 225 318 102

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

319 250 281 324 408 401 225 307 116

Miscellaneous

782 204 571 858 1,086 802 780 807 745

Cash contributions

1,788 325 1,066 1,591 2,074 1,941 2,512 2,155 2,985

Personal insurance and pensions

5,726 2,269 5,472 7,617 8,378 7,098 2,249 3,160 1,040

Life and other personal insurance

327 29 131 335 420 520 315 372 240

Pensions and Social Security

5,399 2,240 5,341 7,281 7,958 6,578 1,933 2,788 800

(1) Value is too small to display.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Table 5. Size of consumer unit: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2014
Item All consumer units One person Two or more people
Total Two people Three people Four people Five or more people

Number of consumer units (in thousands)

127,006 37,884 89,122 41,647 18,777 16,126 12,571

Consumer unit characteristics:

 

Income before taxes

$66,877 $33,487 $81,071 $73,312 $80,481 $94,003 $91,067

Age of reference person

50.3 53.3 49.0 54.9 46.1 42.2 42.3

Average number in consumer unit:

 

People

2.5 1.0 3.1 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.7

Children under 18

.6 (1) .8 .1 .7 1.5 2.7

Adults 65 and older

.4 .3 .4 .6 .2 .1 .1

Earners

1.3 .6 1.6 1.2 1.7 1.9 2.2

Vehicles

1.9 1.0 2.2 2.1 2.2 2.2 2.4

Percent homeowner

63 49 69 73 65 64 65

Average annual expenditures

$53,495 $31,987 $62,528 $57,429 $61,526 $71,481 $69,505

Food

6,759 3,637 8,029 6,905 7,911 9,641 9,921

Food at home

3,971 2,101 4,730 3,860 4,723 5,765 6,354

Cereals and bakery products

519 279 616 487 596 781 874

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

892 418 1,084 849 1,108 1,320 1,539

Dairy products

423 232 501 415 490 618 656

Fruits and vegetables

756 396 902 744 903 1,103 1,171

Other food at home

1,382 776 1,628 1,365 1,627 1,944 2,114

Food away from home

2,787 1,536 3,299 3,045 3,189 3,876 3,567

Alcoholic beverages

463 322 520 603 455 527 323

Housing

17,798 12,348 20,102 18,280 19,924 23,217 22,405

Shelter

10,491 8,057 11,525 10,582 11,322 13,406 12,539

Owned dwellings

6,149 3,600 7,233 6,640 7,061 8,415 7,938

Rented dwellings

3,631 4,098 3,433 2,925 3,630 4,140 3,913

Other lodging

710 359 859 1,017 631 851 688

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,921 2,448 4,546 4,070 4,596 4,980 5,494

Household operations

1,174 639 1,401 1,060 1,471 2,014 1,639

Housekeeping supplies

632 359 743 691 708 834 852

Household furnishings and equipment

1,581 844 1,887 1,877 1,828 1,983 1,881

Apparel and services

1,786 802 2,187 1,754 2,285 2,691 2,847

Transportation

9,073 4,617 10,957 10,094 10,547 12,631 12,286

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,301 1,470 4,079 3,807 3,576 4,998 4,552

Gasoline and motor oil

2,468 1,300 2,965 2,552 3,006 3,406 3,705

Other vehicle expenses

2,723 1,510 3,227 2,994 3,346 3,516 3,457

Public and other transportation

581 337 686 741 618 710 571

Healthcare

4,290 2,517 5,043 5,398 4,704 4,829 4,646

Entertainment

2,728 1,622 3,191 2,991 3,025 3,631 3,542

Personal care products and services

645 400 747 718 729 876 698

Reading

103 71 117 140 100 95 94

Education

1,236 849 1,400 984 1,733 1,785 1,787

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

319 232 356 336 407 361 341

Miscellaneous

782 602 859 751 1,052 1,011 728

Cash contributions

1,788 1,428 1,941 2,259 1,547 1,609 1,900

Personal insurance and pensions

5,726 2,540 7,080 6,214 7,108 8,577 7,987

Life and other personal insurance

327 136 409 413 396 469 337

Pensions and Social Security

5,399 2,405 6,671 5,802 6,712 8,108 7,649

(1) Not applicable.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Table 6. Composition of consumer unit: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2014
Item All consumer units Married couple consumer units One parent, at least one child under 18 Single person and other consumer units
Total Married couple only Married couple with children Other married couple consumer units
Total Oldest child under 6 Oldest child 6 to 17 Oldest child 18 or older

Number of consumer units (in thousands)

127,006 61,051 27,386 28,169 5,423 13,852 8,894 5,495 7,355 58,601

Consumer unit characteristics:

 

Income before taxes

$66,877 $93,538 $82,947 $104,480 $93,320 $104,633 $111,047 $90,225 $36,552 $42,908

Age of reference person

50.3 51.1 59.1 43.3 32.3 41.1 53.4 51.3 39.1 50.8

Average number in consumer unit:

 

People

2.5 3.2 2.0 4.0 3.5 4.2 3.9 4.9 3.0 1.7

Children under 18

.6 .8 (1) 1.5 1.5 2.2 .6 1.4 1.8 .2

Adults 65 and older

.4 .4 .8 .1 (1) (1) .2 .6 (1) .3

Earners

1.3 1.6 1.2 2.0 1.6 1.7 2.5 2.3 1.0 .9

Vehicles

1.9 2.5 2.4 2.5 2.0 2.3 3.0 2.7 1.1 1.3

Percent homeowner

63 78 84 74 63 72 83 74 33 50

Average annual expenditures

$53,495 $70,196 $63,462 $77,072 $70,115 $78,763 $78,398 $68,909 $39,979 $37,696

Food

6,759 8,816 7,491 9,923 8,538 10,364 9,910 10,014 5,920 4,679

Food at home

3,971 5,130 4,168 5,864 4,968 6,059 5,971 6,381 3,837 2,758

Cereals and bakery products

519 668 527 783 588 841 778 811 531 359

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

892 1,160 911 1,353 1,039 1,384 1,454 1,470 938 601

Dairy products

423 550 445 637 598 654 627 642 389 293

Fruits and vegetables

756 996 823 1,118 1,029 1,145 1,115 1,274 651 513

Other food at home

1,382 1,756 1,462 1,973 1,714 2,034 1,997 2,184 1,327 992

Food away from home

2,787 3,686 3,323 4,059 3,570 4,306 3,938 3,634 2,083 1,921

Alcoholic beverages

463 576 670 511 449 497 570 417 225 371

Housing

17,798 21,896 19,358 24,533 25,810 25,295 22,607 21,029 15,175 13,843

Shelter

10,491 12,338 10,812 13,999 13,922 14,888 12,662 11,429 9,077 8,743

Owned dwellings

6,149 8,650 7,659 9,848 9,151 10,422 9,379 7,446 3,337 3,897

Rented dwellings

3,631 2,638 1,916 3,223 4,315 3,424 2,244 3,233 5,465 4,436

Other lodging

710 1,051 1,237 928 456 1,043 1,039 750 276 410

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,921 4,861 4,382 5,205 4,156 5,177 5,887 5,484 3,500 2,994

Household operations

1,174 1,618 1,122 2,145 4,275 2,035 1,017 1,390 1,074 724

Housekeeping supplies

632 864 814 899 829 870 984 944 500 402

Household furnishings and equipment

1,581 2,215 2,228 2,285 2,628 2,323 2,057 1,782 1,023 981

Apparel and services

1,786 2,395 1,880 2,837 2,701 3,143 2,396 2,787 1,762 1,143

Transportation

9,073 12,293 11,128 13,327 11,949 12,725 15,121 12,834 6,793 5,995

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,301 4,610 4,192 4,990 4,980 4,633 5,554 4,739 2,576 2,029

Gasoline and motor oil

2,468 3,247 2,762 3,657 2,937 3,675 4,070 3,559 1,949 1,722

Other vehicle expenses

2,723 3,646 3,319 3,923 3,346 3,629 4,744 3,897 1,978 1,843

Public and other transportation

581 790 855 756 686 789 753 639 291 401

Healthcare

4,290 6,026 6,549 5,642 4,746 5,517 6,383 5,389 2,042 2,761

Entertainment

2,728 3,689 3,381 4,077 3,082 4,689 3,648 3,240 1,779 1,837

Personal care products and services

645 835 808 870 704 933 856 797 555 456

Reading

103 133 159 115 74 122 128 92 65 77

Education

1,236 1,635 1,076 2,275 1,051 2,218 3,105 1,139 862 867

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

319 322 305 295 224 232 434 546 247 325

Miscellaneous

782 943 809 1,078 842 1,211 1,000 921 599 636

Cash contributions

1,788 2,313 2,793 1,960 1,597 2,104 1,956 1,732 962 1,345

Personal insurance and pensions

5,726 8,325 7,053 9,631 8,347 9,712 10,286 7,973 2,992 3,361

Life and other personal insurance

327 526 546 520 307 531 634 461 123 145

Pensions and Social Security

5,399 7,799 6,507 9,110 8,040 9,182 9,652 7,512 2,868 3,216

(1) Value is too small to display.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Table 7. Number of earners in consumer unit: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2014
Item All consumer units Single consumers Consumer units of two or more people
No earner One earner No earner One earner Two earners Three or more earners

Number of consumer units (in thousands)

127,006 15,880 22,004 13,107 26,814 38,766 10,434

Consumer unit characteristics:

 

Income before taxes

$66,877 $19,064 $43,895 $33,860 $62,019 $100,216 $118,209

Age of reference person

50.3 66.6 43.8 65.2 48.3 44.4 47.4

Average number in consumer unit:

 

People

2.5 1.0 1.0 2.3 3.0 3.0 4.4

Children under 18

.6 (1) (1) .3 1.1 .8 1.0

Adults 65 and older

.4 .6 .1 1.3 .4 .1 .1

Earners

1.3 (1) 1.0 n.a. 1.0 2.0 3.4

Vehicles

1.9 .9 1.1 1.8 1.9 2.3 3.0

Percent homeowner

63 57 43 75 61 70 75

Average annual expenditures

$53,495 $25,565 $36,585 $43,418 $54,929 $69,785 $79,382

Food

6,759 3,135 3,982 6,140 7,415 8,542 10,218

Food at home

3,971 2,080 2,115 4,060 4,608 4,713 6,075

Cereals and bakery products

519 291 271 534 599 620 764

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

892 428 411 942 1,070 1,055 1,440

Dairy products

423 226 236 429 497 499 616

Fruits and vegetables

756 400 394 770 888 894 1,155

Other food at home

1,382 734 804 1,385 1,554 1,647 2,099

Food away from home

2,787 1,056 1,866 2,080 2,808 3,828 4,143

Alcoholic beverages

463 148 442 322 394 660 566

Housing

17,798 10,628 13,588 14,654 18,480 22,305 22,920

Shelter

10,491 6,434 9,228 7,649 10,529 13,124 13,012

Owned dwellings

6,149 3,089 3,968 4,830 5,964 8,553 8,607

Rented dwellings

3,631 3,052 4,853 2,090 3,829 3,608 3,449

Other lodging

710 293 407 729 736 963 956

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,921 2,458 2,442 3,922 4,231 4,619 5,873

Household operations

1,174 701 594 1,008 1,141 1,772 1,181

Housekeeping supplies

632 373 350 677 758 721 880

Household furnishings and equipment

1,581 663 974 1,398 1,821 2,069 1,974

Apparel and services

1,786 632 920 1,203 2,065 2,424 2,882

Transportation

9,073 3,030 5,764 7,589 9,283 12,070 15,458

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,301 695 2,030 2,747 3,426 4,525 5,778

Gasoline and motor oil

2,468 828 1,641 1,915 2,564 3,240 4,291

Other vehicle expenses

2,723 1,244 1,704 2,379 2,732 3,518 4,593

Public and other transportation

581 263 389 548 562 788 796

Healthcare

4,290 3,045 2,136 6,079 4,517 4,934 5,506

Entertainment

2,728 1,316 1,837 2,469 2,933 3,435 3,859

Personal care products and services

645 333 447 576 668 811 929

Reading

103 82 62 146 97 121 117

Education

1,236 674 975 441 1,177 1,552 2,615

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

319 201 253 297 341 351 490

Miscellaneous

782 578 619 687 829 929 884

Cash contributions

1,788 1,466 1,401 2,238 1,768 2,004 1,781

Personal insurance and pensions

5,726 295 4,161 578 4,962 9,647 11,155

Life and other personal insurance

327 149 126 293 353 455 525

Pensions and Social Security

5,399 146 4,035 285 4,609 9,192 10,630

(1) Not applicable.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Table 8. Housing tenure and type of area: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2014
Item All consumer units Housing tenure Type of area
Homeowner Renter Urban Rural
Total Homeowner with mortgage Homeowner without mortgage Total Central City Other Urban

Number of consumer units (in thousands)

127,006 79,596 46,379 33,218 47,409 116,192 38,608 77,584 10,813

Consumer unit characteristics:

 

Income before taxes

$66,877 $82,233 $97,309 $61,184 $41,095 $68,306 $58,929 $72,972 $51,525

Age of reference person

50.3 55.3 49.7 63.1 41.9 49.9 46.9 51.4 54.2

Average number in consumer unit:

 

People

2.5 2.6 2.8 2.2 2.3 2.5 2.3 2.5 2.5

Children under 18

.6 .6 .8 .3 .7 .6 .5 .6 .6

Adults 65 and older

.4 .5 .3 .8 .2 .3 .3 .4 .5

Earners

1.3 1.3 1.6 .9 1.2 1.3 1.2 1.3 1.2

Vehicles

1.9 2.3 2.4 2.1 1.2 1.8 1.4 2.0 2.4

Percent homeowner

63 100 100 100 n.a. 61 47 68 79

Average annual expenditures

$53,495 $62,226 $70,807 $49,737 $38,749 $54,436 $48,454 $57,358 $43,212

Food

6,759 7,604 8,139 6,583 5,305 6,852 6,319 7,095 5,669

Food at home

3,971 4,414 4,643 3,955 3,208 4,003 3,703 4,139 3,594

Cereals and bakery products

519 579 602 532 416 521 478 540 499

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

892 987 1,041 877 727 893 821 925 875

Dairy products

423 471 492 428 341 424 388 440 415

Fruits and vegetables

756 839 876 765 612 772 752 780 570

Other food at home

1,382 1,539 1,632 1,353 1,112 1,394 1,265 1,453 1,235

Food away from home

2,787 3,190 3,496 2,628 2,097 2,848 2,616 2,956 2,075

Alcoholic beverages

463 548 613 423 316 476 467 481 306

Housing

17,798 19,666 23,762 13,936 14,646 18,287 17,241 18,795 12,522

Shelter

10,491 10,820 14,208 6,090 9,937 10,907 10,830 10,945 6,014

Owned dwellings

6,149 9,744 13,083 5,082 114 6,313 4,940 6,996 4,392

Rented dwellings

3,631 100 86 121 9,559 3,863 5,395 3,101 1,140

Other lodging

710 976 1,039 888 264 732 496 849 482

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,921 4,679 5,009 4,219 2,646 3,923 3,396 4,185 3,895

Household operations

1,174 1,455 1,665 1,159 702 1,218 1,113 1,271 694

Housekeeping supplies

632 759 766 744 413 635 532 681 597

Household furnishings and equipment

1,581 1,952 2,114 1,724 948 1,604 1,369 1,713 1,322

Apparel and services

1,786 2,030 2,294 1,545 1,365 1,837 1,766 1,869 1,191

Transportation

9,073 10,475 11,706 8,754 6,711 9,102 7,598 9,843 8,772

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,301 3,722 4,261 2,969 2,595 3,309 2,732 3,596 3,220

Gasoline and motor oil

2,468 2,851 3,201 2,362 1,826 2,436 1,920 2,694 2,810

Other vehicle expenses

2,723 3,207 3,509 2,782 1,900 2,743 2,309 2,952 2,504

Public and other transportation

581 695 734 642 390 614 637 602 238

Healthcare

4,290 5,567 5,495 5,674 2,144 4,290 3,402 4,731 4,289

Entertainment

2,728 3,350 3,757 2,706 1,675 2,725 2,297 2,931 2,750

Personal care products and services

645 760 814 677 450 663 631 677 450

Reading

103 129 124 136 59 104 98 107 94

Education

1,236 1,343 1,729 797 1,055 1,319 1,250 1,352 342

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

319 301 287 319 351 303 250 329 494

Miscellaneous

782 948 1,018 866 503 794 661 861 647

Cash contributions

1,788 2,326 2,075 2,675 886 1,825 1,474 2,000 1,386

Personal insurance and pensions

5,726 7,179 8,994 4,645 3,286 5,859 5,000 6,286 4,300

Life and other personal insurance

327 447 502 370 126 326 248 365 341

Pensions and Social Security

5,399 6,732 8,492 4,275 3,160 5,533 4,752 5,921 3,959

(1) Not applicable.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Table 9. Race of reference person: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2014
Item All consumer units White and all other races, and Asian Black or African-American
Total White and all other races(1) Asian

Number of consumer units (in thousands)

127,006 110,709 105,082 5,627 16,297

Consumer unit characteristics:

 

Income before taxes

$66,877 $70,131 $69,147 $88,517 $44,769

Age of reference person

50.3 50.6 51.0 43.9 48.1

Average number in consumer unit:

 

People

2.5 2.5 2.5 2.8 2.5

Children under 18

.6 .6 .6 .7 .7

Adults 65 and older

.4 .4 .4 .3 .2

Earners

1.3 1.3 1.3 1.5 1.2

Vehicles

1.9 1.9 2.0 1.5 1.2

Percent homeowner

63 65 66 48 44

Average annual expenditures

$53,495 $55,691 $55,308 $62,784 $38,543

Food

6,759 7,080 7,027 8,044 4,555

Food at home

3,971 4,119 4,117 4,156 2,960

Cereals and bakery products

519 540 540 540 377

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

892 900 893 1,024 833

Dairy products

423 450 457 330 240

Fruits and vegetables

756 788 775 1,007 537

Other food at home

1,382 1,442 1,452 1,255 973

Food away from home

2,787 2,961 2,910 3,888 1,595

Alcoholic beverages

463 503 510 372 187

Housing

17,798 18,299 18,078 22,445 14,383

Shelter

10,491 10,792 10,548 15,341 8,442

Owned dwellings

6,149 6,529 6,450 8,005 3,565

Rented dwellings

3,631 3,485 3,332 6,336 4,626

Other lodging

710 778 766 1,000 250

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,921 3,932 3,953 3,535 3,843

Household operations

1,174 1,234 1,216 1,577 765

Housekeeping supplies

632 661 670 500 431

Household furnishings and equipment

1,581 1,680 1,690 1,492 902

Apparel and services

1,786 1,823 1,775 2,683 1,531

Transportation

9,073 9,406 9,413 9,279 6,812

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,301 3,464 3,516 2,496 2,194

Gasoline and motor oil

2,468 2,534 2,549 2,260 2,019

Other vehicle expenses

2,723 2,795 2,785 2,975 2,232

Public and other transportation

581 613 563 1,548 366

Healthcare

4,290 4,565 4,596 3,986 2,424

Entertainment

2,728 2,866 2,903 2,205 1,782

Personal care products and services

645 662 659 710 532

Reading

103 112 113 87 43

Education

1,236 1,302 1,234 2,585 785

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

319 332 343 136 232

Miscellaneous

782 829 836 686 465

Cash contributions

1,788 1,865 1,885 1,478 1,268

Personal insurance and pensions

5,726 6,047 5,938 8,089 3,546

Life and other personal insurance

327 342 343 327 225

Pensions and Social Security

5,399 5,705 5,594 7,762 3,321

(1) All other races includes Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, American Indian or Alaska Native, and approximately 1 percent reporting more than one race.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Table 10. Hispanic or Latino origin of reference person: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2014
Item All consumer units Hispanic or Latino Not Hispanic or Latino
Total White and all other races Black or African-American

Number of consumer units (in thousands)

127,006 16,283 110,723 94,723 16,000

Consumer unit characteristics:

 

Income before taxes

$66,877 $53,054 $68,910 $72,984 $44,790

Age of reference person

50.3 43.9 51.2 51.7 48.1

Average number in consumer unit:

 

People

2.5 3.2 2.4 2.3 2.5

Children under 18

.6 1.0 .5 .5 .7

Adults 65 and older

.4 .2 .4 .4 .2

Earners

1.3 1.5 1.2 1.2 1.2

Vehicles

1.9 1.6 1.9 2.0 1.2

Percent homeowner

63 44 65 69 44

Average annual expenditures

$53,495 $45,561 $54,661 $57,403 $38,356

Food

6,759 6,880 6,741 7,119 4,467

Food at home

3,971 4,303 3,923 4,090 2,914

Cereals and bakery products

519 523 518 542 374

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

892 1,128 857 863 820

Dairy products

423 428 423 454 231

Fruits and vegetables

756 869 739 775 523

Other food at home

1,382 1,356 1,386 1,455 966

Food away from home

2,787 2,577 2,818 3,029 1,553

Alcoholic beverages

463 304 486 537 181

Housing

17,798 16,207 18,031 18,649 14,365

Shelter

10,491 9,909 10,576 10,940 8,423

Owned dwellings

6,149 4,065 6,455 6,939 3,592

Rented dwellings

3,631 5,591 3,343 3,135 4,577

Other lodging

710 253 778 866 254

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,921 3,639 3,962 3,978 3,866

Household operations

1,174 883 1,217 1,296 748

Housekeeping supplies

632 525 648 685 423

Household furnishings and equipment

1,581 1,251 1,629 1,750 905

Apparel and services

1,786 1,951 1,761 1,797 1,547

Transportation

9,073 8,399 9,173 9,580 6,761

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,301 2,894 3,361 3,565 2,151

Gasoline and motor oil

2,468 2,584 2,451 2,523 2,027

Other vehicle expenses

2,723 2,529 2,751 2,841 2,217

Public and other transportation

581 393 609 650 366

Healthcare

4,290 2,643 4,532 4,891 2,408

Entertainment

2,728 1,695 2,879 3,064 1,778

Personal care products and services

645 561 657 678 531

Reading

103 57 110 121 43

Education

1,236 739 1,309 1,400 771

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

319 168 341 361 227

Miscellaneous

782 464 829 890 465

Cash contributions

1,788 932 1,914 2,023 1,270

Personal insurance and pensions

5,726 4,563 5,897 6,295 3,543

Life and other personal insurance

327 168 351 372 223

Pensions and Social Security

5,399 4,394 5,546 5,922 3,320

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Table 11. Region of residence: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2014
Item All consumer units Northeast Midwest South West

Number of consumer units (in thousands)

127,006 23,052 28,406 47,205 28,343

Consumer unit characteristics:

 

Income before taxes

$66,877 $75,881 $65,340 $61,405 $70,208

Age of reference person

50.3 52.5 49.4 50.3 49.3

Average number in consumer unit:

 

People

2.5 2.4 2.4 2.5 2.6

Children under 18

.6 .5 .6 .6 .7

Adults 65 and older

.4 .4 .3 .4 .3

Earners

1.3 1.3 1.3 1.2 1.3

Vehicles

1.9 1.6 2.0 1.8 1.9

Percent homeowner

63 62 66 65 56

Average annual expenditures

$53,495 $59,301 $51,961 $49,372 $57,181

Food

6,759 6,854 6,898 6,378 7,175

Food at home

3,971 4,090 4,123 3,709 4,164

Cereals and bakery products

519 567 547 487 506

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

892 919 884 881 894

Dairy products

423 463 473 367 435

Fruits and vegetables

756 800 753 681 847

Other food at home

1,382 1,340 1,466 1,292 1,481

Food away from home

2,787 2,765 2,775 2,669 3,011

Alcoholic beverages

463 523 510 364 531

Housing

17,798 21,067 16,212 16,030 19,672

Shelter

10,491 13,227 9,162 8,844 12,337

Owned dwellings

6,149 7,859 5,919 5,272 6,451

Rented dwellings

3,631 4,382 2,547 2,998 5,162

Other lodging

710 987 697 575 725

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,921 4,335 3,714 4,038 3,596

Household operations

1,174 1,355 1,007 1,085 1,342

Housekeeping supplies

632 594 705 598 647

Household furnishings and equipment

1,581 1,555 1,623 1,466 1,750

Apparel and services

1,786 1,931 1,882 1,592 1,896

Transportation

9,073 9,321 8,807 9,041 9,192

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,301 3,046 3,315 3,563 3,058

Gasoline and motor oil

2,468 2,256 2,418 2,553 2,550

Other vehicle expenses

2,723 3,089 2,604 2,512 2,893

Public and other transportation

581 931 469 413 691

Healthcare

4,290 4,565 4,398 4,024 4,401

Entertainment

2,728 2,744 2,760 2,516 3,034

Personal care products and services

645 704 650 577 705

Reading

103 122 111 82 116

Education

1,236 2,129 1,158 880 1,181

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

319 313 371 344 231

Miscellaneous

782 859 769 664 929

Cash contributions

1,788 1,777 1,803 1,697 1,933

Personal insurance and pensions

5,726 6,392 5,633 5,182 6,184

Life and other personal insurance

327 418 339 284 314

Pensions and Social Security

5,399 5,974 5,294 4,898 5,871

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Table 12. Occupation of reference person: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2014
Item All consumer units Self employed workers Wage and salary earners Retired All other, including not reporting
Total wage and salary earners Managers and professionals Technical, sales and clerical workers Service workers Construction workers and mechanics Operators, fabricators and laborers

Number of consumer units (in thousands)

127,006 8,303 75,638 28,824 19,989 15,946 3,553 7,326 24,634 18,430

Consumer unit characteristics:

 

Income before taxes

$66,877 $108,212 $77,397 $107,570 $65,629 $51,485 $62,984 $54,176 $39,672 $41,445

Age of reference person

50.3 49.5 43.9 44.4 43.5 42.8 43.3 45.1 73.4

46.1

Average number in consumer unit:

 

People

2.5 2.7 2.6 2.6 2.5 2.7 2.9 2.7 1.8 2.8

Children under 18

.6 .7 .7 .7 .6 .8 .9 .7 .1 .9

Adults 65 and older

.4 .2 .1 .1 .1 .2 .1 .1 1.2 .2

Earners

1.3 1.8 1.7 1.7 1.7 1.7 1.7 1.7 .2 .6

Vehicles

1.9 2.2 2.0 2.1 1.9 1.7 2.1 2.1 1.7 1.4

Percent homeowner

63 72 59 69 56 48 57 55 81 47

Average annual expenditures

$53,495 $72,838 $57,904 $74,277 $51,508 $44,543 $47,539 $44,795 $42,715 $40,930

Food

6,759 7,993 7,192 8,800 6,783 5,580 6,227 5,830 5,384 6,176

Food at home

3,971 4,578 4,041 4,636 3,936 3,384 3,848 3,438 3,433 4,090

Cereals and bakery products

519 573 526 593 525 449 447 467 459 540

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

892 962 909 990 901 777 1,021 816 736 985

Dairy products

423 506 425 498 409 348 410 347 382 429

Fruits and vegetables

756 909 762 899 721 667 701 565 679 758

Other food at home

1,382 1,627 1,419 1,654 1,380 1,143 1,268 1,243 1,178 1,378

Food away from home

2,787 3,414 3,151 4,164 2,847 2,195 2,379 2,392 1,951 2,086

Alcoholic beverages

463 608 534 759 467 298 478 345 324 282

Housing

17,798 23,345 18,968 23,881 17,036 15,307 15,652 14,458 14,894 14,374

Shelter

10,491 14,291 11,385 14,573 10,040 9,300 9,372 8,028 8,080 8,328

Owned dwellings

6,149 9,466 6,556 9,442 5,372 4,303 5,048 4,066 5,463 3,901

Rented dwellings

3,631 3,308 4,152 4,007 4,153 4,655 3,953 3,726 1,877 3,983

Other lodging

710 1,517 677 1,124 515 341 371 236 740 444

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,921 4,601 4,011 4,417 3,906 3,559 3,847 3,760 3,716 3,518

Household operations

1,174 1,723 1,257 1,916 1,050 730 699 645 1,069 726

Housekeeping supplies

632 859 611 721 600 472 369 618 656 582

Household furnishings and equipment

1,581 1,870 1,704 2,253 1,440 1,246 1,365 1,406 1,372 1,220

Apparel and services

1,786 2,415 1,989 2,481 1,788 1,657 1,755 1,415 1,057 1,602

Transportation

9,073 10,764 10,280 12,259 9,283 8,625 9,436 9,221 6,795 6,401

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,301 3,665 3,879 4,629 3,315 3,380 3,524 3,720 2,249 2,173

Gasoline and motor oil

2,468 2,955 2,780 3,018 2,668 2,450 3,083 2,724 1,727 1,958

Other vehicle expenses

2,723 3,354 3,000 3,617 2,876 2,398 2,346 2,523 2,287 1,880

Public and other transportation

581 789 621 994 423 397 482 253 531 390

Healthcare

4,290 5,525 3,868 4,994 3,588 2,847 2,960 2,858 6,012 3,166

Entertainment

2,728 3,877 2,861 3,744 2,622 1,946 2,071 2,377 2,344 2,160

Personal care products and services

645 743 703 913 684 545 423 415 592 432

Reading

103 117 99 142 93 54 62 60 144 59

Education

1,236 2,211 1,404 2,302 871 1,040 435 587 230 1,450

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

319 372 321 207 339 364 454 554 213 431

Miscellaneous

782 1,250 757 1,101 545 526 520 599 802 641

Cash contributions

1,788 2,148 1,714 2,341 1,420 1,200 1,552 1,247 2,495 986

Personal insurance and pensions

5,726 11,472 7,215 10,353 5,988 4,555 5,514 4,829 1,429 2,770

Life and other personal insurance

327 646 323 453 273 204 209 262 326 203

Pensions and Social Security

5,399 10,826 6,892 9,901 5,715 4,352 5,305 4,567 1,103 2,567

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Table 13. Highest education level of any member: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2014
Item All consumer units Less than college graduate College graduate
Total Less than high school graduate High school graduate High school graduate with some college Associate's degree Total Bachelor's degree Master's, professional, doctoral degree

Number of consumer units (in thousands)

127,006 77,236 9,716 26,530 27,300 13,690 49,770 29,183 20,586

Consumer unit characteristics:

 

Income before taxes

$66,877 $45,037 $28,031 $40,260 $47,891 $60,671 $100,770 $84,628 $123,654

Age of reference person

50.3 51.0 55.6 53.5 48.0 48.8 49.2 47.8 51.2

Average number in consumer unit:

 

People

2.5 2.4 2.3 2.3 2.4 2.7 2.6 2.5 2.6

Children under 18

.6 .6 .7 .5 .6 .7 .6 .6 .6

Adults 65 and older

.4 .4 .5 .4 .3 .3 .3 .3 .4

Earners

1.3 1.1 .8 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.5 1.5 1.5

Vehicles

1.9 1.7 1.0 1.6 1.8 2.1 2.1 2.0 2.2

Percent homeowner

63 57 45 58 55 66 72 68 77

Average annual expenditures

$53,495 $40,403 $28,180 $36,286 $43,749 $50,300 $73,672 $65,483 $85,434

Food

6,759 5,480 4,519 4,986 5,772 6,473 8,683 8,075 9,598

Food at home

3,971 3,458 3,304 3,311 3,476 3,821 4,740 4,486 5,126

Cereals and bakery products

519 454 442 445 451 487 616 584 666

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

892 829 878 802 808 897 985 980 993

Dairy products

423 361 352 339 366 399 516 480 571

Fruits and vegetables

756 615 618 577 628 658 966 890 1,083

Other food at home

1,382 1,199 1,013 1,148 1,223 1,381 1,656 1,552 1,814

Food away from home

2,787 2,021 1,215 1,675 2,296 2,652 3,943 3,588 4,472

Alcoholic beverages

463 294 139 245 318 449 716 645 823

Housing

17,798 13,821 10,605 12,883 14,532 16,529 23,950 21,156 27,932

Shelter

10,491 7,914 6,284 7,255 8,450 9,277 14,489 12,758 16,943

Owned dwellings

6,149 4,013 2,330 3,483 4,338 5,586 9,464 7,900 11,680

Rented dwellings

3,631 3,586 3,848 3,521 3,746 3,209 3,701 3,842 3,501

Other lodging

710 314 106 251 366 482 1,325 1,016 1,762

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,921 3,573 2,840 3,481 3,614 4,191 4,459 4,207 4,818

Household operations

1,174 690 332 563 815 941 1,924 1,441 2,610

Housekeeping supplies

632 513 475 506 482 626 810 730 931

Household furnishings and equipment

1,581 1,131 675 1,078 1,171 1,493 2,268 2,019 2,631

Apparel and services

1,786 1,325 1,221 1,164 1,397 1,554 2,480 2,105 3,045

Transportation

9,073 7,248 4,497 6,253 8,155 9,311 11,894 11,198 12,880

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,301 2,587 1,536 2,020 3,087 3,433 4,410 4,153 4,773

Gasoline and motor oil

2,468 2,224 1,467 2,045 2,401 2,756 2,847 2,823 2,881

Other vehicle expenses

2,723 2,163 1,260 1,969 2,353 2,789 3,580 3,437 3,781

Public and other transportation

581 275 234 219 314 333 1,057 784 1,445

Healthcare

4,290 3,398 2,201 3,290 3,512 4,228 5,672 5,188 6,361

Entertainment

2,728 2,026 1,301 1,873 2,179 2,516 3,806 3,287 4,565

Personal care products and services

645 471 336 418 490 633 910 816 1,050

Reading

103 63 32 56 72 83 165 134 209

Education

1,236 564 147 233 945 740 2,278 1,762 3,011

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

319 417 329 489 401 370 168 218 97

Miscellaneous

782 595 286 469 678 889 1,072 945 1,258

Cash contributions

1,788 1,168 654 1,065 1,399 1,275 2,750 2,146 3,606

Personal insurance and pensions

5,726 3,533 1,914 2,862 3,899 5,250 9,130 7,811 11,000

Life and other personal insurance

327 210 104 207 233 245 509 396 669

Pensions and Social Security

5,399 3,323 1,810 2,655 3,666 5,005 8,621 7,414 10,330

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Table 14. Deciles of income before taxes: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2014
Item All consumer units Lowest 10 percent Second 10 percent Third 10 percent Fourth 10 percent Fifth 10 percent Sixth 10 percent Seventh 10 percent Eighth 10 percent Ninth 10 percent Highest 10 percent

Number of consumer units (in thousands)

127,006 12,724 12,640 12,658 12,725 12,737 12,762 12,766 12,584 12,735 12,675

Lower limit

(1) (1) $11,165 $18,362 $26,784 $35,682 $46,615 $59,549 $75,977 $99,623 $140,196

Consumer unit characteristics:

 

Income before taxes

$66,877 $5,675 14,973 22,757 31,277 41,177 52,924 67,239 86,878 116,404 229,771

Age of reference person

50.3 46.6 55.7 54.2 53.0 50.0 49.7 48.5 48.2 48.2 48.9

Average number in consumer unit:

 

People

2.5 1.7 1.7 2.1 2.3 2.5 2.6 2.8 2.8 3.1 3.2

Children under 18

.6 .4 .3 .5 .5 .6 .6 .7 .7 .8 .8

Adults 65 and older

.4 .2 .5 .5 .5 .4 .4 .3 .3 .2 .2

Earners

1.3 .5 .5 .8 .9 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.7 2.0 2.1

Vehicles

1.9 .8 1.0 1.3 1.5 1.8 2.0 2.2 2.4 2.7 2.9

Percent homeowner

63 32 46 50 57 58 64 70 78 83 90

Average annual expenditures

$53,495 $22,488 $24,943 $31,317 $35,766 $41,728 $49,056 $54,797 $66,105 $82,911 $125,893

Food

6,759 3,525 3,809 4,389 5,119 5,638 6,345 7,162 8,397 10,019 13,168

Food at home

3,971 2,383 2,629 2,932 3,343 3,554 3,786 4,135 4,868 5,626 6,452

Cereals and bakery products

519 323 366 386 436 479 479 531 624 735 831

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

892 555 594 716 759 773 896 944 1,102 1,244 1,332

Dairy products

423 251 284 315 338 400 420 459 493 598 672

Fruits and vegetables

756 422 483 548 632 687 692 778 935 1,097 1,283

Other food at home

1,382 832 902 967 1,178 1,215 1,299 1,423 1,714 1,952 2,334

Food away from home

2,787 1,143 1,180 1,457 1,776 2,085 2,559 3,027 3,529 4,394 6,716

Alcoholic beverages

463 161 195 184 238 310 372 464 602 754 1,344

Housing

17,798 9,290 9,999 12,026 12,988 14,371 16,523 17,952 21,205 25,439 38,213

Shelter

10,491 5,784 5,962 7,041 7,445 8,286 9,538 10,393 12,192 14,801 23,486

Owned dwellings

6,149 1,782 2,069 2,688 3,344 3,871 5,000 6,269 8,095 10,651 17,746

Rented dwellings

3,631 3,877 3,680 4,146 3,813 4,036 4,160 3,607 3,291 3,127 2,570

Other lodging

710 124 214 207 288 380 379 517 806 1,024 3,171

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,921 2,200 2,576 3,082 3,377 3,622 3,987 4,317 4,696 5,141 6,209

Household operations

1,174 404 527 590 686 743 860 1,057 1,403 1,825 3,651

Housekeeping supplies

632 308 341 462 540 506 583 658 855 955 1,109

Household furnishings and equipment

1,581 595 592 852 939 1,213 1,554 1,527 2,058 2,716 3,759

Apparel and services

1,786 780 791 958 1,287 1,429 1,640 1,607 2,110 2,838 4,412

Transportation

9,073 3,367 3,744 5,579 5,813 7,801 9,147 10,046 11,656 14,520 19,065

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,301 1,234 1,065 1,812 1,661 2,812 3,601 3,383 4,435 5,787 7,224

Gasoline and motor oil

2,468 1,072 1,248 1,640 2,043 2,326 2,548 2,931 3,294 3,637 3,943

Other vehicle expenses

2,723 884 1,195 1,881 1,854 2,246 2,591 3,206 3,287 4,249 5,831

Public and other transportation

581 178 236 245 255 417 406 526 640 848 2,067

Healthcare

4,290 1,486 2,252 2,989 3,514 3,609 4,442 4,786 5,382 6,144 8,299

Entertainment

2,728 1,066 1,150 1,379 1,751 2,170 2,559 2,696 3,244 4,455 6,806

Personal care products and services

645 261 332 397 466 513 571 632 817 1,003 1,457

Reading

103 35 60 60 82 73 95 95 129 167 235

Education

1,236 1,162 681 347 486 506 678 736 1,311 1,898 4,563

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

319 274 275 325 335 340 355 379 347 339 222

Miscellaneous

782 347 372 410 508 676 676 872 937 1,144 1,878

Cash contributions

1,788 444 570 1,058 1,211 1,306 1,532 1,678 2,151 2,811 5,126

Personal insurance and pensions

5,726 290 713 1,218 1,969 2,984 4,121 5,691 7,816 11,382 21,105

Life and other personal insurance

327 67 107 112 231 189 222 308 380 570 1,087

Pensions and Social Security

5,399 224 605 1,105 1,738 2,795 3,899 5,384 7,436 10,811 20,018

(1) Not applicable.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Technical Notes

Brief description of the Consumer Expenditure Survey

After being collected approximately every 10 years starting in 1888 until 1973, annual Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) collection began in 1979. Its principal objective is to collect information on the buying habits of Americans. Consumer expenditure data are used in a variety of research endeavors by government, business, labor, and academic analysts. In addition, the data are required for the regular revision of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) market basket. The CE survey, which is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for Bureau of Labor Statistics, consists of two components: A Diary Survey completed by participating consumer units’ (CUs) for two consecutive 1-week periods and an Interview Survey by which expenditures of consumer units is obtained in four interviews conducted at 3-month intervals. Results in this report are based on integrated data from both surveys. Survey participants record dollar amounts for goods and services purchased during the reporting period, regardless of whether payment is made at the time of purchase. Expenditure amounts include all sales and excise taxes for items purchased by the consumer unit. All business-related expenditures are excluded from both surveys, as are expenditures for which the CU is reimbursed.

Each component of the survey queries an independent sample of consumer units that are representative of the U.S. population. For the Diary Survey, about 7,000 consumer units are sampled each year. Each CU keeps a diary for two 1-week periods, yielding approximately 14,000 diaries a year. The Interview Survey, selected on a rotating panel basis, collects data about 7,000 CUs each quarter. With the rotating panel, some CUs drop out of the survey each quarter, while others come in. Each consumer unit is interviewed once per quarter, for four consecutive quarters. Data are collected on an ongoing basis in 91 areas of the United States. The Interview Survey is designed to capture expenditure data that respondents can reasonably recall for a period of 3 months or longer. In general, these expenditures are relatively large, such as expenditures for real property, automobiles, and major appliances, or they occur on a regular basis, such as rent, utility payments, and insurance premiums. The Interview Survey also collects data on expenditures incurred on leisure trips. Including global estimates of spending for food, it is estimated that about 95 percent of expenditures are covered in the Interview Survey. Nonprescription drugs, household supplies, and personal care items are excluded. The Diary Survey is designed to capture expenditures on small, frequently purchased items that are normally more difficult for respondents to recall buying over an extended period. Detailed entries of expenses are kept for food and beverages— consumed either at home or in eating places—and for tobacco, housekeeping supplies, nonprescription drugs, personal care products and services, and any other goods or services purchased within the period. Expenditures incurred by members of the CU while away from home overnight or longer are excluded from the Diary Survey. Although this survey was designed to collect information on expenditures that could not be recalled easily over an extended period, respondents are asked to report all expenses (except those spent while traveling overnight that the consumer unit incurs during the survey week.)

Integrated data from the BLS Diary and Interview Surveys provide a complete accounting of consumer expenditures and income that neither survey is designed to do on its own. Data on some expenditure items are collected in only one of the surveys. For example, the Diary Survey does not collect information on reimbursements, whereas the Interview Survey does. Examples of expenditures for which reimbursements are excluded from the Diary Survey are medical care; automobile repairs; and construction, repairs, alterations, and maintenance of property. For items that are unique to one survey or the other, the choice of which survey to use as the source of data is obvious. However, there is considerable overlap in coverage between the surveys. Consequently, integrating the data involves determining the appropriate survey component from which to select expenditure items. When data are available from both surveys, the more reliable of the two (as determined by statistical methods) is selected. As a result, some items are selected from the Interview Survey, others from the Diary Survey. Because of the overlap in the item coverage between the two surveys, the survey source is reviewed every 2 years and statistical methods are used to select the best source. See, “CE Source Selection for Publication Tables” in the Consumer Expenditure Survey Anthology, 2011 (BLS Report, no. 1030) for source selection details at http://www.bls.gov/cex/anthology11/csxanth3.pdf.

The population and spending coverage of the CE differs from that of the CPI. The CE data cover the total population including rural areas, whereas the CPI covers only the population in urban and metropolitan areas. Definitions of components also differ between the CE and CPI. For example, homeownership is treated differently in the two surveys: actual expenditures of homeownership are reported in the CE, whereas the CPI uses a rental equivalence approach that estimates the change in the cost of obtaining, in the rental marketplace, services equivalent to those provided by owner-occupied homes.

Interpreting the data

Expenditures are averages for CUs with specified characteristics, regardless of whether a particular unit incurred an expense for a specific item during the recordkeeping period. The average expenditure for an item may be considerably lower than the expenditure by the consumer units that purchased the item. The less frequently an item is purchased, the greater the difference between the average for all consumer units and the average for those purchasing the item. Similarly, an individual consumer unit may spend more or less than the average, depending on its particular characteristics. Factors such as income, age of family members, geographic location, and personal preference also influence expenditures. Furthermore, even within groups with similar characteristics, the distribution of expenditures varies substantially. These points should be considered in relating reported averages to individual circumstances. Users of these survey data should also keep in mind that prices for many goods and services have risen since the survey was conducted. For example, all prices, as measured by the CPI-U, increased 0.1 percent from 2014 (annual average index) to 2015 (not seasonally adjusted). In addition, sample surveys are subject to two types of error: sampling and nonsampling. Sampling errors occur because the data are collected from a sample representing the population, rather than from the entire population. Nonsampling errors result from the inability or unwillingness of respondents to provide correct information, differences in interviewers’ abilities, mistakes in recording or coding, and other processing errors.

Tables and data

Tables in this report include integrated data from both the Diary and Interview components of the CE, enabling data users to associate the full range of expenditures with consumers’ demographic characteristics. Tables show data classified by income quintile, income class, age of the reference person, size of the consumer unit, composition of the consumer unit, number of earners, housing tenure, type of area (urban or rural), race, Hispanic origin, region of residence, occupation, and highest education level of any consumer-unit member. Tables for the aforementioned classifications, but with more detail than is given in this report, can be accessed on the CE page of the BLS website (http://www.bls.gov/cex). Also available are tables showing average annual data over a 2-year period for:

  •  Income before taxes, cross-tabulated by age, consumer unit size, or region
  •  Single consumers by gender, cross-tabulated by either income or age
  •  Selected metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs).

Data are available for 1984–2015. Other survey information available on the website includes answers to frequently asked questions, a glossary of terms, and order forms for survey products. Beginning with the 2000 data, estimates of standard errors for integrated Diary and Interview Survey data are also available.

Prepublication tables containing additional detailed subcategories of spending are available upon request to CEXInfo@bls.gov. These detailed level tables have higher variances. Prepublication tables for all CUs are now available at http://www.bls.gov/cex/csxresearchtables.htm.

Other available data

The 2015 CE public-use microdata, including Interview Survey data, Diary Survey data, and paradata (information about the survey process), are available on the CE website for free electronic download. The Interview Survey files contain expenditure data in two different formats: MTBI files that present monthly values in an item-coding framework based on the CPI pricing scheme, and EXPN files that organize expenditures by the section of the Interview Survey questionnaire in which they are collected. Expenditure values on EXPN files cover different time periods depending on the specific questions asked, and the files also contain relevant nonexpenditure information not found on the MTBI files. Beginning with the 2013 public-use microdata, the new estimates of local, state, and federal tax liabilities are included. The CE introduced these estimates to improve the quality of the surveyed tax liabilities, which suffered from low response rates. The surveyed public-use tax data were still available for 2013, after which they will no longer be collected. For more information on the improvements, see Improving Data Quality in the Consumer Expenditure Survey with TAXSIM, http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2015/article/pdf/improving-data-quality-in-ce-with-taxsim.pdf and for new applications of the tax estimates see New and Improved Estimates of Personal Income Taxes have Tripled the Tax Data http://www.bls.gov/spotlight/2015/consumer-expenditures-tax-estimates/pdf/consumer-expenditures-tax-estimates.pdf.

Free public-use microdata are available online from the years 1996 to 2015. (See http://www.bls.gov/cex/pumd.htm.) For releases published before 1996, users can continue to purchase USB flash drives using the public-use microdata order form. (See http://www.bls.gov/cex/csxform.pdf.) Future releases of public-use microdata will be available online for free download.

The Consumer Expenditure program also publishes Beyond the Numbers articles. These reports include analyses of expenditure data as they apply to various topics of interest, as well as methodological and research articles pertaining to a number of survey topics. As of July 2016, the most recent of these reports are Using gasoline data to explain inelasticity (http://www.bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-5/using-gasoline-data-to-explain-inelasticity.htm) , and A closer look at spending patterns of older Americans (http://www.bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-5/spending-patterns-of-older-americans.htm). Additional data also are presented in articles in the Monthly Labor Review. These reports can be found at http://www.bls.gov/cex/home.htm#publications. For more detailed information on the availability of current and earlier data, contact the Division of Consumer Expenditure Surveys, Office of Prices and Living Conditions, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE., Washington, DC 20212-0001; call (202) 691-6900; Email: cexinfo@bls.gov, or visit us online at http://www.bls.gov/cex. Information in this publication is in the public domain and, with appropriate credit, may be reproduced without permission. Upon request, the information in this report will be made available to individuals who are sensory-impaired individuals. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200. Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.