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April 2018 Report 1073

Consumer Expenditures in 2016

Consumer Expenditures in 2016 image

This Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) annual report presents integrated data from the 2016 Diary and Interview portions of the CE, including data tables. The tables show average expenditures, income, and characteristics for consumer units (CUs) classified by income before taxes by quintile, decile, and range; age of the reference person; size of the consumer unit; composition of the consumer unit; number of earners; housing tenure (homeowner or renter) and type of area (urban or rural); region of residence; occupation; highest education level of any consumer unit member; race; Hispanic or Latino origin; and the newest table, generation of reference person. This report highlights spending patterns for 2016 from the CE, including a brief discussion of expenditure changes for the year, and provides a description of the CE survey.

Consumer spending increased 2.4 percent in 2016, according to annual data from the CE. This follows an increase of 4.6 percent in 2015, previously recorded by the CE. The average annual expenditures by CUs increased from $55,978 in 2015 to $57,311 in 2016.1 Accompanying the 2016 increase in expenditures was an increase of 7.2 percent in average income before taxes from 2015 ($69,627) to 2016 ($74,664). 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 1.3 percent in 2016, compared with the 2.4-percent increase in spending.2 In 2015, prices as measured by the CPI-U increased by 0.1 percent, compared with the 4.6-percent increase in spending.

Developments in 2016

During 2016, spending increased for 7 of the 9 largest aggregated categories of expenditures tracked by CE: food, housing, healthcare, entertainment, education, cash contributions, and personal insurance and pensions. (See table A.) The majority of these increases were modest. Expenditures on food, housing, entertainment, and education rose only slightly, up between 1.1 and 2.6 percent. However, expenditures on healthcare and personal insurance and pensions rose more noticeably, with healthcare up 6.2 percent and personal insurance and pensions up 7.6 percent. The most notable increase was in expenditures on cash contributions, which rose 14.4 percent, following a 2.5-percent decline in 2014 and a 1.7-percent increase in 2015. In contrast, expenditures on apparel and services and on transportation declined in 2016, by 2.3 and 4.8 percent, respectively.

In related economic developments, according to the Current Population Survey, the monthly unemployment rate fell from 4.9 percent in January 2016 to 4.7 percent in December 2016, with an average monthly rate of 4.9 percent.3 This compares with average monthly unemployment rates of 6.2 percent in 2014 and 5.3 percent in 2015. Despite these declines, the unemployment rate still remained above the 4.6-percent rates seen in 2006 and 2007, before the recession. Although the number of long-term unemployed individuals (those without a job for 27 weeks or more) declined from 2.3 million in 2015 to 2.0 million in 2016, it was still higher than before the recession (1.2 million in 2007).4

Table A. Average annual expenditures by major category of all consumer units and percent changes, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2013–16
Item2013201420152016Percent change
2013–142014–152015–16

Number of consumer units (in thousands)

125,670127,006128,437129,549

Consumer unit characteristics:

Income before taxes

$63,784$66,877$69,627$74,6644.84.17.2

Age of reference person

50.150.350.550.9

Average number in consumer unit:

People

2.52.52.52.5

Children under 18

.6.6.6.6

Adults 65 and older

.3.4.4.4

Earners

1.31.31.31.3

Vehicles

1.91.91.91.9

Percent homeowner

64636262

Average annual expenditures

$51,100$53,495$55,978$57,3114.74.62.4

Food

6,6026,7597,0237,2032.43.92.6

Food at home

3,9773,9714,0154,049-.21.1.8

Cereals and bakery products

544519518524-4.6-.21.2

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

8568928968904.2.4-.7

Dairy products

4144234134102.2-2.4-.7

Fruits and vegetables

751756769783.71.71.8

Other food at home

1,4121,3821,4191,442-2.12.71.6

Food away from home

2,6252,7873,0083,1546.27.94.9

Alcoholic beverages

4454635154844.011.2-6.0

Housing

17,14817,79818,40918,8863.83.42.6

Shelter

10,08010,49110,74211,1284.12.43.6

Owned dwellings

6,1086,1496,2106,295.71.01.4

Rented dwellings

3,3243,6313,8024,0359.24.76.1

Other lodging

6497107307989.42.89.3

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,7373,9213,8853,8844.9-.9.0

Household operations

1,1441,1741,3091,3842.611.55.7

Housekeeping supplies

645632655660-2.03.6.8

Household furnishings and equipment

1,5421,5811,8181,8292.515.0.6

Apparel and services

1,6041,7861,8461,80311.33.4-2.3

Transportation

9,0049,0739,5039,049.84.7-4.8

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,2713,3013,9973,634.921.1-9.1

Gasoline and motor oil

2,6112,4682,0901,909-5.5-15.3-8.7

Other vehicle expenses

2,5842,7232,7562,8845.41.24.6

Public and other transportation

5375816616238.213.8-5.7

Healthcare

3,6314,2904,3424,61218.11.26.2

Entertainment

2,4822,7282,8422,9139.94.22.5

Personal care products and services

6086456837076.15.93.5

Reading

1021031141181.010.73.5

Education

1,1381,2361,3151,3298.66.41.1

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

330319349337-3.39.4-3.4

Miscellaneous

64578287195921.211.410.1

Cash contributions

1,8341,7881,8192,081-2.51.714.4

Personal insurance and pensions

5,5285,7266,3496,8313.610.97.6

Life and other personal insurance

3193273333222.51.8-3.3

Pensions and Social Security

5,2095,3996,0166,5093.611.48.2

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Expenditure shares

Table B details expenditure shares, or the percent distribution of total annual expenditures by major expenditure categories, for all CUs from 2013 to 2016. Expenditure shares usually do not fluctuate much in the short term and therefore are more useful for identifying spending trends over time. As in previous years, housing was the largest component of overall expenditures, accounting for 33.0 percent of total expenditures in 2016. Housing expenditures were followed by transportation (15.8 percent) and food expenditures (12.6 percent).

The most notable changes in expenditure shares between 2015 and 2016 were in personal insurance and pensions, and the transportation subcategories of vehicle purchases and gasoline and motor oil. Personal insurance and pensions rose from 11.3 percent to 11.9 percent of average annual expenditures. The share for total transportation declined from 17.0 percent to 15.8 percent. Within that category, vehicle purchases declined from 7.1 percent to 6.3 percent, comparable to 2013 and 2014 levels of 6.4 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively. Gasoline and motor oil expenditure shares continued their multiyear decline, from 3.7 percent in 2015 to 3.3 percent in 2016. Expenditure shares on gasoline and motor oil in 2013 and 2014 were 5.1 and 4.6 percent, respectively. As previously mentioned, cash contribution shares increased, up from 3.2 percent to 3.6 percent of total expenditures; all other shares for major categories remained within 0.2 percentage points of their 2015 levels.

Table B. Percent distribution of total annual expenditures by major category for all consumer units, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2013–16
Spending category2013201420152016

Average annual expenditures

100.0100.0100.0100.0

Food

12.912.612.512.6

Food at home

7.87.47.27.1

Food away from home

5.15.25.45.5

Alcoholic beverages

.9.9.9.8

Housing

33.633.332.933.0

Shelter

19.719.619.219.4

Utilities, fuels, and public services

7.37.36.96.8

Household operations

2.22.22.32.4

Housekeeping supplies

1.31.21.21.2

Household furnishings and equipment

3.03.03.23.2

Apparel and services

3.13.33.33.1

Transportation

17.617.017.015.8

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

6.46.27.16.3

Gasoline and motor oil

5.14.63.73.3

Other vehicle expenses

5.15.14.95.0

Public and other transportation

1.11.11.21.1

Healthcare

7.18.07.88.0

Entertainment

4.95.15.15.1

Personal care products and services

1.21.21.21.2

Reading

.2.2.2.2

Education

2.22.32.32.3

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

.6.6.6.6

Miscellaneous

1.31.51.61.7

Cash contributions

3.63.33.23.6

Personal insurance and pensions

10.810.711.311.9

Life and other personal insurance

.6.6.6.6

Pensions and Social Security

10.210.110.711.4

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Expenditures on housing

Average expenditures on mortgage interest and charges for homeowners with a mortgage decreased only slightly to $7,934 in 2016 from $7,939 in 2015. By comparison, homeowners with a mortgage spent $8,779 on this component in 2007. This expenditure decline reflects the continuing trend of lower interest rates seen after the start of the 2007–09 recession.5

In addition, the 2007–09 recession led to an overall trend of fewer CUs owning homes. Despite the economic recovery, which began in 2009, homeownership rates have not climbed back to prerecession levels. From 2000 to 2010, homeownership rates stayed between 66 percent and 68 percent, but in the current decade, the rate has fallen steadily to 62 percent. (See chart 1.)

According to the CPI-U, rents for primary residences have increased 26.5 percent between 2007 and 2016. Over the same period, the average annual rental payments reported in the CE increased 36.5 percent ($10,557 in 2016, compared with $7,732 in 2007), reflecting the increase in demand for rental units; also over this period, the share of consumer units who rent rose from 33 to 38 percent.

Expenditures on gasoline

Average expenditures on gasoline decreased in 2016. CUs spent 8.7 percent less in 2016 ($1,748) than they did in 2015 ($1,915), reflecting continuing low oil prices throughout 2016. Chart 2 shows the percent change in expenditures on gasoline and the price of gasoline between 2007 and 2016. For most years, the change in consumer spending on gasoline is similar to the change in gasoline prices. In 2016, the percentage decline in spending on gasoline was smaller (8.7 percent) than the drop in the CPI index for gasoline (11.3 percent) for the second year in a row. However, the difference of 11.1 percentage points in 2015 was more pronounced.

Gasoline expenditures decreased in every income quintile in 2016. The highest quintile had the largest percentage decrease in expenditures from 2015 to 2016—a decline of 10.3 percent—from $2,887 to $2,589. The middle three quintiles all reported similar declines, ranging from a 7.7-percent decline to a 9.6-percent decline. The lowest quintile reported a 4.2-percent decline in gasoline expenditures.

Expenditures by income quintile

Spending increased across all five income quintiles in 2016. This continued the trend from 2015, which also saw increases in all five income quintiles. (See chart 3.) The top quintile increased spending by 1.6 percent, the smallest increase in percentage terms. The second quintile increased spending by 4.9 percent, and the other three quintiles increased spending between 1.9 and 3.8 percent. Table C shows more details on spending by income quintile.

All income quintiles spent more on food away from home, housing, healthcare, and personal insurance and pensions in 2016 than those in 2015. (See table C.) Among these categories, spending on healthcare and personal insurance and pensions rose most significantly, with increases averaging 6.7 percent among the quintiles. Transportation expenditures rose 5.9 percent and 1.2 percent for the lowest and second quintiles, but declined for the highest three quintiles. Food at home, apparel and services, cash contributions, and entertainment expenditures rose for three of the five quintiles.

For the lowest quintile, the increase in total expenditures (2.7 percent) is just over half the increase in income (4.3 percent). In contrast, for the second and third quintiles, the increase in total expenditures is twice that of income. While the fourth and fifth income quintiles experienced larger increases in income than expenditures, the highest quintile had both the largest percentage increase in income (11.7 percent) and the smallest percentage increase in total expenditures (1.6 percent) of any group.

Table C. Dollar change and percent change in average annual expenditures on major categories by income quintile, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2015–16
ItemLowestSecondThirdFourthHighest
DollarPercentDollarPercentDollarPercentDollarPercentDollarPercent

Income before taxes

4734.36332.29571.933604.22082311.7

Average annual expenditure change

Total

6682.717074.917523.812391.917131.6

Food

952.5-44-0.94257.32713.31631.3

Food at home

30.1-159-4.92527.31934.2-117-1.8

Food away from home

927.21156.61737.3782.22804.6

Housing

3773.87205.65063.22791.46261.9

Apparel and services

8410.9252.221616.6-25-1.3-514-12.8

Transportation

2085.9691.2-356-4.0-399-3.5-1720-9.6

Healthcare

22611.71053.13017.61152.26298.9

Entertainment

-124-9.7452.61255.635811.7-31-0.5

Cash contributions

-154-21.637735.8-34-2.510.0114428.0

Personal insurance and pensions

538.9261.52476.25957.816039.1

All other expenditures

-97-4.938417.532112.0451.2-187-2.2

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Expenditures on food

Food expenditures increased for all but the second quintile in 2016. This is similar to 2015, when expenditures increased for all but the third quintile. The third quintile registered the largest percentage increase in food expenditures, an increase of 7.3 percent, from $5,799 in 2015 to $6,224 in 2016. Both food-at-home spending and food-away-from-home expenditures increased by 7.3 percent. Although expenditures on food away from home for all quintiles increased, with percentage increases ranging from 2.2 to 7.3 percent, no clear pattern emerged for expenditures on food at home. The lowest, third, and fourth quintiles increased expenditures by 0.1 percent to 7.3 percent, and the second and highest quintiles decreased expenditures by 4.9 and 1.8 percent, respectively.

Notes

1 A consumer unit consists of either: (1) all members of a particular household who are related by blood, marriage, adoption, or other legal arrangements; (2) a person living alone or sharing a household with others or living as a roomer in a private home or lodging house or in permanent living quarters in a hotel or motel, but who is financially independent; or (3) two or more persons living together who use their income to make joint expenditure decisions.

2 Data output for “all items in U.S. city average, all urban consumers, not seasonally adjusted” from the Consumer Price Index – All Urban Consumers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics), https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/CUUR0000SA0.

3 Data output for “unemployment level” from Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics), https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS13000000.

4 Data output for “number unemployed for 27 weeks & over” from Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics), https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS13008636.

5 “Business Cycle Dating Committee, National Bureau of Economic Research” (National Bureau of Economic Research, September 2010), http://www.nber.org/cycles/sept2010.html.

Statistical Tables

Table 1. Quintiles of income before taxes: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2016
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)

129,549 25,884 26,019 25,905 25,900 25,842

Lower limit

(1) (1) $19,868 $38,163 $64,418 $108,040

Consumer unit characteristics:

Income before taxes

$74,664 $11,389 $28,976 $50,563 $84,173 $198,674

Age of reference person

50.9 54.3 54.2 49.7 47.8 48.7

Average number in consumer unit:

People

2.5 1.6 2.2 2.5 2.9 3.1

Children under 18

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

Adults 65 and older

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

Earners

1.3 .5 .8 1.4 1.8 2.0

Vehicles

1.9 .9 1.5 1.9 2.4 2.7

Percent homeowner

62 40 54 60 73 85

Average annual expenditures

$57,311 $25,138 $36,770 $47,664 $64,910 $112,221

Food

7,203 3,862 4,978 6,224 8,436 12,513

Food at home

4,049 2,502 3,112 3,697 4,738 6,193

Cereals and bakery products

524 314 413 513 608 772

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

890 607 710 791 1,021 1,320

Dairy products

410 246 316 384 472 630

Fruits and vegetables

783 442 591 702 914 1,266

Other food at home

1,442 892 1,082 1,308 1,723 2,205

Food away from home

3,154 1,360 1,866 2,527 3,698 6,320

Alcoholic beverages

484 158 261 350 569 1,082

Housing

18,886 10,267 13,552 16,315 20,687 33,653

Shelter

11,128 6,331 7,883 9,342 12,136 19,981

Owned dwellings

6,295 1,883 3,175 4,546 7,532 14,372

Rented dwellings

4,035 4,279 4,362 4,417 3,868 3,244

Other lodging

798 169 345 379 736 2,366

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,884 2,321 3,218 3,818 4,451 5,618

Household operations

1,384 584 815 996 1,419 3,112

Housekeeping supplies

660 376 517 623 684 1,102

Household furnishings and equipment

1,829 655 1,119 1,537 1,998 3,840

Apparel and services

1,803 860 1,164 1,519 1,959 3,511

Transportation

9,049 3,767 5,992 8,464 10,931 16,114

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,634 1,332 2,492 3,542 4,383 6,432

Gasoline and motor oil

1,909 902 1,408 1,909 2,435 2,895

Other vehicle expenses

2,884 1,308 1,811 2,628 3,550 5,127

Public and other transportation

623 225 281 386 564 1,661

Healthcare

4,612 2,156 3,528 4,266 5,442 7,677

Entertainment

2,913 1,146 1,783 2,344 3,409 5,888

Personal care products and services

707 333 490 569 777 1,364

Reading

118 64 86 96 115 229

Education

1,329 681 759 618 988 3,605

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

337 305 335 362 383 302

Miscellaneous

959 336 646 1,008 1,062 1,748

Cash contributions

2,081 558 1,431 1,301 1,891 5,233

Personal insurance and pensions

6,831 645 1,766 4,227 8,262 19,302

Life and other personal insurance

322 88 180 238 319 785

Pensions and Social Security

6,509 556 1,586 3,989 7,942 18,517
Footnotes:

(1) Not applicable.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Table 2. Deciles of income before taxes: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2016
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)

129,549 12,880 13,004 12,979 13,040 12,949 12,956 12,926 12,973 12,881 12,960

Lower limit

(1) (1) $12,119 $19,868 $28,707 $38,163 $49,958 $64,418 $82,996 $108,039 $153,580

Consumer unit characteristics:

Income before taxes

$74,664 $6,502 $16,229 $24,432 $33,499 $43,931 $57,192 $73,568 $94,739 $127,268 $269,644

Age of reference person

50.9 49.1 59.4 54.5 53.8 50.6 48.8 48.1 47.4 48.2 49.3

Average number in consumer unit:

People

2.5 1.6 1.6 2.1 2.3 2.5 2.5 2.8 2.9 3.1 3.1

Children under 18

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

Adults 65 and older

.4 .3 .5 .5 .6 .4 .3 .3 .2 .2 .2

Earners

1.3 .5 .5 .8 .9 1.3 1.5 1.7 1.9 2.0 2.1

Vehicles

1.9 .8 1.0 1.3 1.6 1.8 2.0 2.2 2.5 2.7 2.8

Percent homeowner

62 33 46 51 58 57 63 68 77 82 88

Average annual expenditures

$57,311 $23,588 $26,675 $34,221 $39,308 $43,975 $51,351 $59,395 $70,411 $87,432 $136,873

Food

7,203 3,789 3,933 4,739 5,217 5,891 6,557 7,502 9,370 10,328 14,692

Food at home

4,049 2,407 2,596 3,089 3,136 3,526 3,868 4,257 5,219 5,509 6,876

Cereals and bakery products

524 302 327 401 426 499 528 543 674 702 843

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

890 614 601 708 712 739 842 917 1,125 1,170 1,470

Dairy products

410 228 265 316 317 371 396 437 507 568 693

Fruits and vegetables

783 429 454 604 578 675 729 840 988 1,107 1,424

Other food at home

1,442 834 950 1,061 1,103 1,243 1,372 1,520 1,926 1,962 2,447

Food away from home

3,154 1,382 1,337 1,650 2,082 2,364 2,689 3,245 4,151 4,819 7,815

Alcoholic beverages

484 143 173 230 291 312 388 514 624 785 1,378

Housing

18,886 9,567 10,961 12,829 14,271 15,511 17,119 19,285 22,085 26,719 40,547

Shelter

11,128 5,873 6,785 7,569 8,195 8,966 9,718 11,369 12,899 15,341 24,593

Owned dwellings

6,295 1,621 2,143 2,687 3,661 4,025 5,066 6,566 8,493 10,795 17,926

Rented dwellings

4,035 4,092 4,464 4,526 4,199 4,635 4,200 4,156 3,581 3,287 3,200

Other lodging

798 161 178 356 335 306 451 647 825 1,258 3,467

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,884 2,121 2,519 2,994 3,442 3,665 3,971 4,208 4,693 5,136 6,097

Household operations

1,384 547 621 785 845 923 1,068 1,263 1,574 2,256 3,962

Housekeeping supplies

660 388 365 466 568 582 663 648 720 996 1,208

Household furnishings and equipment

1,829 638 672 1,015 1,222 1,374 1,700 1,798 2,198 2,990 4,686

Apparel and services

1,803 876 845 1,094 1,233 1,381 1,657 1,869 2,050 2,526 4,493

Transportation

9,049 3,379 4,153 5,371 6,610 7,638 9,290 10,136 11,722 14,495 17,724

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,634 1,139 1,523 2,147 2,835 3,124 3,959 3,900 4,864 6,064 6,797

Gasoline and motor oil

1,909 835 969 1,282 1,534 1,815 2,003 2,279 2,590 2,858 2,931

Other vehicle expenses

2,884 1,203 1,413 1,695 1,927 2,374 2,881 3,460 3,638 4,629 5,621

Public and other transportation

623 202 249 248 314 324 447 497 630 944 2,374

Healthcare

4,612 1,742 2,565 3,136 3,918 4,144 4,388 5,160 5,722 6,772 8,577

Entertainment

2,913 1,036 1,256 1,663 1,902 2,042 2,646 2,916 3,902 4,604 7,165

Personal care products and services

707 317 350 453 527 534 605 734 820 1,085 1,643

Reading

118 65 63 79 92 98 95 124 105 157 300

Education

1,329 928 437 1,004 514 478 757 913 1,064 2,097 5,104

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

337 290 319 311 359 360 363 404 361 386 219

Miscellaneous

959 355 316 573 719 1,016 999 1,082 1,042 1,462 2,031

Cash contributions

2,081 456 658 1,328 1,533 1,281 1,322 1,697 2,083 2,739 7,711

Personal insurance and pensions

6,831 644 645 1,411 2,120 3,290 5,164 7,058 9,461 13,278 25,290

Life and other personal insurance

322 76 101 150 211 216 261 277 361 554 1,014

Pensions and Social Security

6,509 568 544 1,261 1,910 3,074 4,903 6,781 9,099 12,723 24,276
Footnotes:

(1) Not applicable.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Table 3. Income before taxes: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2016
Item All consumer units Less than $15,000 $15,000 to $29,999 $30,000 to $39,999 $40,000 to $49,999 $50,000 to $69,999 $70,000 to $99,999 $100,000 to $149,999 $150,000 to $199,999 $200,000 and more

Number of consumer units (in thousands)

129,549 17,368 22,935 13,332 11,116 16,846 18,201 16,131 6,338 7,284

Consumer unit characteristics:

Income before taxes

$74,664 $8,383 $22,167 $34,703 $44,589 $59,369 $83,595 $120,512 $170,704 $345,002

Age of reference person

50.9 51.9 56.4 53.7 49.9 48.7 47.9 47.7 49.0 49.6

Average number in consumer unit:

People

2.5 1.6 1.9 2.3 2.5 2.6 2.9 3.1 3.1 3.2

Children under 18

.6 .3 .4 .5 .6 .6 .7 .8 .8 .9

Adults 65 and older

.4 .4 .5 .6 .4 .3 .3 .2 .2 .2

Earners

1.3 .4 .7 1.0 1.3 1.5 1.8 2.0 2.1 2.1

Vehicles

1.9 .9 1.3 1.7 1.8 2.0 2.4 2.7 2.7 2.8

Percent homeowner

62 36 50 59 56 64 72 81 85 91

Average annual expenditures

$57,311 $23,657 $31,913 $40,144 $44,150 $52,088 $65,086 $84,154 $109,516 $158,896

Food

7,203 3,768 4,437 5,221 6,028 6,739 8,436 10,351 13,550 16,054

Food at home

4,049 2,450 2,904 3,064 3,656 3,893 4,772 5,554 6,718 7,135

Cereals and bakery products

524 304 374 416 521 524 611 700 828 892

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

890 617 667 690 773 840 1,012 1,190 1,465 1,531

Dairy products

410 234 298 312 384 393 480 565 728 666

Fruits and vegetables

783 429 549 570 704 738 919 1,120 1,345 1,504

Other food at home

1,442 866 1,017 1,076 1,274 1,398 1,750 1,979 2,352 2,540

Food away from home

3,154 1,318 1,533 2,157 2,371 2,847 3,664 4,797 6,832 8,919

Alcoholic beverages

484 133 215 280 320 420 596 734 1,169 1,659

Housing

18,886 9,698 12,268 14,533 15,575 17,331 20,564 26,003 33,319 46,076

Shelter

11,128 5,992 7,343 8,326 9,033 9,979 11,959 14,962 19,942 28,041

Owned dwellings

6,295 1,736 2,524 3,799 4,003 5,336 7,284 10,422 14,290 20,762

Rented dwellings

4,035 4,112 4,516 4,162 4,759 4,150 3,973 3,365 3,562 2,780

Other lodging

798 144 302 364 272 494 702 1,175 2,090 4,498

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,884 2,178 2,868 3,526 3,629 4,013 4,459 5,019 5,506 6,534

Household operations

1,384 546 742 851 914 1,090 1,397 2,116 2,870 4,840

Housekeeping supplies

660 372 426 573 597 620 710 979 1,229 1,177

Household furnishings and equipment

1,829 611 889 1,258 1,402 1,628 2,039 2,927 3,772 5,484

Apparel and services

1,803 855 968 1,313 1,414 1,622 2,010 2,456 3,691 5,290

Transportation

9,049 3,511 4,949 6,850 7,744 9,173 11,120 13,658 16,455 19,029

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,634 1,257 1,883 3,032 3,100 3,710 4,458 5,763 6,244 7,510

Gasoline and motor oil

1,909 848 1,178 1,587 1,822 2,069 2,451 2,782 2,924 2,920

Other vehicle expenses

2,884 1,201 1,629 1,925 2,484 2,941 3,631 4,264 5,732 5,611

Public and other transportation

623 206 259 306 337 452 581 848 1,555 2,987

Healthcare

4,612 1,850 3,049 4,128 3,931 4,498 5,469 6,560 7,769 9,137

Entertainment

2,913 1,045 1,526 1,989 1,978 2,756 3,451 4,350 5,874 8,262

Personal care products and services

707 314 407 554 533 613 789 1,058 1,443 1,813

Reading

118 61 73 94 105 100 114 147 251 349

Education

1,329 751 789 519 484 739 1,012 1,841 3,015 6,743

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

337 297 313 356 371 368 390 376 254 204

Miscellaneous

959 317 482 798 1,016 994 1,067 1,420 1,580 2,301

Cash contributions

2,081 444 1,275 1,289 1,251 1,428 1,801 2,658 3,537 10,901

Personal insurance and pensions

6,831 614 1,161 2,222 3,400 5,307 8,270 12,543 17,609 31,079

Life and other personal insurance

322 86 128 225 209 260 319 511 713 1,235

Pensions and Social Security

6,509 527 1,034 1,997 3,191 5,047 7,951 12,031 16,896 29,844

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Table 4. Age of reference person: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2016
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)

129,549 7,306 20,872 21,458 24,054 24,641 31,217 18,201 13,016

Consumer unit characteristics:

Income before taxes

$74,664 $58,141 $66,470 $92,576 $99,423 $80,474 $48,035 $57,229 $35,178

Age of reference person

50.9 21.4 29.6 39.5 49.5 59.4 74.3 68.9 81.8

Average number in consumer unit:

People

2.5 2.0 2.7 3.4 2.8 2.2 1.7 1.8 1.6

Children under 18

.6 .4 1.0 1.4 .7 .2 .1 .1 (1)

Adults 65 and older

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

Earners

1.3 1.4 1.5 1.7 1.8 1.4 .5 .7 .3

Vehicles

1.9 1.2 1.6 1.9 2.3 2.2 1.7 1.9 1.3

Percent homeowner

62 17 37 57 69 76 77 79 76

Average annual expenditures

$57,311 $34,438 $52,838 $66,444 $71,166 $61,346 $45,756 $50,873 $38,691

Food

7,203 4,551 6,914 8,700 8,790 7,273 5,804 6,600 4,729

Food at home

4,049 2,301 3,749 4,725 4,811 4,190 3,571 3,984 3,017

Cereals and bakery products

524 289 491 631 612 522 473 526 403

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

890 518 811 1,021 1,076 938 776 886 628

Dairy products

410 207 401 487 473 424 359 389 318

Fruits and vegetables

783 429 730 950 910 784 703 768 617

Other food at home

1,442 858 1,317 1,636 1,741 1,523 1,260 1,415 1,051

Food away from home

3,154 2,250 3,165 3,975 3,979 3,083 2,232 2,616 1,712

Alcoholic beverages

484 230 539 538 563 541 370 412 315

Housing

18,886 11,391 18,587 22,908 22,034 18,647 15,886 16,858 14,542

Shelter

11,128 7,513 11,617 13,699 12,996 10,648 8,819 9,138 8,373

Owned dwellings

6,295 1,242 4,276 7,976 8,307 7,188 5,419 6,198 4,328

Rented dwellings

4,035 5,881 6,960 5,026 3,567 2,441 2,583 1,921 3,510

Other lodging

798 390 381 697 1,122 1,019 817 1,019 536

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,884 2,054 3,305 4,319 4,620 4,246 3,548 3,785 3,218

Household operations

1,384 513 1,539 2,206 1,227 1,082 1,279 1,238 1,337

Housekeeping supplies

660 239 543 667 791 736 697 794 567

Household furnishings and equipment

1,829 1,072 1,584 2,018 2,402 1,934 1,542 1,904 1,046

Apparel and services

1,803 1,216 1,942 2,508 2,332 1,661 1,070 1,265 807

Transportation

9,049 6,042 9,124 10,352 10,992 9,727 6,814 8,420 4,583

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,634 2,852 4,029 4,129 4,169 3,858 2,623 3,340 1,621

Gasoline and motor oil

1,909 1,380 1,906 2,379 2,386 2,010 1,264 1,532 889

Other vehicle expenses

2,884 1,499 2,641 3,078 3,658 3,199 2,432 2,944 1,730

Public and other transportation

623 311 549 766 779 660 495 604 343

Healthcare

4,612 1,162 2,887 4,076 4,931 5,513 5,994 6,014 5,967

Entertainment

2,913 1,454 2,564 3,509 3,654 3,114 2,365 2,850 1,697

Personal care products and services

707 387 603 807 873 741 634 700 544

Reading

118 43 69 94 136 121 173 172 175

Education

1,329 3,106 1,197 1,286 2,456 1,090 350 503 138

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

337 308 305 370 441 420 198 247 130

Miscellaneous

959 311 586 1,052 1,403 1,127 827 894 734

Cash contributions

2,081 820 1,070 1,596 2,369 3,010 2,429 2,082 2,915

Personal insurance and pensions

6,831 3,417 6,450 8,647 10,191 8,360 2,840 3,858 1,416

Life and other personal insurance

322 39 151 297 393 478 342 384 282

Pensions and Social Security

6,509 3,378 6,299 8,350 9,798 7,882 2,498 3,473 1,135
Footnotes:

(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, 2016
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)

129,549 38,458 91,092 42,848 19,122 16,789 12,332

Consumer unit characteristics:

Income before taxes

$74,664 $36,171 $90,916 $78,396 $94,056 $117,727 $93,046

Age of reference person

50.9 54.9 49.2 55.1 46.1 43.0 42.2

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

Earners

1.3 .6 1.6 1.2 1.8 2.0 2.2

Vehicles

1.9 1.1 2.2 2.1 2.2 2.4 2.4

Percent homeowner

62 47 69 72 65 69 62

Average annual expenditures

$57,311 $35,199 $66,526 $60,787 $66,974 $77,775 $70,867

Food

7,203 3,829 8,562 7,409 8,516 10,191 10,646

Food at home

4,049 2,049 4,852 4,077 4,921 5,685 6,436

Cereals and bakery products

524 256 632 503 627 794 893

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

890 432 1,074 902 1,074 1,229 1,489

Dairy products

410 214 488 401 499 583 661

Fruits and vegetables

783 385 942 791 985 1,096 1,215

Other food at home

1,442 762 1,715 1,480 1,736 1,981 2,178

Food away from home

3,154 1,780 3,710 3,332 3,595 4,506 4,210

Alcoholic beverages

484 358 535 608 510 483 381

Housing

18,886 13,125 21,304 19,186 21,599 25,027 23,187

Shelter

11,128 8,478 12,247 11,124 12,512 14,313 12,922

Owned dwellings

6,295 3,305 7,558 6,805 7,573 9,379 7,673

Rented dwellings

4,035 4,772 3,724 3,206 4,116 3,945 4,612

Other lodging

798 402 965 1,114 823 989 637

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,884 2,407 4,508 4,012 4,590 5,102 5,291

Household operations

1,384 834 1,616 1,153 1,879 2,272 1,924

Housekeeping supplies

660 396 767 733 719 858 850

Household furnishings and equipment

1,829 1,009 2,168 2,164 1,898 2,483 2,200

Apparel and services

1,803 1,019 2,120 1,630 2,122 2,843 2,905

Transportation

9,049 4,746 10,856 10,098 10,772 12,165 11,856

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,634 1,625 4,482 4,256 4,504 4,827 4,765

Gasoline and motor oil

1,909 1,007 2,290 1,928 2,304 2,708 2,955

Other vehicle expenses

2,884 1,728 3,361 3,192 3,327 3,711 3,542

Public and other transportation

623 386 723 722 637 919 593

Healthcare

4,612 2,852 5,353 5,761 5,207 5,255 4,296

Entertainment

2,913 1,696 3,418 3,288 3,133 4,041 3,516

Personal care products and services

707 434 819 788 810 865 882

Reading

118 105 123 140 89 116 128

Education

1,329 758 1,569 1,238 1,872 2,126 1,492

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

337 243 377 336 460 374 391

Miscellaneous

959 709 1,064 1,015 1,009 1,393 870

Cash contributions

2,081 2,260 2,005 2,205 1,846 1,794 1,846

Personal insurance and pensions

6,831 3,065 8,421 7,084 9,030 11,101 8,471

Life and other personal insurance

322 140 399 389 386 402 446

Pensions and Social Security

6,509 2,925 8,022 6,695 8,644 10,699 8,025
Footnotes:

(1) Not applicable.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Table 6. Composition of consumer unit: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2016
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)

129,549 62,939 27,987 30,006 5,567 15,033 9,406 4,946 6,622 59,988

Consumer unit characteristics:

Income before taxes

$74,664 $101,708 $87,440 $114,375 $104,863 $118,994 $112,623 $105,591 $41,780 $49,921

Age of reference person

50.9 51.2 59.2 43.9 33.4 41.7 53.6 50.5 38.7 52.0

Average number in consumer unit:

People

2.5 3.2 2.0 3.9 3.5 4.2 3.9 4.9 2.9 1.7

Children under 18

.6 .8 (1) 1.5 1.5 2.2 .6 1.4 1.7 .2

Adults 65 and older

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

Earners

1.3 1.6 1.2 2.0 1.7 1.8 2.5 2.3 1.0 1.0

Vehicles

1.9 2.5 2.4 2.5 2.0 2.4 3.0 2.8 1.2 1.3

Percent homeowner

62 79 84 75 66 73 82 73 34 48

Average annual expenditures

$57,311 $74,275 $67,224 $81,507 $74,379 $85,317 $79,634 $70,426 $42,211 $40,966

Food

7,203 9,437 8,147 10,607 8,996 11,043 10,860 9,750 5,841 4,894

Food at home

4,049 5,316 4,530 5,952 5,213 6,180 6,024 5,997 3,532 2,704

Cereals and bakery products

524 693 557 799 656 865 779 833 481 342

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

890 1,160 996 1,272 1,108 1,283 1,350 1,436 790 602

Dairy products

410 540 443 624 624 641 597 585 353 272

Fruits and vegetables

783 1,048 896 1,176 1,089 1,188 1,208 1,153 643 504

Other food at home

1,442 1,875 1,638 2,081 1,735 2,202 2,091 1,989 1,266 983

Food away from home

3,154 4,121 3,618 4,655 3,783 4,863 4,835 3,753 2,309 2,190

Alcoholic beverages

484 583 642 541 557 568 491 493 200 408

Housing

18,886 23,365 20,662 25,988 27,517 27,470 22,712 22,733 15,775 14,500

Shelter

11,128 13,265 11,643 14,906 15,286 16,164 12,670 12,495 9,201 9,098

Owned dwellings

6,295 9,226 8,236 10,378 9,966 11,172 9,354 7,844 3,185 3,564

Rented dwellings

4,035 2,810 1,968 3,430 4,718 3,697 2,242 3,812 5,812 5,123

Other lodging

798 1,229 1,439 1,097 602 1,295 1,074 839 205 411

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,884 4,817 4,325 5,141 4,009 5,205 5,710 5,628 3,480 2,950

Household operations

1,384 1,893 1,262 2,546 5,244 2,456 1,092 1,500 1,357 852

Housekeeping supplies

660 864 853 870 754 893 902 886 463 458

Household furnishings and equipment

1,829 2,526 2,578 2,524 2,224 2,751 2,338 2,224 1,274 1,142

Apparel and services

1,803 2,297 1,639 2,923 2,810 3,252 2,465 2,260 1,914 1,248

Transportation

9,049 11,940 11,159 12,757 10,695 13,000 13,586 11,428 6,825 6,247

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,634 4,882 4,774 5,174 4,226 5,277 5,572 3,714 3,066 2,388

Gasoline and motor oil

1,909 2,489 2,083 2,797 2,268 2,869 2,995 2,922 1,582 1,336

Other vehicle expenses

2,884 3,704 3,439 3,884 3,501 3,859 4,148 4,129 1,877 2,120

Public and other transportation

623 866 863 902 700 995 871 663 299 404

Healthcare

4,612 6,369 7,062 5,782 5,086 5,696 6,333 5,998 2,218 3,029

Entertainment

2,913 3,829 3,620 4,143 3,241 4,999 3,315 3,101 2,002 2,037

Personal care products and services

707 904 860 958 686 1,023 1,013 832 615 504

Reading

118 147 174 123 119 114 140 134 41 95

Education

1,329 1,838 1,319 2,398 1,032 2,654 2,799 1,370 990 831

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

337 335 297 333 232 292 459 567 311 342

Miscellaneous

959 1,176 1,038 1,277 1,000 1,279 1,436 1,352 788 750

Cash contributions

2,081 2,351 2,756 2,052 1,555 2,167 2,164 1,875 1,233 1,891

Personal insurance and pensions

6,831 9,702 7,848 11,624 10,853 11,762 11,861 8,534 3,460 4,190

Life and other personal insurance

322 500 502 501 280 537 574 489 189 150

Pensions and Social Security

6,509 9,202 7,346 11,123 10,572 11,225 11,287 8,045 3,271 4,041
Footnotes:

(1) No data reported.

(2) 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, 2016
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)

129,549 16,870 21,587 12,539 25,557 41,706 11,289

Consumer unit characteristics:

Income before taxes

$74,664 $19,447 $49,241 $33,392 $68,444 $109,159 $138,283

Age of reference person

50.9 68.5 44.3 66.6 49.1 44.4 48.1

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 1.0 .9 1.0

Adults 65 and older

.4 .7 .1 1.3 .4 .1 .2

Earners

1.3 (1) 1.0 (1) 1.0 2.0 3.3

Vehicles

1.9 .9 1.2 1.9 1.9 2.3 3.0

Percent homeowner

62 55 42 77 61 69 74

Average annual expenditures

$57,311 $28,438 $40,438 $44,940 $58,176 $73,922 $82,951

Food

7,203 3,291 4,228 6,527 7,543 9,148 11,460

Food at home

4,049 2,135 1,986 4,171 4,561 4,937 6,170

Cereals and bakery products

524 276 242 556 600 636 803

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

890 482 395 921 1,016 1,078 1,414

Dairy products

410 230 202 417 456 506 594

Fruits and vegetables

783 392 380 796 902 945 1,232

Other food at home

1,442 755 767 1,482 1,587 1,772 2,127

Food away from home

3,154 1,157 2,242 2,356 2,983 4,212 5,290

Alcoholic beverages

484 196 478 339 376 664 673

Housing

18,886 11,892 14,084 15,286 19,731 23,411 23,824

Shelter

11,128 7,350 9,360 8,137 11,379 13,636 13,642

Owned dwellings

6,295 3,064 3,494 5,290 6,314 8,650 8,856

Rented dwellings

4,035 3,962 5,404 2,002 4,194 3,936 3,786

Other lodging

798 324 462 845 872 1,049 1,001

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,884 2,333 2,464 3,876 4,191 4,567 5,707

Household operations

1,384 1,003 702 1,014 1,360 2,081 1,145

Housekeeping supplies

660 388 402 736 714 776 913

Household furnishings and equipment

1,829 818 1,155 1,522 2,087 2,350 2,418

Apparel and services

1,803 780 1,197 1,245 1,963 2,334 2,759

Transportation

9,049 3,429 5,774 7,646 9,290 11,985 13,903

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,634 1,209 1,950 3,334 3,869 4,894 5,623

Gasoline and motor oil

1,909 644 1,291 1,380 1,997 2,529 3,077

Other vehicle expenses

2,884 1,366 2,012 2,472 2,780 3,750 4,337

Public and other transportation

623 211 522 460 643 811 866

Healthcare

4,612 3,335 2,476 6,387 4,878 5,248 5,673

Entertainment

2,913 1,406 1,919 2,367 3,113 3,830 3,784

Personal care products and services

707 361 489 628 713 905 973

Reading

118 100 110 172 103 115 155

Education

1,329 663 833 311 1,214 1,809 2,885

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

337 220 262 304 365 363 533

Miscellaneous

959 594 799 554 1,209 1,142 1,020

Cash contributions

2,081 1,633 2,750 1,974 1,970 1,948 2,331

Personal insurance and pensions

6,831 538 5,040 1,199 5,710 11,020 12,976

Life and other personal insurance

322 128 150 329 364 405 527

Pensions and Social Security

6,509 410 4,890 869 5,345 10,615 12,449
Footnotes:

(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, 2016
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)

129,549 80,836 46,325 34,512 48,713 118,551 47,450 71,101 10,998

Consumer unit characteristics:

Income before taxes

$74,664 $92,081 $109,022 $69,341 $45,762 $75,215 $68,832 $79,474 $68,734

Age of reference person

50.9 55.4 49.6 63.1 43.6 50.5 48.2 52.1 55.4

Average number in consumer unit:

People

2.5 2.6 2.9 2.1 2.3 2.5 2.4 2.5 2.4

Children under 18

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

Adults 65 and older

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

Earners

1.3 1.4 1.7 1.0 1.2 1.3 1.3 1.3 1.1

Vehicles

1.9 2.3 2.4 2.1 1.2 1.8 1.5 2.1 2.4

Percent homeowner

62 100 100 100 (1) 61 49 68 82

Average annual expenditures

$57,311 $66,719 $76,898 $52,316 $41,711 $58,255 $53,669 $61,303 $47,255

Food

7,203 8,126 8,881 6,751 5,676 7,332 6,692 7,754 5,898

Food at home

4,049 4,529 4,802 4,015 3,254 4,083 3,608 4,396 3,707

Cereals and bakery products

524 583 614 525 427 532 462 577 453

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

890 967 1,004 898 762 894 796 957 854

Dairy products

410 464 493 409 320 410 366 439 406

Fruits and vegetables

783 878 932 774 626 801 718 855 605

Other food at home

1,442 1,637 1,759 1,409 1,120 1,447 1,265 1,567 1,389

Food away from home

3,154 3,596 4,079 2,736 2,422 3,249 3,084 3,358 2,191

Alcoholic beverages

484 551 627 417 372 508 498 515 236

Housing

18,886 20,680 25,295 14,436 15,911 19,506 18,285 20,319 12,201

Shelter

11,128 11,242 14,905 6,324 10,940 11,667 11,289 11,919 5,321

Owned dwellings

6,295 10,040 13,668 5,171 82 6,523 5,100 7,473 3,838

Rented dwellings

4,035 104 90 123 10,557 4,321 5,438 3,576 945

Other lodging

798 1,097 1,147 1,030 301 822 751 869 539

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,884 4,633 4,980 4,169 2,640 3,882 3,494 4,141 3,907

Household operations

1,384 1,730 2,049 1,300 809 1,440 1,353 1,498 782

Housekeeping supplies

660 808 804 817 416 658 587 705 683

Household furnishings and equipment

1,829 2,266 2,558 1,826 1,106 1,859 1,562 2,057 1,509

Apparel and services

1,803 1,934 2,262 1,369 1,585 1,831 1,860 1,812 1,504

Transportation

9,049 10,705 12,241 8,591 6,304 8,956 7,798 9,727 10,047

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,634 4,366 5,017 3,492 2,419 3,526 2,953 3,909 4,793

Gasoline and motor oil

1,909 2,199 2,490 1,808 1,427 1,883 1,599 2,072 2,191

Other vehicle expenses

2,884 3,416 3,875 2,748 2,002 2,888 2,530 3,125 2,825

Public and other transportation

623 724 859 543 455 659 716 621 238

Healthcare

4,612 5,867 5,818 5,926 2,529 4,599 3,866 5,087 4,755

Entertainment

2,913 3,610 4,142 2,799 1,757 2,930 2,664 3,106 2,736

Personal care products and services

707 819 904 686 520 726 690 750 505

Reading

118 146 138 168 71 121 105 131 90

Education

1,329 1,452 1,839 931 1,123 1,409 1,507 1,344 459

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

337 319 320 319 367 318 276 346 547

Miscellaneous

959 1,189 1,345 974 579 927 794 1,016 1,301

Cash contributions

2,081 2,694 2,310 3,210 1,063 2,102 2,158 2,065 1,852

Personal insurance and pensions

6,831 8,625 10,775 5,740 3,853 6,989 6,478 7,331 5,124

Life and other personal insurance

322 446 515 354 115 321 265 359 330

Pensions and Social Security

6,509 8,179 10,260 5,385 3,737 6,668 6,213 6,972 4,794
Footnotes:

(1) Not applicable.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Table 9. Region of residence: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2016
Item All consumer units Northeast Midwest South West

Number of consumer units (in thousands)

129,549 23,559 27,743 49,829 28,419

Consumer unit characteristics:

Income before taxes

$74,664 $78,679 $69,426 $67,731 $88,606

Age of reference person

50.9 52.4 51.2 50.8 49.7

Average number in consumer unit:

People

2.5 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.7

Children under 18

.6 .5 .6 .6 .7

Adults 65 and older

.4 .4 .4 .4 .4

Earners

1.3 1.3 1.3 1.2 1.4

Vehicles

1.9 1.6 2.1 1.8 2.1

Percent homeowner

62 59 66 64 58

Average annual expenditures

$57,311 $60,784 $54,907 $52,674 $64,833

Food

7,203 7,159 7,062 6,727 8,173

Food at home

4,049 4,127 3,952 3,796 4,504

Cereals and bakery products

524 558 525 485 564

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

890 926 819 863 972

Dairy products

410 440 418 362 459

Fruits and vegetables

783 829 738 711 909

Other food at home

1,442 1,373 1,452 1,375 1,600

Food away from home

3,154 3,032 3,110 2,931 3,669

Alcoholic beverages

484 567 490 388 576

Housing

18,886 21,462 17,007 16,961 21,944

Shelter

11,128 13,514 9,562 9,439 13,640

Owned dwellings

6,295 7,760 5,942 5,404 6,990

Rented dwellings

4,035 4,726 2,944 3,318 5,784

Other lodging

798 1,029 676 718 866

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,884 3,995 3,781 3,923 3,824

Household operations

1,384 1,563 1,177 1,323 1,543

Housekeeping supplies

660 630 693 646 678

Household furnishings and equipment

1,829 1,759 1,793 1,630 2,259

Apparel and services

1,803 1,951 1,644 1,711 1,987

Transportation

9,049 8,128 8,556 9,298 9,855

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,634 2,696 3,389 4,167 3,716

Gasoline and motor oil

1,909 1,591 1,885 1,946 2,131

Other vehicle expenses

2,884 2,953 2,796 2,751 3,142

Public and other transportation

623 888 487 435 866

Healthcare

4,612 4,655 4,959 4,277 4,823

Entertainment

2,913 2,783 3,034 2,661 3,342

Personal care products and services

707 715 687 643 827

Reading

118 95 121 96 171

Education

1,329 1,949 1,225 1,020 1,456

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

337 367 411 335 244

Miscellaneous

959 1,001 1,079 711 1,245

Cash contributions

2,081 2,845 1,874 1,718 2,285

Personal insurance and pensions

6,831 7,110 6,758 6,126 7,906

Life and other personal insurance

322 369 366 292 293

Pensions and Social Security

6,509 6,740 6,392 5,835 7,613

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Table 10. Occupation of reference person: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2016
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)

129,549 8,217 78,980 31,667 19,426 16,631 3,830 7,426 25,085 17,268

Consumer unit characteristics:

Income before taxes

$74,664 $136,997 $86,207 $115,329 $69,926 $55,871 $66,548 $82,695 $39,538 $43,236

Age of reference person

50.9 50.4 44.3 44.7 43.4 43.7 44.8 45.5 73.7 48.5

Average number in consumer unit:

People

2.5 2.7 2.6 2.6 2.6 2.6 2.7 2.7 1.7 2.7

Children under 18

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

Adults 65 and older

.4 .3 .1 .1 .1 .2 .1 .2 1.2 .2

Earners

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

Vehicles

1.9 2.2 2.0 2.2 1.9 1.7 2.1 2.2 1.7 1.4

Percent homeowner

62 76 59 68 55 47 55 58 79 48

Average annual expenditures

$57,311 $83,717 $62,025 $79,493 $55,935 $44,917 $49,163 $48,700 $44,025 $42,605

Food

7,203 8,835 7,789 9,625 7,444 5,933 6,578 5,828 5,791 5,856

Food at home

4,049 4,787 4,161 4,882 3,962 3,454 3,767 3,488 3,603 3,855

Cereals and bakery products

524 601 536 634 505 459 441 444 473 511

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

890 1,036 905 1,035 860 745 913 838 801 885

Dairy products

410 483 420 504 404 328 372 347 363 397

Fruits and vegetables

783 953 811 977 732 698 766 626 705 689

Other food at home

1,442 1,715 1,488 1,732 1,462 1,224 1,275 1,233 1,261 1,374

Food away from home

3,154 4,047 3,628 4,743 3,482 2,479 2,811 2,340 2,188 2,001

Alcoholic beverages

484 753 549 738 518 324 496 368 358 247

Housing

18,886 25,571 20,063 24,822 18,408 15,969 16,906 14,958 15,674 14,997

Shelter

11,128 14,909 11,973 14,926 10,966 9,668 9,695 8,356 8,816 8,823

Owned dwellings

6,295 10,235 6,641 9,257 5,694 4,185 5,069 4,274 5,509 3,983

Rented dwellings

4,035 3,007 4,568 4,439 4,775 5,065 4,241 3,635 2,563 4,222

Other lodging

798 1,667 764 1,230 497 418 385 447 744 618

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,884 4,700 4,004 4,403 3,793 3,577 4,007 3,812 3,536 3,452

Household operations

1,384 2,088 1,479 2,106 1,265 885 971 959 1,165 933

Housekeeping supplies

660 896 655 804 605 508 710 472 675 553

Household furnishings and equipment

1,829 2,979 1,952 2,583 1,780 1,331 1,523 1,360 1,483 1,236

Apparel and services

1,803 2,878 1,982 2,541 1,895 1,409 1,400 1,451 1,187 1,388

Transportation

9,049 10,962 10,073 11,830 9,607 7,886 8,497 9,444 6,664 6,927

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,634 3,557 4,100 4,872 3,775 3,121 3,086 4,370 2,553 3,110

Gasoline and motor oil

1,909 2,485 2,146 2,317 1,971 1,911 2,352 2,296 1,219 1,553

Other vehicle expenses

2,884 3,811 3,157 3,594 3,387 2,435 2,794 2,425 2,434 1,852

Public and other transportation

623 1,110 671 1,048 474 419 265 353 458 412

Healthcare

4,612 6,485 4,238 5,388 3,989 2,899 3,212 3,515 6,038 3,356

Entertainment

2,913 4,010 3,133 4,114 2,876 2,160 2,526 2,133 2,342 2,223

Personal care products and services

707 1,041 753 996 712 518 554 465 610 482

Reading

118 136 111 161 93 66 69 74 170 63

Education

1,329 2,847 1,516 2,300 1,178 915 419 974 195 1,397

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

337 334 346 264 396 305 566 540 218 473

Miscellaneous

959 1,610 1,000 1,290 1,031 653 456 749 700 844

Cash contributions

2,081 3,069 2,109 3,441 1,311 896 1,455 1,568 2,281 1,193

Personal insurance and pensions

6,831 15,187 8,363 11,984 6,476 4,984 6,029 6,633 1,797 3,158

Life and other personal insurance

322 619 318 436 293 179 227 238 313 210

Pensions and Social Security

6,509 14,568 8,045 11,548 6,183 4,805 5,802 6,395 1,484 2,947

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Table 11. Highest education level of any member: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2016
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)

129,549 76,929 8,882 26,204 27,478 14,365 52,620 30,888 21,732

Consumer unit characteristics:

Income before taxes

$74,664 $46,779 $27,926 $40,272 $51,063 $62,112 $115,432 $100,224 $137,048

Age of reference person

50.9 51.8 57.3 53.4 49.3 50.1 49.7 48.7 51.1

Average number in consumer unit:

People

2.5 2.4 2.1 2.3 2.4 2.6 2.6 2.5 2.6

Children under 18

.6 .6 .6 .6 .6 .7 .6 .6 .7

Adults 65 and older

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

Earners

1.3 1.2 .7 1.0 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.5 1.5

Vehicles

1.9 1.7 1.1 1.6 1.8 2.2 2.1 2.0 2.2

Percent homeowner

62 56 44 55 55 66 72 69 77

Average annual expenditures

$57,311 $42,173 $27,291 $37,134 $45,510 $54,073 $79,285 $69,305 $93,509

Food

7,203 5,783 4,553 5,032 6,207 7,057 9,207 8,351 10,440

Food at home

4,049 3,503 3,054 3,249 3,573 4,098 4,816 4,506 5,263

Cereals and bakery products

524 459 387 421 482 526 616 577 672

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

890 806 800 778 790 892 1,008 976 1,053

Dairy products

410 349 312 315 359 413 495 460 546

Fruits and vegetables

783 632 568 584 637 745 995 890 1,147

Other food at home

1,442 1,257 986 1,151 1,304 1,522 1,702 1,603 1,846

Food away from home

3,154 2,280 1,499 1,784 2,634 2,959 4,391 3,845 5,177

Alcoholic beverages

484 311 189 197 385 448 728 591 924

Housing

18,886 14,368 10,694 13,202 15,164 17,228 25,469 22,763 29,320

Shelter

11,128 8,168 6,372 7,521 8,568 9,689 15,456 13,919 17,641

Owned dwellings

6,295 3,897 2,162 3,278 4,142 5,632 9,802 8,430 11,752

Rented dwellings

4,035 3,921 4,101 3,974 4,019 3,525 4,201 4,464 3,827

Other lodging

798 349 109 270 407 533 1,454 1,025 2,062

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,884 3,501 2,612 3,403 3,599 4,041 4,444 4,229 4,750

Household operations

1,384 844 500 717 953 1,078 2,173 1,664 2,896

Housekeeping supplies

660 558 457 490 592 674 805 723 922

Household furnishings and equipment

1,829 1,298 755 1,071 1,451 1,745 2,591 2,228 3,111

Apparel and services

1,803 1,357 1,227 1,073 1,468 1,729 2,435 2,128 2,875

Transportation

9,049 7,392 3,946 6,616 7,785 10,180 11,465 10,454 12,904

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,634 3,000 1,411 2,767 3,006 4,398 4,560 4,239 5,017

Gasoline and motor oil

1,909 1,736 1,113 1,625 1,833 2,136 2,162 2,090 2,265

Other vehicle expenses

2,884 2,392 1,197 2,058 2,628 3,278 3,597 3,249 4,095

Public and other transportation

623 265 225 166 317 368 1,146 877 1,527

Healthcare

4,612 3,628 2,266 3,441 3,685 4,699 6,047 5,360 7,024

Entertainment

2,913 2,045 1,099 1,691 2,345 2,684 4,165 3,676 4,864

Personal care products and services

707 524 316 423 579 726 969 858 1,128

Reading

118 70 30 65 80 83 187 138 256

Education

1,329 606 57 305 1,021 699 2,385 1,745 3,294

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

337 445 366 490 449 402 180 220 124

Miscellaneous

959 732 349 720 752 956 1,291 1,195 1,427

Cash contributions

2,081 1,127 496 823 1,417 1,516 3,475 2,484 4,883

Personal insurance and pensions

6,831 3,786 1,704 3,055 4,173 5,666 11,283 9,340 14,044

Life and other personal insurance

322 210 132 183 221 287 485 389 622

Pensions and Social Security

6,509 3,575 1,572 2,871 3,951 5,379 10,798 8,952 13,422

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Table 12. Race of reference person: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2016
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)

129,549 112,562 106,931 5,631 16,987

Consumer unit characteristics:

Income before taxes

$74,664 $78,249 $77,357 $95,173 $50,914

Age of reference person

50.9 51.3 51.7 43.5 48.7

Average number in consumer unit:

People

2.5 2.5 2.5 2.8 2.4

Children under 18

.6 .6 .6 .7 .6

Adults 65 and older

.4 .4 .4 .2 .3

Earners

1.3 1.3 1.3 1.4 1.2

Vehicles

1.9 2.0 2.0 1.5 1.2

Percent homeowner

62 66 66 54 41

Average annual expenditures

$57,311 $59,588 $59,182 $67,267 $42,127

Food

7,203 7,486 7,442 8,230 5,284

Food at home

4,049 4,204 4,199 4,288 2,996

Cereals and bakery products

524 542 540 580 405

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

890 904 897 1,014 796

Dairy products

410 437 443 336 226

Fruits and vegetables

783 812 801 988 583

Other food at home

1,442 1,509 1,518 1,370 986

Food away from home

3,154 3,282 3,243 3,942 2,288

Alcoholic beverages

484 513 524 342 285

Housing

18,886 19,461 19,226 24,002 15,055

Shelter

11,128 11,446 11,193 16,249 9,021

Owned dwellings

6,295 6,721 6,576 9,473 3,473

Rented dwellings

4,035 3,858 3,751 5,907 5,202

Other lodging

798 866 866 868 345

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,884 3,922 3,941 3,555 3,632

Household operations

1,384 1,458 1,431 1,971 893

Housekeeping supplies

660 689 700 510 467

Household furnishings and equipment

1,829 1,946 1,960 1,718 1,042

Apparel and services

1,803 1,835 1,808 2,290 1,580

Transportation

9,049 9,305 9,278 9,771 7,352

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,634 3,704 3,719 3,419 3,172

Gasoline and motor oil

1,909 1,959 1,958 1,974 1,578

Other vehicle expenses

2,884 2,991 2,983 3,111 2,169

Public and other transportation

623 651 619 1,266 434

Healthcare

4,612 4,911 4,939 4,397 2,625

Entertainment

2,913 3,094 3,133 2,418 1,702

Personal care products and services

707 725 727 689 580

Reading

118 128 130 91 50

Education

1,329 1,391 1,315 2,825 916

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

337 350 361 148 250

Miscellaneous

959 1,010 1,014 929 625

Cash contributions

2,081 2,190 2,221 1,603 1,358

Personal insurance and pensions

6,831 7,188 7,065 9,533 4,464

Life and other personal insurance

322 336 339 289 228

Pensions and Social Security

6,509 6,852 6,726 9,244 4,236
Footnotes:

(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 13. Hispanic or Latino origin of reference person: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2016
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)

129,549 16,985 112,564 96,019 16,545

Consumer unit characteristics:

Income before taxes

$74,664 $56,073 $77,470 $81,992 $51,227

Age of reference person

50.9 44.2 51.9 52.5 48.8

Average number in consumer unit:

People

2.5 3.2 2.3 2.3 2.4

Children under 18

.6 1.0 .5 .5 .6

Adults 65 and older

.4 .2 .4 .4 .3

Earners

1.3 1.6 1.3 1.3 1.2

Vehicles

1.9 1.6 1.9 2.0 1.2

Percent homeowner

62 45 65 69 41

Average annual expenditures

$57,311 $47,023 $58,862 $61,697 $42,304

Food

7,203 6,917 7,246 7,578 5,273

Food at home

4,049 4,164 4,032 4,207 2,988

Cereals and bakery products

524 524 525 545 401

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

890 1,068 863 875 795

Dairy products

410 399 411 443 225

Fruits and vegetables

783 880 768 800 583

Other food at home

1,442 1,293 1,464 1,545 984

Food away from home

3,154 2,753 3,214 3,371 2,285

Alcoholic beverages

484 345 505 542 286

Housing

18,886 17,102 19,155 19,853 15,081

Shelter

11,128 10,234 11,263 11,650 9,017

Owned dwellings

6,295 4,065 6,632 7,171 3,505

Rented dwellings

4,035 5,866 3,758 3,517 5,159

Other lodging

798 304 873 962 353

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,884 3,695 3,912 3,955 3,663

Household operations

1,384 929 1,453 1,549 892

Housekeeping supplies

660 574 673 707 473

Household furnishings and equipment

1,829 1,671 1,853 1,992 1,036

Apparel and services

1,803 1,982 1,776 1,814 1,551

Transportation

9,049 8,202 9,177 9,479 7,414

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,634 3,023 3,726 3,811 3,234

Gasoline and motor oil

1,909 2,145 1,873 1,922 1,591

Other vehicle expenses

2,884 2,513 2,939 3,074 2,153

Public and other transportation

623 521 638 673 436

Healthcare

4,612 2,606 4,914 5,303 2,658

Entertainment

2,913 1,876 3,068 3,300 1,711

Personal care products and services

707 607 722 745 583

Reading

118 52 128 141 50

Education

1,329 808 1,407 1,489 932

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

337 151 365 384 254

Miscellaneous

959 708 997 1,059 637

Cash contributions

2,081 860 2,265 2,420 1,369

Personal insurance and pensions

6,831 4,807 7,136 7,590 4,504

Life and other personal insurance

322 141 349 369 233

Pensions and Social Security

6,509 4,666 6,787 7,221 4,271

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Table 14. Generation of reference person: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2016
Item All consumer units Birth year of 1927 or earlier (1) Birth year from 1928 to 1945 (1) Birth year from 1946 to 1964 Birth year from 1965 to 1980 Birth year of 1981 or later

Number of consumer units (in thousands)

129,549 2,331 16,880 45,087 35,578 29,675

Consumer unit characteristics:

Income before taxes

$74,664 $31,272 $40,230 $79,736 $95,168 $65,373

Age of reference person

50.9 91.0 77.1 60.2 43.3 27.9

Average number in consumer unit:

People

2.5 1.3 1.7 2.1 3.2 2.6

Children under 18

.6 (2) (2) .2 1.2 .9

Adults 65 and older

.4 1.2 1.4 .4 (2) (2)

Earners

1.3 .1 .4 1.3 1.7 1.5

Vehicles

1.9 .8 1.6 2.1 2.1 1.5

Percent homeowner

62 63 79 76 62 33

Average annual expenditures

$57,311 $35,344 $41,763 $61,204 $68,532 $48,576

Food

7,203 3,118 5,492 7,324 8,870 6,316

Food at home

4,049 2,023 3,450 4,224 4,830 3,370

Cereals and bakery products

524 265 457 531 639 438

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

890 336 728 950 1,062 734

Dairy products

410 219 347 422 490 348

Fruits and vegetables

783 414 701 787 954 650

Other food at home

1,442 788 1,216 1,533 1,686 1,200

Food away from home

3,154 1,095 2,042 3,100 4,040 2,946

Alcoholic beverages

484 205 326 518 552 461

Housing

18,886 17,858 14,417 18,917 22,669 16,959

Shelter

11,128 11,899 7,907 10,740 13,473 10,678

Owned dwellings

6,295 3,146 4,972 7,214 8,159 3,665

Rented dwellings

4,035 8,258 2,259 2,410 4,500 6,625

Other lodging

798 494 676 1,117 814 388

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,884 2,622 3,455 4,220 4,466 3,020

Household operations

1,384 2,195 1,114 1,150 1,811 1,316

Housekeeping supplies

660 379 684 764 720 457

Household furnishings and equipment

1,829 764 1,258 2,043 2,200 1,488

Apparel and services

1,803 615 920 1,602 2,577 1,753

Transportation

9,049 3,142 5,952 9,762 10,545 8,426

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,634 1230 (3) 2,243 3,864 4,044 3,771

Gasoline and motor oil

1,909 465 1,139 1,942 2,416 1,802

Other vehicle expenses

2,884 1,141 2,127 3,301 3,289 2,361

Public and other transportation

623 306 443 655 795 492

Healthcare

4,612 5,263 6,197 5,492 4,492 2,473

Entertainment

2,913 1,223 2,114 3,144 3,613 2,311

Personal care products and services

707 565 602 756 826 563

Reading

118 173 187 130 115 64

Education

1,329 13 (3) 143 1,295 1,756 1,645

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

337 71 (3) 155 386 399 313

Miscellaneous

959 422 784 1,184 1,166 518

Cash contributions

2,081 1,780 2,615 2,717 1,936 1,007

Personal insurance and pensions

6,831 894 1,856 7,976 9,015 5,768

Life and other personal insurance

322 244 302 447 340 128

Pensions and Social Security

6,509 650 1,555 7,529 8,676 5,640
Footnotes:

(1) Birth year data processed before January 2017 for the Diary survey and April 2017 for the Interview survey had a cutoff date of 1928 instead of 1927.

(2) Value is too small to display.

(3) Data are likely to have large sampling errors.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Technical Notes

Starting in 1888, the CE was collected approximately every 10 years until 1973; annual collection began in late 1979. The CE’s principal objective is to collect information on the buying habits of U.S. consumers. Consumer expenditure data are used in a variety of research activities by government, business, labor, and academic analysts. In addition, the data are required for the regular revision of the CPI market basket. The CE, which is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, consists of two survey instruments with independent samples: a Diary Survey and an Interview Survey. The Diary Survey is completed by participating consumer units (CUs) for two consecutive 1-week periods. The Interview Survey records expenditures of CUs obtained in four interviews over the course of 12 months, 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.

For the Diary survey, the CE Program draws a sample of 12,000 addresses per year, and determines that approximately 10,000 of those addresses are occupied housing units. The other 2,000 addresses are generally nonexistent, nonresidential, or vacant. Then approximately 6,000 of those occupied housing units respond to the survey, and each of those households completes two weekly diaries for a total of 12,000 weekly diaries per year. Likewise, for the Interview survey, the CE Program visits 12,000 addresses per quarter, and determines that 10,000 of those addresses have occupied housing units. Then 6,000 of those occupied housing units respond to the survey for a total of 6,000 quarterly interviews per quarter. With the rotating panel, some CUs rotate out of the survey each quarter, while others rotate in. Each CU is interviewed once per quarter, for four consecutive quarters. Data are collected on an ongoing basis in 91 geographic 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 broad estimates of food spending, 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, most apparel, 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 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, and integrating the data involves a determination of the appropriate survey from which to select specific 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.

The population and spending coverage of the CE differs from those used by 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. (For an overview of the CPI methodology, see https://www.bls.gov/cpi/methodology.htm.)

Interpreting the data

Expenditures are average dollars spent 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 CUs 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 CU 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. In addition, even within groups with similar characteristics, the distribution of expenditures varies substantially. These points should be considered when comparing 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 1.3 percent from 2015 (annual average index) to 2016 (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. For additional information on these types of errors see under ‘Sampling and Nonsampling Errors’ https://www.bls.gov/cex/csxfaqs.htm.

Tables

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 decile, 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, highest education level of any consumer-unit member, and generation of reference person. More detailed tables for these classifications can be accessed on the CE page of the BLS website. Also available are tables showing average annual data over a 2-year period for

1. income before taxes, cross-tabulated by age, consumer unit size, or region;

2. single consumers by gender, cross-tabulated by either income or age; and

3. selected metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs).

Tables are available for 1984–2016. The CE also produces prepublication tables, which are more detailed and contain additional subcategories of spending, but also have larger variances. They are available by request; email: CEXInfo@bls.gov. Prepublication tables for all CUs are available on the experimental tables CE page.

Public-use microdata

The 2016 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 by coding items 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 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 respondent-provided tax data were still available in the public-use microdata for 2013, after which they were no longer collected. For more information on the improvements, see Improving Data Quality in the Consumer Expenditure Survey with TAXSIM. For new applications of the tax estimates, see New estimates of Personal Taxes in the Consumer Expenditure Survey.

Free public-use microdata are available online from the years 1996 to 2016. For releases published before 1996, users can continue to purchase USB flash drives using the public-use microdata order form. Future releases of public-use microdata will be available online for free download.

Other survey information

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.

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. Some of these articles are Hispanic household spending in 2015 and Use with Caution: interpreting Consumer Expenditure income group data. Additional data also are presented in articles in the Monthly Labor Review.

Information on the methodology used to calculate and collect CE data, including data quality, is available online. Also included are general articles and research papers using CE data, including documents in the CE research library.

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 at our homepage. 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. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200. Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.