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April 2019 Report 1080

Consumer Expenditures in 2017

Consumer Expenditures in 2017 image

This Consumer Expenditure Surveys (CE) annual report presents integrated data from the 2017 Diary and Interview portions of the CE, including data tables. (For details about the CE, see the technical notes.) 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 generation of reference person.1 This report highlights spending patterns for 2017 from the CE, including a brief discussion of expenditure changes for the year.

As first reported in the Consumer Expenditures 2017 News Release, consumer spending increased 4.8 percent. This follows an increase of 2.4 percent in 2016, previously recorded by the CE. The average annual expenditures by CUs increased from $57,311 in 2016 to $60,060 in 2017. Despite the 2017 increase in expenditures, there was a decrease of 1.5 percent in average income before taxes, from 2016 ($74,664) to 2017 ($73,573). 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 2.1 percent in 2017, compared with the 4.8-percent increase in spending.2 In 2016, prices as measured by the CPI-U increased by 1.3 percent, compared with the 2.4-percent increase in spending.

Developments in 2017

During 2017, spending increased for 10 of the 14 major aggregated categories of expenditures tracked by CE: food, alcoholic beverages, housing, apparel and services, transportation, healthcare, entertainment, personal care products and services, education, and miscellaneous expenditures. (See table A.) Expenditures on apparel and services increased by 1.7 percent. Food, alcoholic beverages, housing, transportation, healthcare, personal care products and services, education, and entertainment expenditures were up between 5.3 and 15.3 percent. Personal insurance and pensions, tobacco and smoking supplies, reading, and cash contributions declined by 0.9 to 10.0 percent.

Table A. Average annual expenditures by major category of all consumer units and percent changes, 2014–17
Item2014201520162017Percent change
2014–152015–162016–17

Number of consumer units (in thousands)

127,006128,437129,549130,001

Consumer unit characteristics

Income before taxes

$66,877$69,627$74,664$73,5734.17.2-1.5

Age of reference person

50.350.550.950.9

Average number in consumer unit

People

2.52.52.52.5

Children under 18

0.60.60.60.6

Adults 65 and older

0.40.40.40.4

Earners

1.31.31.31.3

Vehicles

1.91.91.91.9

Percent homeowner

63626263

Average annual expenditures

$53,495$55,978$57,311$60,0604.62.44.8

Food

6,7597,0237,2037,7293.92.67.3

Food at home

3,9714,0154,0494,3631.10.87.8

Cereals and bakery products

519518524564-0.21.27.6

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

8928968909440.4-0.76.1

Dairy products

423413410450-2.4-0.79.8

Fruits and vegetables

7567697838371.71.86.9

Other food at home

1,3821,4191,4421,5682.71.68.7

Food away from home

2,7873,0083,1543,3657.94.96.7

Alcoholic beverages

46351548455811.2-6.015.3

Housing

17,79818,40918,88619,8843.42.65.3

Shelter

10,49110,74211,12811,8952.43.66.9

Owned dwellings

6,1496,2106,2956,9471.01.410.4

Rented dwellings

3,6313,8024,0354,1674.76.13.3

Other lodging

7107307987822.89.3-2.0

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,9213,8853,8843,836-0.90.0-1.2

Household operations

1,1741,3091,3841,41211.55.72.0

Housekeeping supplies

6326556607553.60.814.4

Household furnishings and equipment

1,5811,8181,8291,98715.00.68.6

Apparel and services

1,7861,8461,8031,8333.4-2.31.7

Transportation

9,0739,5039,0499,5764.7-4.85.8

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,3013,9973,6344,05421.1-9.111.6

Gasoline, other fuels, and motor oil

2,4682,0901,9091,968-15.3-8.73.1

Other vehicle expenses

2,7232,7562,8842,8421.24.6-1.5

Public and other transportation

58166162371213.8-5.714.3

Healthcare

4,2904,3424,6124,9281.26.26.9

Entertainment

2,7282,8422,9133,2034.22.510.0

Personal care products and services

6456837077625.93.57.8

Reading

10311411811010.73.5-6.8

Education

1,2361,3151,3291,4916.41.112.2

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

3193493373329.4-3.4-1.5

Miscellaneous

7828719591,01011.410.15.3

Cash contributions

1,7881,8192,0811,8731.714.4-10.0

Personal insurance and pensions

5,7266,3496,8316,77110.97.6-0.9

Life and other personal insurance

3273333224181.8-3.329.8

Pensions and Social Security

5,3996,0166,5096,35311.48.2-2.4

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey.

Expenditure shares

Table B details expenditure shares, or the percent distribution of total annual expenditures by major expenditure categories, for all CUs from 2014 to 2017. Expenditure shares usually do not fluctuate much in the short term, and therefore are more useful for identifying spending trends over time. (See chart 1.) As in previous years, housing was the largest component of overall expenditures, accounting for 33.1 percent of total expenditures in 2017. Housing expenditures were followed by transportation expenditures (15.9 percent) and food expenditures (12.9 percent).

The most notable changes in expenditure shares between 2016 and 2017 were in personal insurance and pensions, and the transportation subcategories of vehicle purchases and public and other transportation. Personal insurance and pensions fell from 11.9 percent to 11.3 percent of average annual expenditures. The share for total transportation increased a tenth of a percent to 15.9 percent. Within that category, vehicle purchases increased from 6.3 percent in 2016 to 6.7 percent in 2017, compared with 6.2 percent in 2014 to 7.1 percent in 2015. Gasoline and motor oil expenditure shares stayed constant, at 3.3 percent from 2016 to 2017, and public and other transportation increased 14.3 percent. (See table A.) Expenditure shares on gasoline and motor oil in 2014 and 2015 were 4.6 and 3.7 percent, respectively.

Food expenditures were up 0.3 percentage points to 12.9 percent of average annual expenditures, as the shares for food at home and food away from home both increased. Cash contribution shares reversed their 2016 gains and fell from 3.6 to 3.1 percent in 2017. The remaining expenditures for major categories remained about the same as their 2016 levels.

Table B. Percent distribution of total annual expenditures by major category for all consumer units, 2014–17
Spending Category2014201520162017

Average annual expenditures

100.0100.0100.0100.0

Food

12.612.512.612.9

Food at home

7.47.27.17.3

Food away from home

5.25.45.55.6

Alcoholic beverages

0.90.90.80.9

Housing

33.332.933.033.1

Shelter

19.619.219.419.8

Utilities, fuels, and public services

7.36.96.86.4

Household operations

2.22.32.42.4

Housekeeping supplies

1.21.21.21.3

Household furnishings and equipment

3.03.23.23.3

Apparel and services

3.33.33.13.1

Transportation

17.017.015.815.9

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

6.27.16.36.7

Gasoline, other fuels, and motor oil

4.63.73.33.3

Other vehicle expenses

5.14.95.04.7

Public and other transportation

1.11.21.11.2

Healthcare

8.07.88.08.2

Entertainment

5.15.15.15.3

Personal care products and services

1.21.21.21.3

Reading

0.20.20.20.2

Education

2.32.32.32.5

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

0.60.60.60.6

Miscellaneous

1.51.61.71.7

Cash contributions

3.33.23.63.1

Personal insurance and pensions

10.711.311.911.3

Life and other personal insurance

0.60.60.60.7

Pensions and Social Security

10.110.711.410.6

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey.

Expenditures on housing

Housing expenditures were up 5.3 percent for 2017. This was primarily driven by expenses on shelter, up 6.9 percent, and owned dwellings, up 10.4 percent. (See table A.) Nevertheless, housing expenditures remained steady at 33.1 percent of total spending. Between 2014 and 2017, expenditures on housing were between 32.9 and 33.3 percent of total expenditures.

In addition, the period of 2004–16 saw an overall trend of fewer CUs owning homes. Ownership rates declined from a peak of 68 percent of households in 2004 to 62 percent of households in 2016. (See chart 2.) However, in 2017, homeownership rates ticked up for the first time since 2003, but were still five percentage points below the peak.

Expenditures on gasoline

Average expenditures on gasoline increased in 2017. CUs spent 2.8 percent more in 2017 than in 2016. Chart 3 shows the percent change in expenditures on gasoline and the price of gasoline between 2007 and 2017. For most years, the change in consumer spending on gasoline is similar to the change in gasoline prices. In 2017, the percentage increase in spending on gasoline was smaller (2.8 percent) than the increase in the CPI index for gasoline (13.1 percent). The increase in gasoline expenditures and the increase in the CPI index for gasoline reversed from 4 straight years of declines from 2013 through 2016.

Expenditures by income quintile

Spending increased across all five income quintiles in 2017. This continued the trend from 2014 through 2016, which also saw increases in all five income quintiles for all 3 previous years. (See chart 4.) The first quintile increased spending by 3.5 percent, the smallest increase in percentage terms. The second quintile increased spending by 6.9 percent, and the other three quintiles increased spending between 4.2 and 5.9 percent. In addition, all quintiles registered larger spending increases, in percentage terms, than in 2016. Table C shows more details on spending by income quintile.

All income quintiles spent more on food at home, food away from home, housing, healthcare, and entertainment in 2017 than those in 2016. (See table C.) Among these categories, the largest increases were spending on food away from home and healthcare, with increases averaging 8.9 and 8.6 percent respectively among the quintiles. Expenditures for apparel and services, transportation, cash contributions, personal insurance and pensions, and all other expenditures registered mixed results within quintiles. Cash contributions, which can vary widely, declined in three quintiles; personal insurance and pensions declined in two quintiles; apparel and services and all other expenditures declined in one quintile.

Table C. Dollar change and percent change in average annual expenditures on major categories by income quintile, 2016–17
ItemLowestSecondThirdFourthHighest
DollarPercentDollarPercentDollarPercentDollarPercentDollarPercent

Income before taxes

5.000.0845.002.91,868.003.72,190.002.6-10,571-5.3

Average annual expenditures

880.563.52,529.936.92,805.725.92,693.654.14,766.144.2

Food

208.755.4692.9313.9836.5913.4320.983.8565.734.5

Food at home

80.423.2510.1116.4340.799.2155.373.3483.347.8

Food away from home

128.339.4182.839.8495.8119.6165.614.582.381.3

Housing

145.911.4543.564.01,146.417.01,557.037.51,580.844.7

Apparel and services

17.302.088.447.6-171.31-11.392.914.7121.953.5

Transportation

-270.17-7.2579.469.768.410.8168.101.52,076.2212.9

Healthcare

336.0715.6361.1010.2375.768.8322.675.9180.282.3

Entertainment

123.9610.889.475.0172.517.460.641.81,001.0017.0

Cash contributions

91.8616.5-238.7-16.7183.9714.1-17.83-0.9-1,062.99-20.3

Personal insurance and pensions

9.941.5655.0537.1108.892.6-46.89-0.6-1,049.53-5.4

All other

216.9411.6-241.38-9.484.492.8236.046.11,352.6416.2

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey.

Expenditures on food by income quintile and generation

Food expenditures increased for all quintiles in 2017. This is similar to 2015 and 2016, when expenditures increased for 4 of 5 quintiles. In 2017, the second and third quintiles registered the largest percentage increases in food expenditures, 13.9 and 13.4 percent increases respectively. (See table C.) The increases were more modest for the first, fourth, and fifth quintiles, ranging between 3.8 and 5.4 percent. Besides increases across the board in both food-at-home and food-away-from-home expenditures, no clear pattern emerged for the quintiles. Food–at-home spending ranged between a 3.2-percent increase for the first quintile, to a 16.4-percent increase for the second quintile. Food-away-from-home spending ranged between a 1.3-percent increase for the fifth quintile, to a 19.6-percent increase for the third quintile.

There is a noticeable difference by generation in food spending. Aside from those born in 1927 or earlier, the proportion of food expenditures on food at home increased for older generations. The youngest generation observed in 2017, those born in 1981 or later, spent 53 percent of food expenditures on food at home. This rises to 61 percent for those born between 1928 and 1945. (See chart 5.)

 

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.

Statistical Tables

Table 1. Quintiles of income before taxes: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, 2017
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)

130,001 25,981 25,988 26,012 26,100 25,921

Lower limit

(1) (1) $20,739 $39,609 $66,898 $109,743

Consumer unit characteristics

Income before taxes

$73,573 $11,394 $29,821 $52,431 $86,363 $188,103

Age of reference person

50.9 54.0 54.3 49.6 47.6 49.1

Average number in consumer unit

People

2.5 1.6 2.2 2.5 2.9 3.1

Children under 18

0.6 0.3 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8

Adults 65 and older

0.4 0.4 0.6 0.4 0.3 0.2

Earners

1.3 0.5 0.9 1.3 1.8 2.1

Vehicles

1.9 1.0 1.6 1.9 2.3 2.8

Percent homeowner

63 41 55 61 72 86

Average annual expenditures

$60,060 $26,019 $39,300 $50,470 $67,604 $116,988

Food

7,729 4,070 5,671 7,061 8,757 13,079

Food at home

4,363 2,582 3,622 4,038 4,893 6,677

Cereals and bakery products

564 346 471 536 616 852

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

944 571 826 902 1,040 1,379

Dairy products

450 268 350 407 513 712

Fruits and vegetables

837 488 669 746 954 1,326

Other food at home

1,568 909 1,306 1,447 1,771 2,408

Food away from home

3,365 1,488 2,049 3,023 3,863 6,402

Alcoholic beverages

558 163 302 415 681 1,228

Housing

19,884 10,413 14,095 17,462 22,244 35,234

Shelter

11,895 6,325 8,286 10,238 13,126 21,521

Owned dwellings

6,947 1,980 3,479 5,219 8,104 15,970

Rented dwellings

4,167 4,136 4,487 4,557 4,198 3,454

Other lodging

782 209 320 462 825 2,097

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,836 2,336 3,229 3,719 4,399 5,498

Household operations

1,412 537 836 1,088 1,486 3,115

Housekeeping supplies

755 424 607 701 803 1,238

Household furnishings and equipment

1,987 792 1,138 1,715 2,430 3,863

Apparel and services

1,833 878 1,252 1,348 2,052 3,633

Transportation

9,576 3,497 6,572 8,532 11,099 18,190

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

4,054 1,230 2,736 3,515 4,510 8,287

Gasoline, other fuels, and motor oil

1,968 920 1,499 1,930 2,497 2,994

Other vehicle expenses

2,842 1,103 1,994 2,609 3,356 5,148

Public and other transportation

712 244 343 478 736 1,761

Healthcare

4,928 2,492 3,889 4,642 5,764 7,857

Entertainment

3,203 1,270 1,873 2,517 3,470 6,889

Personal care products and services

762 373 512 650 869 1,407

Reading

110 48 62 102 130 208

Education

1,491 784 426 584 1,179 4,492

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

332 277 355 372 367 291

Miscellaneous

1,010 449 678 964 904 2,057

Cash contributions

1,873 650 1,192 1,485 1,873 4,170

Personal insurance and pensions

6,771 655 2,421 4,336 8,215 18,253

Life and other personal insurance

418 160 257 311 459 903

Pensions and Social Security

6,353 495 2,165 4,025 7,756 17,350

(1) Not applicable.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey.

Table 2. Deciles of income before taxes: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, 2017
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)

130,001 12,988 12,993 13,003 12,985 13,001 13,011 13,028 13,071 12,958 12,963

Lower limit

(1) (1) $12,265 $20,739 $29,648 $39,609 $51,802 $66,898 $85,301 $109,743 $155,556

Consumer unit characteristics

Income before taxes

$73,573 $6,059 $16,726 $25,189 $34,459 $45,559 $59,299 $75,995 $96,696 $129,006 $247,174

Age of reference person

50.9 49.1 58.8 55.5 53.1 50.9 48.3 47.6 47.7 48.5 49.8

Average number in consumer unit

People

2.5 1.6 1.7 2.1 2.3 2.4 2.6 2.8 3.0 3.1 3.1

Children under 18

0.6 0.3 0.3 0.5 0.5 0.6 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.8 0.8

Adults 65 and older

0.4 0.3 0.5 0.6 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.2

Earners

1.3 0.5 0.5 0.7 1.0 1.2 1.5 1.7 1.9 2.0 2.1

Vehicles

1.9 0.9 1.1 1.4 1.7 1.8 2 2.2 2.4 2.7 2.9

Percent homeowner

63 34 48 53 56 61 61 68 77 83 88

Average annual expenditures

$60,060 $24,801 $27,236 $36,631 $41,972 $46,856 $54,082 $63,003 $72,191 $91,173 $142,782

Food

7,729 3,950 4,190 5,396 5,946 6,659 7,462 8,038 9,475 11,283 14,870

Food at home

4,363 2,449 2,715 3,548 3,696 3,907 4,169 4,501 5,285 6,195 7,157

Cereals and bakery products

564 313 380 449 493 516 556 578 653 771 934

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

944 546 595 811 841 889 916 957 1,123 1,309 1,448

Dairy products

450 249 287 346 354 399 414 472 555 668 756

Fruits and vegetables

837 442 533 676 662 709 783 882 1,026 1,199 1,453

Other food at home

1,568 899 919 1,267 1,346 1,394 1,500 1,613 1,928 2,249 2,566

Food away from home

3,365 1,501 1,475 1,848 2,250 2,752 3,293 3,537 4,190 5,088 7,713

Alcoholic beverages

558 164 162 255 350 364 467 555 808 941 1,514

Housing

19,884 9,864 10,962 13,554 14,638 16,460 18,463 21,355 23,130 28,161 42,303

Shelter

11,895 6,092 6,558 8,101 8,472 9,695 10,781 12,572 13,678 16,840 26,200

Owned dwellings

6,947 1,898 2,062 3,243 3,716 5,032 5,406 7,149 9,055 12,245 19,693

Rented dwellings

4,167 3,976 4,296 4,595 4,379 4,279 4,835 4,687 3,710 3,288 3,619

Other lodging

782 218 201 263 377 384 541 736 913 1,307 2,887

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,836 2,096 2,575 2,997 3,460 3,612 3,826 4,204 4,594 5,021 5,974

Household operations

1,412 471 603 767 905 989 1,187 1,360 1,611 2,167 4,063

Housekeeping supplies

755 378 469 580 634 613 788 760 846 1,022 1,454

Household furnishings and equipment

1,987 827 756 1,109 1,167 1,550 1,881 2,458 2,401 3,112 4,612

Apparel and services

1,833 882 873 1,198 1,306 1,316 1,379 2,038 2,066 2,895 4,371

Transportation

9,576 3,460 3,535 5,724 7,420 7,573 9,491 10,422 11,774 14,775 21,602

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

4,054 1,223 1,236 2,325 3,147 2,770 4,260 4,035 4,985 6,816 9,758

Gasoline, other fuels, and motor oil

1,968 873 967 1,348 1,650 1,830 2,030 2,386 2,608 2,934 3,055

Other vehicle expenses

2,842 1,090 1,116 1,738 2,250 2,549 2,668 3,311 3,399 3,937 6,357

Public and other transportation

712 273 215 313 374 424 533 690 782 1,089 2,432

Healthcare

4,928 2,119 2,864 3,519 4,260 4,572 4,712 5,261 6,266 6,993 8,720

Entertainment

3,203 1,298 1,243 1,726 2,020 2,351 2,683 3,031 3,907 5,039 8,736

Personal care products and services

762 339 407 507 517 662 638 800 938 1,199 1,615

Reading

110 49 47 60 63 85 119 105 154 152 264

Education

1,491 972 596 471 380 476 692 1,134 1,223 1,977 7,006

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

332 266 288 318 391 372 372 393 340 335 248

Miscellaneous

1,010 373 526 535 822 933 995 907 902 1,468 2,645

Cash contributions

1,873 512 788 1,227 1,157 1,526 1,445 1,697 2,048 2,652 5,686

Personal insurance and pensions

6,771 553 756 2,141 2,702 3,505 5,166 7,267 9,160 13,302 23,201

Life and other personal insurance

418 132 187 231 282 311 311 419 498 718 1,089

Pensions and Social Security

6,353 421 569 1,910 2,420 3,194 4,856 6,847 8,662 12,585 22,113

(1) Not applicable.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey.

Table 3. Income before taxes: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, 2017
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)

130,001 16,887 22,385 13,039 10,655 17,068 19,324 16,501 6,947 7,195

Consumer unit characteristics

Income before taxes

$73,573 $7,860 $22,315 $34,685 $44,771 $59,382 $83,829 $120,288 $170,234 $306,051

Age of reference person

50.9 51.2 57.2 52.8 50.9 48.5 47.8 47.8 48.8 50.7

Average number in consumer unit

People

2.5 1.6 1.9 2.3 2.4 2.6 2.9 3.1 3.1 3.1

Children under 18

0.6 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.8 0.7

Adults 65 and older

0.4 0.4 0.6 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2

Earners

1.3 0.5 0.6 1.0 1.2 1.5 1.8 2.0 2.1 2.1

Vehicles

1.9 0.9 1.3 1.7 1.8 2.0 2.3 2.6 2.8 2.9

Percent homeowner

63 36 52 56 61 62 71 82 88 88

Average annual expenditures

$60,060 $24,607 $33,300 $41,550 $46,258 $54,216 $66,116 $86,170 $115,404 $161,247

Food

7,729 3,938 4,806 5,878 6,598 7,443 8,385 10,918 12,171 16,309

Food at home

4,363 2,467 3,117 3,780 3,830 4,159 4,720 6,001 6,270 7,626

Cereals and bakery products

564 320 411 502 506 548 605 740 765 1,028

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

944 539 703 868 894 916 970 1,302 1,279 1,520

Dairy products

450 254 321 354 379 426 498 633 658 811

Fruits and vegetables

837 456 593 699 682 774 936 1,155 1,238 1,559

Other food at home

1,568 898 1,088 1,357 1,370 1,494 1,712 2,171 2,330 2,709

Food away from home

3,365 1,471 1,689 2,098 2,767 3,284 3,665 4,917 5,901 8,683

Alcoholic beverages

558 163 210 305 371 480 647 901 1,026 1,806

Housing

19,884 9,783 12,817 14,585 16,216 18,446 21,933 26,684 35,589 47,410

Shelter

11,895 5,982 7,662 8,471 9,550 10,789 13,018 15,737 22,062 29,602

Owned dwellings

6,947 1,887 2,861 3,677 4,894 5,541 7,820 11,164 16,971 22,134

Rented dwellings

4,167 3,907 4,540 4,424 4,277 4,704 4,400 3,357 3,282 3,796

Other lodging

782 188 262 370 379 544 798 1,216 1,808 3,672

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,836 2,163 2,872 3,457 3,600 3,851 4,348 4,910 5,510 6,302

Household operations

1,412 458 744 889 1,002 1,163 1,421 2,064 2,744 5,046

Housekeeping supplies

755 391 542 628 558 768 783 981 1,182 1,577

Household furnishings and equipment

1,987 787 995 1,140 1,507 1,875 2,362 2,994 4,091 4,882

Apparel and services

1,833 880 1,002 1,316 1,352 1,423 1,981 2,762 3,424 4,779

Transportation

9,576 3,401 4,930 7,191 7,529 9,545 10,795 14,041 18,753 23,342

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

4,054 1,176 1,966 3,097 2,580 4,218 4,322 6,397 7,707 11,212

Gasoline, other fuels, and motor oil

1,968 864 1,218 1,652 1,818 2,045 2,488 2,833 2,974 3,155

Other vehicle expenses

2,842 1,110 1,462 2,075 2,703 2,740 3,259 3,807 6,393 6,052

Public and other transportation

712 252 284 367 428 542 726 1,005 1,680 2,923

Healthcare

4,928 2,193 3,360 4,249 4,558 4,733 5,639 6,850 7,431 9,689

Entertainment

3,203 1,264 1,559 1,944 2,148 2,750 3,466 4,692 7,158 9,513

Personal care products and services

762 336 482 501 661 659 836 1,110 1,361 1,832

Reading

110 46 57 67 79 114 128 146 185 319

Education

1,491 900 502 383 486 723 1,115 1,745 4,458 8,810

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

332 269 308 394 368 372 382 316 280 247

Miscellaneous

1,010 364 558 825 887 1,015 903 1,341 2,057 2,913

Cash contributions

1,873 530 1,089 1,185 1,560 1,428 1,859 2,506 3,078 7,649

Personal insurance and pensions

6,771 540 1,622 2,726 3,444 5,087 8,047 12,157 18,432 26,629

Life and other personal insurance

418 149 217 267 328 307 461 655 837 1,274

Pensions and Social Security

6,353 391 1,405 2,459 3,116 4,780 7,586 11,502 17,595 25,355

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey.

Table 4. Age of reference person: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, 2017
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)

130,001 7,590 21,282 21,101 23,580 24,713 31,734 18,535 13,199

Consumer unit characteristics

Income before taxes

$73,573 $31,750 $69,062 $86,782 $100,213 $85,037 $49,097 $58,040 $36,537

Age of reference person

50.9 21.4 29.8 39.3 49.7 59.4 74.2 69.0 81.5

Average number in consumer unit

People

2.5 1.9 2.8 3.4 2.8 2.2 1.8 1.9 1.6

Children under 18

0.6 0.3 1.0 1.4 0.7 0.2 0.1 0.1 (1)

Adults 65 and older

0.4 (1) (1) (1) 0.1 0.1 1.4 1.4 1.4

Earners

1.3 1.3 1.5 1.7 1.7 1.4 0.5 0.7 0.2

Vehicles

1.9 1.1 1.7 1.9 2.2 2.2 1.8 2.0 1.4

Percent homeowner

63 13 41 54 69 78 80 80 79

Average annual expenditures

$60,060 $33,629 $55,325 $69,034 $73,905 $64,972 $49,542 $54,997 $41,849

Food

7,729 4,759 7,390 9,376 9,270 7,894 6,326 6,818 5,621

Food at home

4,363 2,397 3,974 5,127 5,113 4,665 3,815 4,049 3,478

Cereals and bakery products

564 326 515 679 628 599 506 519 488

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

944 532 797 1,102 1,134 1,071 800 854 720

Dairy products

450 245 399 542 526 463 409 422 390

Fruits and vegetables

837 457 811 983 955 846 756 800 691

Other food at home

1,568 836 1,452 1,820 1,870 1,686 1,345 1,454 1,189

Food away from home

3,365 2,362 3,416 4,249 4,157 3,229 2,511 2,769 2,142

Alcoholic beverages

558 317 573 624 633 620 459 542 339

Housing

19,884 11,255 19,927 23,805 23,205 20,127 16,668 18,068 14,692

Shelter

11,895 7,553 12,695 14,295 14,250 11,616 9,270 10,034 8,197

Owned dwellings

6,947 964 5,128 7,938 9,476 8,370 5,950 7,040 4,420

Rented dwellings

4,167 6,279 7,153 5,755 3,653 2,182 2,530 2,002 3,271

Other lodging

782 310 415 602 1,120 1,064 790 993 506

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,836 1,853 3,244 4,226 4,596 4,234 3,572 3,832 3,207

Household operations

1,412 528 1,617 2,100 1,390 1,166 1,235 1,244 1,221

Housekeeping supplies

755 316 542 814 784 864 861 959 721

Household furnishings and equipment

1,987 1,005 1,829 2,370 2,185 2,246 1,729 1,999 1,346

Apparel and services

1,833 1,315 2,042 2,377 2,308 1,720 1,193 1,420 866

Transportation

9,576 6,655 9,115 11,054 11,755 10,185 7,513 8,939 5,519

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

4,054 3,366 3,947 4,805 5,113 4,244 2,856 3,755 1,594

Gasoline, other fuels, and motor oil

1,968 1,417 2,013 2,437 2,472 2,089 1,290 1,555 918

Other vehicle expenses

2,842 1,467 2,512 2,965 3,344 3,061 2,774 2,892 2,615

Public and other transportation

712 405 644 847 826 792 594 738 392

Healthcare

4,928 1,547 3,163 4,348 4,967 5,777 6,620 6,723 6,475

Entertainment

3,203 1,488 2,644 4,001 4,064 3,444 2,636 3,327 1,657

Personal care products and services

762 473 643 959 927 750 670 726 592

Reading

110 42 61 115 112 119 147 136 164

Education

1,491 2,333 1,234 1,004 3,213 1,644 388 477 262

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

332 220 323 366 410 418 219 285 126

Miscellaneous

1,010 358 669 1,083 1,202 1,214 1,043 1,168 869

Cash contributions

1,873 299 949 1,580 2,218 2,357 2,430 2,275 2,648

Personal insurance and pensions

6,771 2,567 6,590 8,341 9,622 8,705 3,230 4,091 2,020

Life and other personal insurance

418 42 192 371 498 626 467 528 382

Pensions and Social Security

6,353 2,525 6,398 7,971 9,123 8,079 2,762 3,563 1,638

(1) Value is too small to display.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey.

Table 5. Size of consumer unit: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, 2017
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)

130,001 37,365 92,636 44,463 19,202 16,306 12,666

Consumer unit characteristics

Income before taxes

$73,573 $35,889 $88,774 $81,237 $91,836 $105,088 $89,585

Age of reference person

50.9 54.5 49.5 55.2 46.9 42.7 42.2

Average number in consumer unit

People

2.5 1.0 3.1 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.6

Children under 18

0.6 (1) 0.8 0.1 0.7 1.5 2.7

Adults 65 and older

0.4 0.4 0.4 0.6 0.3 0.1 0.1

Earners

1.3 0.6 1.6 1.2 1.7 2.0 2.3

Vehicles

1.9 1.1 2.3 2.1 2.2 2.5 2.3

Percent homeowner

63 48 69 72 67 71 59

Average annual expenditures

$60,060 $35,960 $69,799 $64,513 $70,927 $80,151 $73,421

Food

7,729 4,425 9,072 7,865 9,019 10,995 10,962

Food at home

4,363 2,323 5,193 4,417 5,126 6,194 6,738

Cereals and bakery products

564 289 677 548 665 835 943

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

944 469 1,137 956 1,126 1,343 1,522

Dairy products

450 236 537 453 526 655 699

Fruits and vegetables

837 452 993 856 966 1,217 1,236

Other food at home

1,568 878 1,849 1,605 1,844 2,145 2,337

Food away from home

3,365 2,101 3,879 3,448 3,893 4,801 4,225

Alcoholic beverages

558 390 626 737 577 574 389

Housing

19,884 13,529 22,450 20,354 23,319 26,051 23,850

Shelter

11,895 8,735 13,170 11,950 14,014 15,253 13,491

Owned dwellings

6,947 3,574 8,307 7,410 8,944 10,417 7,772

Rented dwellings

4,167 4,710 3,947 3,503 4,158 3,978 5,147

Other lodging

782 451 916 1,037 912 859 571

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,836 2,353 4,434 3,999 4,492 5,001 5,142

Household operations

1,412 738 1,683 1,276 1,812 2,549 1,805

Housekeeping supplies

755 463 873 826 871 867 1,042

Household furnishings and equipment

1,987 1,240 2,289 2,303 2,129 2,381 2,370

Apparel and services

1,833 1,007 2,168 1,821 1,941 2,788 2,956

Transportation

9,576 5,155 11,359 10,170 11,695 13,230 12,624

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

4,054 1,761 4,979 4,401 5,042 5,800 5,855

Gasoline, other fuels, and motor oil

1,968 999 2,359 1,979 2,399 2,839 3,014

Other vehicle expenses

2,842 1,961 3,197 2,955 3,517 3,656 2,982

Public and other transportation

712 435 824 835 737 935 774

Healthcare

4,928 2,967 5,720 6,218 5,529 5,558 4,467

Entertainment

3,203 1,660 3,827 3,750 3,378 4,465 3,962

Personal care products and services

762 496 870 806 870 1,041 882

Reading

110 80 122 127 127 133 86

Education

1,491 743 1,793 1,329 2,290 2,307 2,010

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

332 240 370 331 447 362 398

Miscellaneous

1,010 773 1,105 1,109 1,282 1,096 832

Cash contributions

1,873 1,403 2,062 2,491 1,589 1,704 1,737

Personal insurance and pensions

6,771 3,093 8,254 7,404 8,865 9,845 8,265

Life and other personal insurance

418 187 511 527 502 549 417

Pensions and Social Security

6,353 2,906 7,744 6,877 8,364 9,297 7,848

(1) Not applicable.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey.

Table 6. Composition of consumer unit: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, 2017
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)

130,001 64,374 29,348 30,090 5,456 15,097 9,536 4,936 7,140 58,487

Consumer unit characteristics

Income before taxes

$73,573 $100,739 $91,415 $110,449 $98,257 $111,780 $115,319 $96,990 $46,039 $47,035

Age of reference person

50.9 51.4 59.2 43.9 32.6 41.2 54.5 50.7 39.8 51.8

Average number in consumer unit

People

2.5 3.1 2.0 4.0 3.5 4.2 3.8 4.9 2.9 1.7

Children under 18

0.6 0.8 (1) 1.5 1.5 2.2 0.5 1.3 1.7 0.2

Adults 65 and older

0.4 0.5 0.8 0.1 (2) (1) 0.3 0.6 (1) 0.4

Earners

1.3 1.6 1.2 2.0 1.7 1.8 2.4 2.4 1.1 1.0

Vehicles

1.9 2.5 2.4 2.5 2.0 2.4 3.0 2.6 1.3 1.4

Percent homeowner

63 78 84 74 65 73 79 74 33 50

Average annual expenditures

$60,060 $78,129 $72,449 $84,520 $76,243 $87,390 $84,892 $73,330 $47,951 $41,758

Food

7,729 10,079 8,717 11,508 9,349 12,091 11,943 9,729 6,204 5,386

Food at home

4,363 5,696 4,842 6,485 5,493 6,676 6,820 6,100 3,757 3,008

Cereals and bakery products

564 744 610 865 724 908 887 818 528 377

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

944 1,226 1,044 1,377 1,017 1,377 1,615 1,412 837 654

Dairy products

450 597 503 697 625 739 672 567 400 299

Fruits and vegetables

837 1,115 960 1,271 1,226 1,296 1,258 1,119 658 560

Other food at home

1,568 2,014 1,725 2,275 1,901 2,356 2,388 2,185 1,333 1,119

Food away from home

3,365 4,383 3,875 5,023 3,856 5,415 5,123 3,629 2,448 2,378

Alcoholic beverages

558 714 873 614 548 655 588 365 225 430

Housing

19,884 24,458 21,979 26,982 27,767 27,613 25,578 23,844 18,099 15,080

Shelter

11,895 14,203 12,606 15,760 15,962 16,333 14,737 14,199 11,159 9,446

Owned dwellings

6,947 9,953 8,899 11,053 10,499 11,526 10,621 9,517 4,192 3,974

Rented dwellings

4,167 3,106 2,346 3,682 4,893 3,599 3,122 4,113 6,604 5,036

Other lodging

782 1,143 1,361 1,025 570 1,209 994 569 362 436

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,836 4,726 4,307 5,027 3,925 5,094 5,551 5,381 3,520 2,895

Household operations

1,412 1,911 1,386 2,499 4,603 2,503 1,287 1,454 1,436 859

Housekeeping supplies

755 979 973 1,016 768 1,012 1,185 810 574 535

Household furnishings and equipment

1,987 2,640 2,707 2,681 2,508 2,670 2,818 2,000 1,410 1,345

Apparel and services

1,833 2,404 1,998 2,865 2,690 3,155 2,495 2,100 1,898 1,211

Transportation

9,576 12,654 11,403 13,866 12,713 13,797 14,673 12,718 7,690 6,421

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

4,054 5,583 4,998 6,186 6,293 6,322 5,910 5,379 3,541 2,434

Gasoline, other fuels, and motor oil

1,968 2,539 2,090 2,917 2,365 2,931 3,210 2,911 1,696 1,372

Other vehicle expenses

2,842 3,564 3,313 3,809 3,129 3,579 4,600 3,576 2,030 2,149

Public and other transportation

712 968 1,002 954 926 965 953 852 423 466

Healthcare

4,928 6,669 7,515 5,986 5,345 5,798 6,648 5,798 2,783 3,275

Entertainment

3,203 4,387 4,378 4,419 3,708 5,281 3,433 4,241 2,470 2,000

Personal care products and services

762 959 892 1,055 763 1,171 1,047 788 782 547

Reading

110 146 156 140 96 155 143 118 45 79

Education

1,491 2,153 1,585 2,852 1,105 3,154 3,373 1,280 1,230 795

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

332 334 299 334 239 305 436 537 318 332

Miscellaneous

1,010 1,221 1,193 1,223 1,157 937 1,719 1,363 864 795

Cash contributions

1,873 2,428 3,161 1,845 1,207 2,058 1,874 1,625 1,230 1,340

Personal insurance and pensions

6,771 9,523 8,300 10,831 9,556 11,222 10,942 8,825 4,112 4,067

Life and other personal insurance

418 622 667 594 387 611 684 527 233 215

Pensions and Social Security

6,353 8,901 7,633 10,237 9,169 10,610 10,258 8,298 3,878 3,852

(1) Value is too small to display.

(2) No data reported.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey.

Table 7. Number of earners in consumer unit: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, 2017
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)

130,001 16,431 20,934 13,140 25,885 42,221 11,390

Consumer unit characteristics

Income before taxes

$73,573 $19,976 $48,378 $34,265 $66,641 $110,047 $123,099

Age of reference person

50.9 68.2 43.7 67.1 49.6 44.3 48.1

Average number in consumer unit

People

2.5 1.0 1.0 2.3 2.9 3.0 4.4

Children under 18

0.6 (1) (1) 0.3 0.9 0.9 1.0

Adults 65 and older

0.4 0.7 0.1 1.3 0.4 0.1 0.2

Earners

1.3 (1) 1.0 (1) 1.0 2.0 3.3

Vehicles

1.9 1.0 1.1 1.9 1.9 2.4 3.0

Percent homeowner

63 58 39 78 62 70 72

Average annual expenditures

$60,060 $30,075 $40,486 $50,404 $59,895 $77,675 $86,316

Food

7,729 3,891 4,796 7,134 8,098 9,713 11,567

Food at home

4,363 2,335 2,316 4,485 4,954 5,301 6,344

Cereals and bakery products

564 318 269 608 671 662 853

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

944 472 467 997 1,075 1,149 1,447

Dairy products

450 252 225 471 515 548 642

Fruits and vegetables

837 457 448 826 971 1,023 1,150

Other food at home

1,568 836 907 1,583 1,722 1,920 2,251

Food away from home

3,365 1,556 2,480 2,649 3,144 4,412 5,223

Alcoholic beverages

558 250 487 464 433 775 731

Housing

19,884 11,873 14,810 16,896 20,425 24,658 25,369

Shelter

11,895 7,207 9,934 9,031 12,006 14,737 14,782

Owned dwellings

6,947 3,268 3,814 5,638 7,052 9,602 9,438

Rented dwellings

4,167 3,595 5,586 2,530 4,201 4,104 4,425

Other lodging

782 343 535 864 753 1,031 919

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,836 2,421 2,299 3,897 4,158 4,465 5,566

Household operations

1,412 840 658 1,164 1,398 2,117 1,324

Housekeeping supplies

755 507 433 873 790 862 1,166

Household furnishings and equipment

1,987 897 1,486 1,932 2,073 2,478 2,531

Apparel and services

1,833 719 1,207 1,394 1,990 2,445 2,483

Transportation

9,576 4,224 5,913 7,455 9,110 12,677 16,277

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

4,054 1,192 2,207 2,960 3,797 5,731 7,207

Gasoline, other fuels, and motor oil

1,968 679 1,250 1,475 2,052 2,547 3,380

Other vehicle expenses

2,842 2,048 1,922 2,422 2,611 3,457 4,643

Public and other transportation

712 306 533 598 650 943 1,048

Healthcare

4,928 3,481 2,566 7,334 5,265 5,493 5,727

Entertainment

3,203 1,350 1,890 2,851 3,308 4,306 4,362

Personal care products and services

762 410 558 663 785 949 1,026

Reading

110 77 82 157 103 121 136

Education

1,491 365 1,038 792 1,214 2,170 2,868

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

332 236 243 335 349 353 521

Miscellaneous

1,010 912 664 974 915 1,209 1,323

Cash contributions

1,873 1,383 1,418 2,558 2,121 1,879 2,036

Personal insurance and pensions

6,771 903 4,813 1,398 5,780 10,925 11,890

Life and other personal insurance

418 195 181 488 444 529 618

Pensions and Social Security

6,353 708 4,632 910 5,336 10,395 11,272

(1) Not applicable.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey.

Table 8. Housing tenure and type of area: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, 2017
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)

130,001 81,770 47,129 34,642 48,231 119,223 46,900 72,323 10,778

Consumer unit characteristics

Income before taxes

$73,573 $88,538 $106,964 $63,471 $48,201 $75,276 $68,623 $79,590 $54,739

Age of reference person

50.9 55.7 49.9 63.6 42.8 50.6 48.2 52.1 54.8

Average number in consumer unit

People

2.5 2.5 2.9 2.1 2.3 2.5 2.3 2.5 2.5

Children under 18

0.6 0.5 0.8 0.3 0.6 0.6 0.5 0.6 0.6

Adults 65 and older

0.4 0.5 0.3 0.8 0.2 0.4 0.3 0.4 0.5

Earners

1.3 1.4 1.7 0.9 1.2 1.3 1.3 1.3 1.1

Vehicles

1.9 2.3 2.4 2.1 1.2 1.9 1.5 2.1 2.5

Percent homeowner

63 100 100 100 (1) 61 48 70 80

Average annual expenditures

$60,060 $70,125 $80,765 $55,261 $43,010 $61,021 $54,486 $65,261 $49,492

Food

7,729 8,857 9,491 7,788 5,823 7,829 7,231 8,218 6,654

Food at home

4,363 5,005 5,274 4,533 3,280 4,392 3,990 4,653 4,058

Cereals and bakery products

564 651 673 613 418 566 506 605 546

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

944 1,062 1,123 953 745 954 892 994 834

Dairy products

450 525 552 478 323 448 406 475 472

Fruits and vegetables

837 964 1,022 863 621 854 782 902 646

Other food at home

1,568 1,802 1,904 1,627 1,173 1,569 1,403 1,678 1,559

Food away from home

3,365 3,852 4,216 3,255 2,543 3,437 3,241 3,564 2,596

Alcoholic beverages

558 662 746 522 382 585 587 583 274

Housing

19,884 21,880 26,883 15,039 16,504 20,494 18,928 21,510 13,132

Shelter

11,895 12,151 16,300 6,505 11,462 12,440 11,865 12,813 5,868

Owned dwellings

6,947 10,988 15,094 5,402 94 7,194 5,466 8,314 4,215

Rented dwellings

4,167 105 91 125 11,052 4,444 5,757 3,593 1,096

Other lodging

782 1,057 1,115 978 315 802 642 906 557

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,836 4,569 4,902 4,117 2,592 3,836 3,391 4,124 3,834

Household operations

1,412 1,750 2,027 1,372 837 1,458 1,287 1,569 901

Housekeeping supplies

755 930 934 922 459 753 650 819 776

Household furnishings and equipment

1,987 2,479 2,720 2,122 1,154 2,008 1,736 2,184 1,753

Apparel and services

1,833 2,038 2,282 1,634 1,486 1,885 1,843 1,912 1,275

Transportation

9,576 11,271 12,856 9,143 6,702 9,511 7,831 10,600 10,293

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

4,054 4,880 5,729 3,725 2,653 3,984 3,169 4,512 4,829

Gasoline, other fuels, and motor oil

1,968 2,246 2,565 1,812 1,497 1,942 1,607 2,159 2,260

Other vehicle expenses

2,842 3,309 3,619 2,914 2,051 2,846 2,258 3,228 2,785

Public and other transportation

712 836 943 692 501 739 796 701 419

Healthcare

4,928 6,226 6,254 6,195 2,728 4,908 4,114 5,423 5,155

Entertainment

3,203 4,040 4,540 3,308 1,785 3,207 2,549 3,635 3,148

Personal care products and services

762 885 983 731 554 789 742 819 474

Reading

110 134 135 136 69 114 100 124 63

Education

1,491 1,769 2,167 1,220 1,020 1,565 1,504 1,606 667

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

332 323 336 303 349 313 286 330 548

Miscellaneous

1,010 1,232 1,412 983 633 1,022 825 1,151 874

Cash contributions

1,873 2,407 2,225 2,655 967 1,875 1,669 2,008 1,849

Personal insurance and pensions

6,771 8,400 10,454 5,606 4,009 6,924 6,277 7,342 5,085

Life and other personal insurance

418 569 668 435 161 413 321 472 474

Pensions and Social Security

6,353 7,831 9,786 5,171 3,848 6,511 5,956 6,871 4,611

(1) Not applicable.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey.

Table 9. Region of residence: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, 2017
Item All consumer units Northeast Midwest South West

Number of consumer units (in thousands)

130,001 23,316 28,049 49,854 28,782

Consumer unit characteristics

Income before taxes

$73,573 $82,825 $69,520 $66,863 $81,651

Age of reference person

50.9 52.6 51.2 50.6 50.0

Average number in consumer unit

People

2.5 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.7

Children under 18

0.6 0.5 0.6 0.6 0.7

Adults 65 and older

0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4

Earners

1.3 1.3 1.3 1.2 1.4

Vehicles

1.9 1.7 2.1 1.9 2.1

Percent homeowner

63 60 67 64 59

Average annual expenditures

$60,060 $64,016 $57,303 $54,815 $68,602

Food

7,729 8,059 7,249 7,117 8,982

Food at home

4,363 4,707 4,100 3,988 4,987

Cereals and bakery products

564 629 530 516 628

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

944 1,027 838 906 1,045

Dairy products

450 496 450 391 514

Fruits and vegetables

837 952 741 736 1,009

Other food at home

1,568 1,603 1,540 1,438 1,791

Food away from home

3,365 3,352 3,149 3,129 3,995

Alcoholic beverages

558 554 545 454 754

Housing

19,884 22,667 17,797 17,800 23,271

Shelter

11,895 14,503 9,868 10,155 14,772

Owned dwellings

6,947 8,490 6,385 5,914 8,031

Rented dwellings

4,167 4,916 2,752 3,608 5,906

Other lodging

782 1,097 731 632 835

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,836 4,003 3,715 3,805 3,870

Household operations

1,412 1,451 1,303 1,354 1,586

Housekeeping supplies

755 735 716 701 900

Household furnishings and equipment

1,987 1,974 2,195 1,784 2,143

Apparel and services

1,833 1,951 1,717 1,675 2,121

Transportation

9,576 8,867 9,548 9,347 10,570

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

4,054 3,210 3,843 4,241 4,619

Gasoline, other fuels, and motor oil

1,968 1,739 1,920 1,953 2,228

Other vehicle expenses

2,842 2,878 3,172 2,625 2,863

Public and other transportation

712 1,040 613 529 860

Healthcare

4,928 5,126 5,262 4,669 4,892

Entertainment

3,203 3,133 3,341 2,832 3,763

Personal care products and services

762 741 788 689 879

Reading

110 123 110 98 120

Education

1,491 2,341 1,287 1,156 1,581

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

332 357 384 336 255

Miscellaneous

1,010 1,176 859 846 1,305

Cash contributions

1,873 1,523 1,855 1,828 2,251

Personal insurance and pensions

6,771 7,399 6,562 5,968 7,858

Life and other personal insurance

418 489 443 408 351

Pensions and Social Security

6,353 6,910 6,119 5,559 7,507

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey.

Table 10. Occupation of reference person: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, 2017
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)

130,001 7,503 79,434 32,080 19,421 17,349 3,392 7,191 26,761 16,303

Consumer unit characteristics

Income before taxes

$73,573 $114,026 $87,273 $118,115 $72,318 $60,965 $68,120 $62,579 $40,065 $43,212

Age of reference person

50.9 50.8 44.1 44.6 42.8 44.4 43.2 45.1 73.4 47.5

Average number in consumer unit

People

2.5 2.6 2.6 2.6 2.5 2.7 2.9 2.8 1.7 2.7

Children under 18

0.6 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.6 0.7 0.9 0.8 0.1 0.8

Adults 65 and older

0.4 0.3 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.1 0.1 1.2 0.2

Earners

1.3 1.8 1.7 1.8 1.7 1.7 1.7 1.8 0.2 0.7

Vehicles

1.9 2.4 2.0 2.2 1.9 1.7 2.2 2.1 1.8 1.5

Percent homeowner

63 74 59 69 53 48 59 57 81 48

Average annual expenditures

$60,060 $81,269 $65,107 $82,493 $57,667 $49,452 $53,116 $51,354 $48,731 $44,109

Food

7,729 10,096 8,098 9,679 7,559 6,618 6,200 7,049 6,481 6,779

Food at home

4,363 5,425 4,398 5,014 4,070 4,009 3,333 4,112 3,916 4,395

Cereals and bakery products

564 711 558 648 502 505 412 526 522 591

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

944 1,150 944 1,012 888 935 739 945 850 992

Dairy products

450 578 452 531 424 392 335 388 412 440

Fruits and vegetables

837 1,097 838 990 736 795 625 700 760 824

Other food at home

1,568 1,889 1,605 1,833 1,521 1,381 1,222 1,554 1,372 1,548

Food away from home

3,365 4,670 3,700 4,665 3,489 2,610 2,867 2,937 2,566 2,384

Alcoholic beverages

558 655 648 882 576 456 365 425 455 233

Housing

19,884 24,412 21,436 26,575 19,384 17,222 17,522 16,055 16,446 15,879

Shelter

11,895 14,859 13,056 16,328 11,806 10,546 10,436 9,129 9,076 9,504

Owned dwellings

6,947 9,860 7,529 10,479 6,248 4,909 5,949 4,890 5,876 4,527

Rented dwellings

4,167 3,562 4,750 4,626 5,008 5,177 4,102 3,888 2,406 4,491

Other lodging

782 1,437 777 1,223 550 460 386 351 794 486

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,836 4,503 3,924 4,308 3,737 3,550 3,845 3,661 3,585 3,507

Household operations

1,412 1,832 1,567 2,289 1,237 1,012 833 927 1,177 847

Housekeeping supplies

755 898 756 877 699 648 526 754 810 591

Household furnishings and equipment

1,987 2,319 2,132 2,774 1,905 1,467 1,882 1,585 1,798 1,430

Apparel and services

1,833 2,346 2,017 2,511 1,794 1,650 1,297 1,707 1,252 1,618

Transportation

9,576 11,473 10,773 12,352 10,244 8,523 11,584 10,273 7,365 6,502

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

4,054 4,301 4,793 5,096 4,973 3,655 6,429 4,930 2,673 2,606

Gasoline, other fuels, and motor oil

1,968 2,464 2,210 2,392 2,057 1,935 2,526 2,324 1,317 1,631

Other vehicle expenses

2,842 3,704 2,982 3,690 2,654 2,395 2,190 2,566 2,806 1,829

Public and other transportation

712 1,004 789 1,174 560 539 438 452 569 436

Healthcare

4,928 6,337 4,530 5,768 4,034 3,342 3,606 3,646 6,550 3,560

Entertainment

3,203 4,834 3,406 4,561 2,923 2,265 2,597 2,694 2,726 2,206

Personal care products and services

762 1,052 809 1,049 743 622 468 553 668 544

Reading

110 163 105 145 92 67 51 79 141 59

Education

1,491 3,039 1,746 2,830 1,240 835 941 860 518 1,133

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

332 330 335 252 348 350 612 499 230 490

Miscellaneous

1,010 1,550 986 1,229 890 876 722 577 1,072 779

Cash contributions

1,873 2,321 1,782 2,662 1,148 1,156 1,078 1,410 2,444 1,171

Personal insurance and pensions

6,771 12,660 8,436 11,997 6,693 5,470 6,073 5,528 2,382 3,155

Life and other personal insurance

418 619 415 545 358 319 271 288 449 286

Pensions and Social Security

6,353 12,041 8,021 11,452 6,335 5,150 5,802 5,240 1,934 2,868

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey.

Table 11. Highest education level of any member: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, 2017
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)

130,001 74,758 8,673 24,322 27,185 14,579 55,243 32,988 22,255

Consumer unit characteristics

Income before taxes

$73,573 $47,576 $27,757 $40,147 $52,240 $63,061 $108,755 $92,409 $132,985

Age of reference person

50.9 51.6 56.7 53.5 49.3 50.0 49.9 48.9 51.5

Average number in consumer unit

People

2.5 2.4 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.6 2.6 2.5 2.6

Children under 18

0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6

Adults 65 and older

0.4 0.4 0.5 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.4

Earners

1.3 1.2 0.7 1.0 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.5 1.5

Vehicles

1.9 1.7 1.1 1.6 1.9 2.2 2.1 2.1 2.2

Percent homeowner

63 56 43 56 55 64 73 70 77

Average annual expenditures

$60,060 $44,071 $29,842 $37,718 $48,394 $54,927 $81,512 $71,796 $95,846

Food

7,729 6,154 4,791 5,655 6,448 7,175 9,777 8,964 10,941

Food at home

4,363 3,713 3,487 3,549 3,695 4,140 5,204 4,815 5,759

Cereals and bakery products

564 495 469 479 501 526 653 606 721

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

944 861 881 818 844 953 1,050 1,019 1,095

Dairy products

450 363 311 354 356 418 562 506 643

Fruits and vegetables

837 659 681 624 644 732 1,066 953 1,227

Other food at home

1,568 1,335 1,145 1,274 1,350 1,510 1,872 1,731 2,073

Food away from home

3,365 2,441 1,305 2,106 2,754 3,035 4,573 4,150 5,182

Alcoholic beverages

558 329 102 276 382 444 856 760 992

Housing

19,884 14,960 11,643 13,251 15,998 17,855 26,525 23,384 31,175

Shelter

11,895 8,620 6,648 7,609 9,235 10,333 16,327 14,178 19,513

Owned dwellings

6,947 4,176 2,026 3,469 4,562 5,912 10,697 8,827 13,467

Rented dwellings

4,167 4,102 4,473 3,899 4,262 3,922 4,254 4,349 4,114

Other lodging

782 343 150 241 411 499 1,377 1,002 1,932

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,836 3,433 2,636 3,293 3,575 3,874 4,381 4,186 4,669

Household operations

1,412 858 524 658 945 1,230 2,160 1,682 2,868

Housekeeping supplies

755 631 760 548 608 744 914 850 1,004

Household furnishings and equipment

1,987 1,418 1,075 1,143 1,635 1,674 2,743 2,487 3,121

Apparel and services

1,833 1,350 1,129 1,167 1,408 1,666 2,462 2,285 2,718

Transportation

9,576 7,736 4,426 6,439 8,739 9,973 12,057 11,312 13,160

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

4,054 3,299 1,839 2,693 3,645 4,534 5,076 4,791 5,497

Gasoline, other fuels, and motor oil

1,968 1,779 1,178 1,616 1,925 2,136 2,224 2,192 2,272

Other vehicle expenses

2,842 2,325 1,129 1,885 2,789 2,873 3,534 3,407 3,723

Public and other transportation

712 334 279 245 380 430 1,223 922 1,669

Healthcare

4,928 3,856 2,601 3,553 4,031 4,781 6,375 5,757 7,290

Entertainment

3,203 2,271 1,117 1,751 2,708 2,992 4,443 3,929 5,201

Personal care products and services

762 557 351 460 648 668 1,033 913 1,208

Reading

110 61 20 55 70 76 175 151 210

Education

1,491 525 277 211 788 707 2,796 1,835 4,220

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

332 432 327 490 400 459 197 233 143

Miscellaneous

1,010 777 651 575 906 944 1,325 1,143 1,596

Cash contributions

1,873 1,078 687 880 1,194 1,424 2,949 2,232 4,012

Personal insurance and pensions

6,771 3,984 1,720 2,954 4,674 5,764 10,543 8,899 12,979

Life and other personal insurance

418 301 123 272 313 429 576 475 726

Pensions and Social Security

6,353 3,684 1,597 2,681 4,360 5,335 9,967 8,424 12,253

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey.

Table 12. Race of reference person: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, 2017
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)

130,001 112,677 106,321 6,356 17,324

Consumer unit characteristics

Income before taxes

$73,573 $76,676 $75,362 $98,646 $53,395

Age of reference person

50.9 51.3 51.7 45.3 48.4

Average number in consumer unit

People

2.5 2.5 2.5 2.8 2.4

Children under 18

0.6 0.6 0.6 0.7 0.6

Adults 65 and older

0.4 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.3

Earners

1.3 1.3 1.3 1.5 1.2

Vehicles

1.9 2.0 2.0 1.7 1.3

Percent homeowner

63 66 67 58 41

Average annual expenditures

$60,060 $62,639 $62,032 $72,850 $43,117

Food

7,729 8,072 7,995 9,469 5,422

Food at home

4,363 4,518 4,470 5,385 3,323

Cereals and bakery products

564 586 580 687 418

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

944 954 938 1,245 874

Dairy products

450 476 479 428 276

Fruits and vegetables

837 867 843 1,315 629

Other food at home

1,568 1,634 1,630 1,710 1,126

Food away from home

3,365 3,554 3,524 4,084 2,099

Alcoholic beverages

558 616 623 488 170

Housing

19,884 20,508 20,154 26,412 15,808

Shelter

11,895 12,246 11,918 17,729 9,613

Owned dwellings

6,947 7,429 7,248 10,466 3,808

Rented dwellings

4,167 3,970 3,836 6,204 5,447

Other lodging

782 847 835 1,058 358

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,836 3,888 3,900 3,685 3,497

Household operations

1,412 1,474 1,438 2,082 1,004

Housekeeping supplies

755 780 790 587 584

Household furnishings and equipment

1,987 2,119 2,107 2,330 1,110

Apparel and services

1,833 1,873 1,853 2,243 1,557

Transportation

9,576 9,995 9,932 11,031 6,841

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

4,054 4,295 4,286 4,448 2,484

Gasoline, other fuels, and motor oil

1,968 2,015 2,016 1,999 1,661

Other vehicle expenses

2,842 2,941 2,943 2,889 2,187

Public and other transportation

712 743 687 1,695 509

Healthcare

4,928 5,212 5,244 4,658 3,079

Entertainment

3,203 3,439 3,475 2,797 1,643

Personal care products and services

762 778 781 720 653

Reading

110 119 121 97 47

Education

1,491 1,574 1,470 3,314 953

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

332 342 355 122 268

Miscellaneous

1,010 1,067 1,081 835 638

Cash contributions

1,873 1,942 1,961 1,627 1,419

Personal insurance and pensions

6,771 7,102 6,986 9,035 4,620

Life and other personal insurance

418 432 433 411 327

Pensions and Social Security

6,353 6,670 6,553 8,624 4,293

(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, Consumer Expenditure Survey.

Table 13. Hispanic or Latino origin of reference person: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, 2017
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)

130,001 17,630 112,371 95,395 16,976

Consumer unit characteristics

Income before taxes

$73,573 $57,287 $76,129 $80,174 $53,395

Age of reference person

50.9 44.3 52.0 52.6 48.5

Average number in consumer unit

People

2.5 3.2 2.4 2.4 2.4

Children under 18

0.6 1.0 0.5 0.5 0.6

Adults 65 and older

0.4 0.2 0.4 0.4 0.3

Earners

1.3 1.6 1.3 1.3 1.2

Vehicles

1.9 1.6 2.0 2.1 1.3

Percent homeowner

63 46 66 70 41

Average annual expenditures

$60,060 $49,190 $61,760 $65,019 $43,246

Food

7,729 7,300 7,795 8,202 5,420

Food at home

4,363 4,354 4,365 4,542 3,328

Cereals and bakery products

564 561 565 590 417

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

944 1,069 924 933 872

Dairy products

450 403 457 489 274

Fruits and vegetables

837 908 826 859 632

Other food at home

1,568 1,413 1,592 1,671 1,132

Food away from home

3,365 2,946 3,430 3,661 2,092

Alcoholic beverages

558 313 596 669 171

Housing

19,884 18,165 20,153 20,917 15,828

Shelter

11,895 11,388 11,975 12,393 9,627

Owned dwellings

6,947 4,954 7,259 7,872 3,813

Rented dwellings

4,167 6,127 3,859 3,574 5,459

Other lodging

782 307 857 946 354

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,836 3,645 3,866 3,930 3,501

Household operations

1,412 923 1,488 1,574 1,009

Housekeeping supplies

755 610 777 810 586

Household furnishings and equipment

1,987 1,599 2,047 2,211 1,105

Apparel and services

1,833 2,079 1,795 1,833 1,568

Transportation

9,576 8,173 9,795 10,305 6,916

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

4,054 3,211 4,186 4,480 2,535

Gasoline, other fuels, and motor oil

1,968 2,191 1,933 1,980 1,671

Other vehicle expenses

2,842 2,159 2,948 3,076 2,216

Public and other transportation

712 612 728 769 494

Healthcare

4,928 2,946 5,239 5,618 3,102

Entertainment

3,203 1,878 3,409 3,719 1,639

Personal care products and services

762 717 769 789 651

Reading

110 48 120 132 47

Education

1,491 897 1,584 1,696 955

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

332 120 366 382 271

Miscellaneous

1,010 606 1,073 1,150 640

Cash contributions

1,873 979 2,013 2,115 1,439

Personal insurance and pensions

6,771 4,968 7,054 7,491 4,601

Life and other personal insurance

418 190 453 475 329

Pensions and Social Security

6,353 4,778 6,601 7,015 4,271

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey.

Table 14. Generation of reference person: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, 2017
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)

130,001 1,439 16,471 44,694 34,780 32,618

Consumer unit characteristics

Income before taxes

$73,573 $31,992 $41,118 $78,907 $95,032 $61,608

Age of reference person

50.9 91.9 78.1 61.1 44.3 28.5

Average number in consumer unit

People

2.5 1.3 1.6 2.2 3.1 2.6

Children under 18

0.6 (2) (2) 0.2 1.1 0.9

Adults 65 and older

0.4 1.2 1.4 0.5 (2) (2)

Earners

1.3 0.1 0.3 1.2 1.7 1.5

Vehicles

1.9 0.9 1.6 2.2 2.1 1.6

Percent homeowner

63 66 81 77 62 35

Average annual expenditures

$60,060 $41,874 $44,746 $63,050 $72,459 $51,306

Food

7,729 4,311 5,946 7,802 9,407 6,903

Food at home

4,363 2,500 3,647 4,557 5,178 3,680

Cereals and bakery products

564 469 486 578 668 480

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

944 396 762 1,026 1,120 759

Dairy products

450 278 403 456 543 375

Fruits and vegetables

837 526 719 855 975 739

Other food at home

1,568 830 1,277 1,642 1,872 1,327

Food away from home

3,365 1,811 2,299 3,245 4,229 3,223

Alcoholic beverages

558 271 397 595 633 521

Housing

19,884 20,205 14,963 19,856 23,721 18,309

Shelter

11,895 13,068 8,108 11,457 14,512 11,566

Owned dwellings

6,947 4,106 5,073 8,115 8,824 4,415

Rented dwellings

4,167 8,319 2,438 2,280 4,812 6,754

Other lodging

782 643 597 1,062 876 397

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,836 2,583 3,393 4,171 4,455 2,996

Household operations

1,412 2,184 1,155 1,192 1,678 1,523

Housekeeping supplies

755 452 835 886 803 495

Household furnishings and equipment

1,987 1,919 1,473 2,150 2,272 1,729

Apparel and services

1,833 778 995 1,730 2,336 1,908

Transportation

9,576 3,222 6,437 10,020 11,646 8,629

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

4,054 261(3) 2,241 4,147 5,165 3,825

Gasoline, other fuels, and motor oil

1,968 467 1,080 1,966 2,500 1,919

Other vehicle expenses

2,842 2,095 2,603 3,145 3,130 2,275

Public and other transportation

712 398 512 762 851 610

Healthcare

4,928 6,011 6,619 5,921 4,714 2,894

Entertainment

3,203 893 2,110 3,425 4,194 2,496

Personal care products and services

762 436 630 767 970 616

Reading

110 119(3) 164 125 108 63

Education

1,491 44(3) 397 1,454 2,149 1,457

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

332 68(3) 147 395 377 303

Miscellaneous

1,010 706 882 1,253 1,113 645

Cash contributions

1,873 4,054 2,470 2,267 1,960 842

Personal insurance and pensions

6,771 755 2,589 7,438 9,129 5,720

Life and other personal insurance

418 343 408 580 447 172

Pensions and Social Security

6,353 412(3) 2,182 6,858 8,682 5,548

(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, Consumer Expenditure Survey.

Technical Notes

Starting in 1888, the CE was collected approximately every 10 years through the 1972–73 survey; annual collection began in late 1979. The CE 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 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, consists of two survey instruments with independent samples: a Diary Survey completed by participating CUs for two consecutive 1-week periods, and an Interview Survey in which expenditures of consumer units are 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, with approximately 10,000 of those addresses determined to be 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 apiece for a total of 12,000 weekly diaries per year. Likewise, for the Interview Survey, the CE Program visits 12,000 addresses per quarter, with 10,000 of those addresses having occupied housing units. Then approximately 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) incurred 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. With the latest geographic revisions, efforts are being made to align the urban areas sampled between the CPI and the CE. 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 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 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 2.1 percent from 2016 (annual average index) to 2017. 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 https://www.bls.gov/cex/csxfaqs.htm#SamplingNonsamplingError.

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. Published tables with more detail than is given in this report 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

3. selected metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs)

Tables are available for 1984–2017. In addition, the CE also produces detailed prepublication tables, which 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 web page.

Public-use microdata

The 2017 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, and 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 at https://www.bls.gov/cex/pumd.htm, from the years 1996 to 2017. 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. As of April 2019, the most recent of these reports are "The relationship between cash contributions, pretax income, and age" and "Tradeoffs in the expenditure patterns of families with children." Additional data also are presented in articles in the Monthly Labor Review.

Information is available on the methodology used to calculate and collect CE data, including data quality. 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 https://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. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200. Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.