Retirees spending more on health insurance

July 13, 2000

Retired households spent more of their budgets on health insurance in 1997 than in 1987.

Expenditure distribution for retired consumer units, 1987 and 1997 (percent)
[Chart data—TXT]

In 1997, the share of retired households’ expenditures devoted to health insurance was 7.4 percent, up from 5.2 percent in 1987. The share spent on all other health care expenses fell to 5.9 percent in 1997, from 6.6 percent in 1987.

Of the categories shown in the chart, health insurance increased the most as a share of expenditures (measuring change in percentage points). The health insurance share rose 2.2 percentage points, compared with 1.4 percentage points for entertainment and 0.4 percentage point for transportation. The remaining categories had decreases in their shares from 1987 to 1997.

These data are produced by the BLS Consumer Expenditure Surveys program. More information can be found in Issues in Labor Statistics: Consumer Spending During Retirement. (Summary 00-11, May 2000). A consumer unit is classified as retired if the reference person is 65 years of age or older and retired, and there are no earners in the household.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Retirees spending more on health insurance on the Internet at (visited January 23, 2017).


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