Disposable income and consumption
May 17, 2005
In general, consumption is lower than disposable income for most households.
But two household types stand out. Single elderly and single mothers have the lowest level of adjusted income and consumption of any households examined. They are also the only two family types that have higher consumption than income.
But those are the only characteristics these two disadvantaged households share. The single elderly had the largest percentage improvements of any of the other family types in the 1981-2001 period. Single mothers began and ended this period with the lowest average levels of both consumption and income.
These data on disposable income and consumption are a product of the Consumer Expenditure Survey. To learn more, see "Economic inequality through the prisms of income and consumption," by David Johnson, Timothy Smeeding, and Barbara Boyle Torrey, Monthly Labor Review, April 2005.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Disposable income and consumption on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2005/may/wk3/art02.htm (visited March 28, 2020).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
- Labor Market Activity of Blacks in the United States
Examines data on the labor market and related topics for the Black or African American population.
- Workers’ Access to and Use of Leave from Their Jobs in 2017–18
Examines the reasons for which workers can take leave, their use of leave, and the reasons they did not take available leave even when they needed to.
- A look at employment and wages in U.S. establishments with foreign ownership
Examines employment and wages in U.S. establishments that have at least one foreign owner with at least 10 percent ownership.
- 25 years of Worker Injury, Illness, and Fatality Case Data
Examines detailed historical data on work-related injuries, illnesses, and fatal injuries.