Consumer spending on entertainment by household income in 2013

May 21, 2015

Entertainment has long been a household budget staple. In 2013, the average household spent $2,482 on entertainment, or 4.9 percent of total household spending. Income affects most household spending patterns. In other words, the higher the household income, the greater the dollar amount spent on goods and services in general.

In 2013, the group with the lowest household income—the lowest 20 percent—spent around $1,000 on entertainment. They spent the most on audio and visual equipment ($548). The highest 20-percent income group spent more than double on entertainment what the third 20-percent group spent ($5,133 versus $1,997, respectively).

Consumer spending on entertainment, by income group, 2013
Item Lowest 20 percent Second 20 percent Third 20 percent Fourth 20 percent Highest 20 percent

Total entertainment

$1,002 $1,416 $1,997 $2,866 $5,133

Fees and admissions

112 198 349 563 1,625

Audio and visual equipment and services

548 750 885 1,149 1,489

Pets, toys, and playground equipment

286 367 527 777 1,022

Other entertainment supplies, equipment, and services

55 101 236 377 996

The percentage of the household budget spent on entertainment, however, varied by category. The share of the budget spent on total entertainment increased with each income group, except for the second 20-percent income group. Those in the lowest income group spent 4.5 percent on entertainment, while those in the highest spent 5.2 percent.

Consumer spending on entertainment as a percent of total annual expenditures, by income group, 2013
Item Lowest 20 percent Second 20 percent Third 20 percent Fourth 20 percent Highest 20 percent

Total entertainment

4.5 4.3 4.7 4.9 5.2

Fees and admissions

0.5 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.6

Audio and visual equipment and services

2.4 2.3 2.1 2.0 1.5

Pets, toys, and playground equipment

1.3 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.0

Other entertainment supplies, equipment, and services

0.2 0.3 0.6 0.6 1.0

The percentage spent on fees and admissions, and other entertainment supplies, equipment, and services increased as income increased. The share spent on audio and visual equipment and services decreased as income increased, from 2.4 percent among households in the lowest income group to 1.5 percent among households in the highest. While the dollar amount spent on this category increased with income group, total spending also increased. Therefore, spending represented a smaller share of the household budget.

These data are from the Consumer Expenditure Survey. To learn more, see the March 2015 Beyond the Numbers article "Movies, music, and sports: U.S. entertainment spending, 2008–2013," by Ann C. Foster.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Consumer spending on entertainment by household income in 2013 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2015/consumer-spending-on-entertainment-by-household-income-in-2013.htm (visited August 18, 2017).

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