Household spending increased 4.6 percent from 2014 to 2015

September 12, 2016

The average U.S. household spent $55,978 in 2015, a 4.6-percent increase from 2014. During the same period, the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) was virtually unchanged, rising 0.1 percent. In 2014, spending increased 4.7 percent. All major components of household spending increased in 2015.

Net and percent change in average annual household spending, 2014–2015
Expenditure 2014 2015 Net change Percent change Share of total in 2015

Total

$53,495 $55,978 $2,483 4.6% 100.0%

Food

$6,759 $7,023 $264 3.9 12.5

Food at home

$3,971 $4,015 $44 1.1 7.2

Food away from home

$2,787 $3,008 $221 7.9 5.4

Alcoholic beverages

$463 $515 $52 11.2 0.9

Housing

$17,798 $18,409 $611 3.4 32.9

Shelter

$10,491 $10,742 $251 2.4 19.2

Utilities, fuels, and public services

$3,921 $3,885 -$36 -0.9 6.9

Natural gas

$439 $421 -$18 -4.1 0.8

Electricity

$1,484 $1,460 -$24 -1.6 2.6

Fuel oil and other fuels

$152 $116 -$36 -23.7 0.2

Telephone services

$1,315 $1,347 $32 2.4 2.4

Water and other public services

$530 $540 $10 1.9 1.0

Household operations

$1,174 $1,309 $135 11.5 2.3

Housekeeping supplies

$632 $655 $23 3.6 1.2

Household furnishings and equipment

$1,581 $1,818 $237 15.0 3.2

Apparel and services

$1,786 $1,846 $60 3.4 3.3

Transportation

$9,073 $9,503 $430 4.7 17.0

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

$3,301 $3,997 $696 21.1 7.1

Gasoline and motor oil

$2,468 $2,090 -$378 -15.3 3.7

Other vehicle expenses

$2,723 $2,756 $33 1.2 4.9

Public and other transportation

$581 $661 $80 13.8 1.2

Healthcare

$4,290 $4,342 $52 1.2 7.8

Health insurance

$2,868 $2,977 $109 3.8 5.3

Medical services

$790 $791 $1 0.1 1.4

Drugs

$486 $425 -$61 -12.6 0.8

Medical supplies

$146 $149 $3 2.1 0.3

Entertainment

$2,728 $2,842 $114 4.2 5.1

Personal care products and services

$645 $683 $38 5.9 1.2

Reading

$103 $114 $11 10.7 0.2

Education

$1,236 $1,315 $79 6.4 2.3

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

$319 $349 $30 9.4 0.6

Miscellaneous

$782 $871 $89 11.4 1.6

Cash contributions

$1,788 $1,819 $31 1.7 3.2

Personal insurance and pensions

$5,726 $6,349 $623 10.9 11.3

Life and other personal insurance

$327 $333 $6 1.8 0.6

Pensions and Social Security

$5,399 $6,016 $617 11.4 10.7

From 2014 to 2015, among major components of household spending, personal insurance and pensions had the largest increase, rising 10.9 percent to $6,349. The increase was primarily driven by an 11.4-percent increase in spending on pensions and Social Security.

Spending on education increased 6.4 percent from 2014 to 2015. This increase was largely driven by a 63.7-percent increase in finance, late, and interest charges for student loans to $157.

From 2014 to 2015, transportation spending rose 4.7 percent to $9,503. Within transportation, spending on vehicle purchases increased 21.1 percent to $3,997, while spending on gasoline and motor oil decreased 15.3 percent to $2,090. Spending on public and other transportation rose 13.8 percent to $661.

Cash contributions increased 1.7 percent from 2014 to 2015, after falling 2.5 percent from 2013 to 2014. Cash contributions include alimony and child support payments; care of students away from home; and contributions to religious, educational, charitable, or political organizations.

These data come from the Consumer Expenditure Survey. To learn more, see "Consumer Expenditures — 2015" (HTML) (PDF). 

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Household spending increased 4.6 percent from 2014 to 2015 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/household-spending-increased-4-point-6-percent-from-2014-to-2015.htm (visited March 19, 2019).

OF INTEREST
spotlight

Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics