Share of total spending on healthcare increased from 5 percent in 1984 to 8 percent in 2014

June 01, 2016

Comparing consumer spending in 2014 to spending in 1984, consumers spent a higher share of total spending in 2014 on healthcare, housing, personal insurance and pensions, education, and entertainment. Consumers in 2014 spent a smaller share on food, transportation, apparel and services, tobacco and smoking supplies, alcoholic beverages, and reading. The portion of total spending on personal care products and services as well as cash contributions in 2014 was about the same as that spent in 1984.

Percent distribution of expenditures for all consumer units, 1984 and 2014 annual averages
Spending component 1984 2014

Housing

30.4 33.3

Transportation

19.6 17.0

Food

15.0 12.6

Personal insurance and pensions

8.6 10.7

Healthcare

4.8 8.0

Entertainment

4.8 5.1

Cash contributions

3.2 3.3

Apparel and services

6.0 3.3

Education

1.4 2.3

Miscellaneous

2.1 1.5

Personal care products and services

1.3 1.2

Alcoholic beverages

1.3 0.9

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

1.1 0.6

Reading

0.6 0.2

In 2014, consumers spent 8.0 percent of total spending on healthcare, compared with 4.8 percent in 1984. Consumers spent 5.4 percent of total spending on health insurance in 2014, compared with 1.7 percent in 1984.

Consumers in 2014 spent a higher share of total spending on housing (33.3 percent) than they did in 1984 (30.4 percent). In 2014, consumers spent a higher portion of total spending on owned (19.6 percent) and rented dwellings (11.5 percent) than they spent in 1984 (15.9 percent and 9.4 percent, respectively). As a percentage of total spending, consumers spent 4.2 percent on household furnishings and equipment in 1984, compared with 3.0 percent in 2014.

In 1984, 15.0 percent of total consumer spending was on food. This compared with 12.6 percent in 2014. Consumers in 1984 spent a higher share of total spending on both food at home and food away from home than in 2014.

These data are from the Consumer Expenditure Survey. Consumer units include families, single persons living alone or sharing a household with others but who are financially independent, or two or more persons living together who share expenses. To learn more, refer to annual expenditure tables.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Share of total spending on healthcare increased from 5 percent in 1984 to 8 percent in 2014 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/share-of-total-spending-on-healthcare-increased-from-5-percent-in-1984-to-8-percent-in-2014.htm (visited December 18, 2017).

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