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Married couples with oldest child under age 6 spent 36.3 percent of total expenditures on housing

August 03, 2017

Housing accounted for 36.3 percent of household spending among married couples whose oldest child was under age 6 in 2015. By comparison, married couples whose oldest child was 18 or older spent 27.5 percent of total expenditures on housing. Single-parent households with at least one child under age 18 spent 36.8 percent of their total expenditures on housing.

Share of total household expenditures spent by married couples with and without children, single parents, and single consumers
Expenditure All households Married couple only Married couple with oldest child under 6 Married couple with oldest child 6 to 17 Married couple with oldest child 18 or older Other married couple households One parent, at least one child under 18 Single person and other households

Housing

32.9% 31.3% 36.3% 32.0% 27.5% 30.8% 36.8% 35.7%

Transportation

17.0 16.6 17.4 16.7 19.0 19.2 17.5 16.3

Food

12.5 11.8 12.0 13.2 13.5 12.2 13.4 12.5

Personal insurance and pensions

11.3 11.6 13.4 13.2 13.3 12.8 8.9 9.3

Healthcare

7.8 10.2 6.4 6.7 7.3 7.9 5.2 7.1

Entertainment

5.1 5.8 4.0 5.3 4.5 4.4 4.7 4.9

Apparel and services

3.3 2.5 3.9 3.7 3.4 3.1 3.9 3.5

Cash contributions

3.2 4.3 1.7 2.9 2.8 2.3 2.8 3.2

Education

2.3 1.5 1.2 2.7 4.7 2.9 2.4 2.2

Miscellaneous

1.6 1.5 1.4 1.3 1.5 1.5 1.9 1.8

Personal care products and services

1.2 1.2 1.1 1.2 1.1 1.2 1.4 1.2

Alcoholic beverages

0.9 1.1 0.8 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.5 1.1

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

0.6 0.4 0.3 0.4 0.5 1.0 0.5 1.0

Reading

0.2 0.3 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.2

Married couples with children spent larger shares of their household budget on personal insurance and pensions than other types of households. Depending on the age of the oldest child, married parents spent 13.2 percent to 13.4 percent of the total spending on personal insurance and pensions. That compares with 11.6 percent for married couples with no one else in the household, 9.3 percent for single people without children, and 8.9 percent for single parents.

Married couples with no one else in the household spent an average of 10.2 percent of total spending on healthcare in 2015. Single-parent households with at least one child under 18 spent 5.2 percent of their total expenditures on healthcare.

These data are from the Consumer Expenditure Survey. For more information, see the tables about income and spending.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Married couples with oldest child under age 6 spent 36.3 percent of total expenditures on housing on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/married-couples-with-oldest-child-under-age-6-spent-36-point-3-percent-of-total-expenditures-on-housing.htm (visited October 29, 2020).

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