March 16, 1999
Consumer units spent $34,819 on average in 1997, an increase of 3 percent over the previous year. Spending on health care averaged $1,841, an increase of 4 percent. Health care expenditures had risen 2 percent in 1996, after decreasing the previous two years.
Health insurance, the largest component of health care expenditures, rose 6.6 percent in 1997, following a decrease of 4 percent in 1996. Expenditures on prescription and nonprescription drugs rose by 6 percent, while spending on medical supplies rose 11 percent. Consumer units increased their expenditures on medical services 2 percent.
In 1997, younger consumer units (reference persons under 25 years of age) spent 10 percent more on health care than a year earlier, largely due to increased spending on health insurance. In contrast, older consumer units (reference person age 75 and over) spent about 4 percent less on health care. However, older consumers still spent a much larger portion of their total income on health care than younger consumers (14 to 2 percent).
These data are a product of the BLS Consumer Expenditure Survey. Additional information is available from "Consumer Expenditures in 1997", Report 927. Expenditures data on health care track consumers' out-of-pocket expenses.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Editor's Desk, Medical care spending climbs again in 1997 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/1999/mar/wk3/art02.htm (visited July 28, 2014).
This edition of Spotlight on Statistics examines labor productivity trends from 2000 through 2010 for selected industries and sectors within the nonfarm business sector of the U.S. economy. Read more »