March 30, 2000
In 1998, spending on housing accounted for 33.0 percent of total consumer expenditures. This was by far the largest expenditure share of all the major categories of spending.
Transportation was the second largest component of total spending, accounting for 18.6 percent of the total in 1998. Vehicle purchases is the largest transportation subcomponent, accounting for 45 cents of every dollar spent on transportation in 1998. At 13.5 percent, food was the third largest component of consumer expenditures. Of the total food dollar, 58 cents was spent on food at home in 1998, while 42 cents was spent on food away from home.
Expenditures on personal insurance and pensions accounted for 9.5 percent of total expenditures. Rounding out the expenditures by major categories were health care at 5.4 percent, entertainment at 4.9 percent, and apparel and services at 4.7 percent. "Other expenditures," such as reading, education, tobacco, and personal care, accounted for 10.4 percent of expenditures in 1998.
These data come from the Consumer Expenditure Survey. Find out more in "Consumer Expenditures in 1998," BLS Report 940.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Distribution of consumer expenditures in 1998 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2000/mar/wk4/art04.htm (visited November 26, 2015).
Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.