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14-2326-NEW
December 29, 2014

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Consumer Expenditures for the New York-Northern New Jersey Area: 2012-2013

Consumer units in the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Conn.-Pa., metropolitan area spent an average of $60,791 per year in 2012-2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Chief Regional Economist Martin Kohli noted that this figure was over 18 percent higher than the $51,299 average expenditure level for a typical household in the United States. Households in the New York area spent significantly more than the U.S. average, and also allocated their dollars significantly differently in 7 of the 8 major categories. For example, the expenditure share for healthcare, which accounted for 5.9 percent of a typical New York household budget, was significantly less than the national average of 7.0 percent. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

 Chart 1. Percent distribution of average annual expenditures for eight major categories in the United States and New York metropolitan area, 2012-13

Housing in the New York metropolitan area averaged $24,187 annually and was the largest expenditure category, accounting for 39.8 percent of a New York area household’s total budget, significantly greater than the national average of 33.2 percent. (See table 1 and table 2.) Overall, 8 of the 18 published metropolitan areas had expenditure shares for housing significantly above the U.S. average. Only one area, Detroit, had a share for housing that was significantly below the U.S. average. (See chart 2.) Housing expenditure shares ranged from 39.9 percent in Miami to 30.0 percent in Detroit. (See table 3.)

The majority of housing expenditures in the New York area went toward shelter, 67.2 percent, which includes mortgage interest, property taxes, repairs, and rent, among other items; nationwide, 58.6 percent of the housing budget was allocated toward shelter. (See table A.) Utilities, fuels, and public services expenses accounted for 17.4 percent of the housing budget locally; nationally, they made up 21.7 percent. The rate of homeownership in the New York area, at 55.0 percent, compared to the U.S. average of 64.0 percent.

Table A. Percent distribution of housing expenditures, United States and New York metropolitan area, 2012-2013
Category United States New York

Total housing

100.0 100.0

Shelter

58.6 67.2

Utilities, fuels, and public services

21.7 17.4

Household operations

6.8 6.8

Housekeeping supplies

3.7 2.5

Household furnishings and equipment

9.2 6.1

Note: Columns may not add to 100 due to rounding.

At 13.5 percent of the total budget, transportation was the second-largest expenditure category in the New York area; this was significantly lower than the national average of 17.5 percent. Among the 18 metropolitan areas nationwide, 6 had shares significantly below the U.S. average. Detroit and Houston had transportation shares that were significantly above the U.S. average. (See chart 3.)

Of the $8,235 spent annually for transportation by New York area consumer units, 85.7 percent was spent buying and maintaining private vehicles; this compared to a national average of 94.0 percent. The remaining 14.3 percent of New York area household expenditures was spent on public transportation, which includes fares for taxis, buses, trains, and planes; this allocation was significantly above the 6.0-percent average for the nation. (See table B.) The average number of vehicles per household in New York was 1.3; nationally, the average was 1.9.

Table B. Percent distribution of transportation expenditures, United States and New York metropolitan area, 2012-2013
Category United States New York

Transportation

100.0 100.0

Vehicle purchases (net outlays)

36.0 25.1

Gasoline and motor oil

29.8 26.5

Other vehicle expenses

28.2 34.1

Public transportation

6.0 14.3

Note: Columns may not add to 100 due to rounding.
 

The portion of New York area consumer unit’s budget spent on food, 11.9 percent, was significantly below the 12.9-percent U.S. average. Among the 18 metropolitan areas, 12 had food expenditure shares that were not significantly different from the nationwide average.

Households in the New York area spent $4,111, or 56.9 percent, of their food dollars on food prepared at home and the remaining 43.1 percent ($3,114) on food prepared away from home, such as restaurant meals, carry-out, board at school, and catered affairs. In comparison, the typical U.S. household spent 59.8 percent of its food budget on food at home and 40.2 percent on food away from home.

As noted, New York is 1 of 18 metropolitan areas nationwide for which Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) data are available. Metropolitan area CE data and data for the four geographic regions of the United States are available on our Web site at http://www.bls.gov/cex/tables.htm. Metropolitan area CE news releases are available at http://www.bls.gov/regions/subjects/consumer-spending.htm.

Additional information

Data contained in this release are from the CE Survey, which is conducted on an ongoing basis by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The CE data in this release were averaged over a two-year period, 2012 and 2013. CE data are available for the nation, the 4 geographic regions of the country, and 18 metropolitan areas. The metropolitan area discussed in this release is New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Conn.-Pa., which is comprised of Bronx, Dutchess, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties in New York; Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren Counties in New Jersey; Fairfield County and parts of Litchfield, Middlesex, and New Haven Counties in Connecticut; and Pike County in Pennsylvania.

The survey consists of two components, a diary of recordkeeping survey, and an interview survey. The integrated data from the BLS Diary and Interview Surveys provide a complete accounting of consumer expenditures and income, which neither survey component alone is designed to do. Due to changes in the survey sample frame, metropolitan area data in this release are not directly comparable to those prior to 1996.

A consumer unit is defined as members of a household related by blood, marriage, adoption, or other legal arrangement; a single person living alone or sharing a household with others but who is financially independent; or two or more persons living together who share responsibility for at least 2 out of 3 major types of expenses – food, housing, and other expenses. The terms household or consumer unit are used interchangeably for convenience.

CE metropolitan area estimates are not comparative cost of living surveys, as neither the quantity nor the quality of goods and services has been held constant among areas. Differences may result from variations in demographic characteristics such as consumer unit size, age, preferences, income levels, etc. However, expenditure shares, of the percentage of a consumer unit’s budget spent on a particular category, can be used to compare spending patterns across areas. Sample sizes for the metropolitan areas are much smaller than for the nation, so the U.S. estimates and year-to-year changes are more reliable than those for the metropolitan areas. Users should also keep in mind that prices for many goods and services have changed since the survey was conducted.

Expenditure shares for housing and transportation that are above or below that for the nation after testing for significance at the 95-percent confidence interval are also identified in charts 2 and 3 for the 18 metropolitan areas surveyed.

A value that is statistically different from another does not necessarily mean that the difference has economic or practical significance. Statistical significance is concerned with our ability to make confident statements about a universe based on a sample. It is entirely possible that a large difference between two values is not significantly different statistically, while a small difference is, since both the size and heterogeneity of the sample affect the relative error of the data being tested.

For additional technical documentation and related information, see http://www.bls.gov/opub/hom/homch16.htm.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200. Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

 

Table 1. Percent distribution of average annual expenditures, United States and New York metropolitan area, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2012-2013
Category United States New York

Average annual expenditures

$51,299 $60,791*

Percent distribution:

100.0 100.0

Food

12.9 11.9*

Alcoholic beverages

0.9 0.8

Housing

33.2 39.8*

Apparel and services

3.3 3.7*

Transportation

17.5 13.5*

Healthcare

7.0 5.9*

Entertainment

5.0 4.2*

Personal care products and services

1.2 1.2

Reading

0.2 0.2*

Education

2.3 3.8*

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

0.6 0.4*

Miscellaneous

1.4 1.2*

Cash contributions

3.7 2.5*

Personal insurance and pensions

10.8 11.0

Note: An asterisk (*) represents a statistically significant difference from the U.S. average at the 95-percent confidence level. Columns may not add to 100 due to rounding.
 

Table 2. Consumer unit characteristics and average annual expenditures, United States and New York metropolitan area, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2012-2013
Category United States New York

Consumer unit characteristics:

 

Income before taxes

$64,686 $80,862

Age of reference person

50.1 51.1

Average number in consumer unit:

 

Persons

2.5 2.6

Children under 18

0.6 0.6

Persons 65 and over

0.3 0.4

Earners

1.3 1.3

Vehicles

1.9 1.3

Percent homeowners

64 55

Average annual expenditures

$51,299 $60,791

Food

6,600 7,225

Food at home

3,949 4,111

Cereals and bakery products

541 590

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

854 988

Dairy products

416 442

Fruits and vegetables

741 855

Other food at home

1,397 1,236

Food away from home

2,651 3,114

Alcoholic beverages

448 498

Housing

17,030 24,187

Shelter

9,986 16,257

Owned dwellings

6,082 9,448

Rented dwellings

3,255 5,948

Other lodging

649 860

Utilities, fuels, and public services

3,693 4,200

Household operations

1,152 1,652

Housekeeping supplies

627 604

Household furnishings and equipment

1,571 1,475

Apparel and services

1,677 2,254

Transportation

9,001 8,235

Vehicle purchases (net outlay)

3,241 2,067

Gasoline and motor oil

2,683 2,180

Other vehicle expenses

2,537 2,811

Public and other transportation

540 1,177

Healthcare

3,594 3,585

Entertainment

2,553 2,529

Personal care products and services

618 704

Reading

106 102

Education

1,172 2,280

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

331 248

Miscellaneous

736 710

Cash contributions

1,873 1,543

Personal insurance and pensions

5,559 6,690

Life and other personal insurance

336 409

Pensions and Social Security

5,224 6,280
Table 3. Percent share of average annual expenditures for housing, transportation, and food, United States and 18 metropolitan areas, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2012-2013
Area Housing Transportation Food

United States

33.2 17.5 12.9

Atlanta

33.4 17.1 12.6

Baltimore

32.5 15.5 11.0*

Boston

32.6 15.6* 13.3

Chicago

35.4* 15.6* 12.7

Cleveland

31.6 18.2 12.8

Dallas

33.5 17.9 12.6

Detroit

30.0* 19.7* 13.5

Houston

33.1 21.0* 12.0

Los Angeles

38.2* 15.4* 13.4

Miami

39.9* 16.2 14.0

Minneapolis

32.0 18.3 11.3*

New York

39.8* 13.5* 11.9*

Philadelphia

35.4* 15.4* 13.7

Phoenix

34.8 18.9 13.6

San Diego

38.2* 15.8 11.5*

San Francisco

35.8* 13.7* 11.9*

Seattle

33.4 15.6 13.0

Washington

35.3* 16.7 10.9*

Note: An asterisk (*) represents a statistically significant difference from the U.S. average at the 95-percent confidence level.
 

 

 Chart 2. Expenditure shares spent on housing in 18 metropolitan statistical areas compared to the U.S. average, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2012-2013
 Chart 3. Expenditure shares spent on transportation in 18 metropolitan statistical areas compared to the U.S. average, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2012-2013

 

Last Modified Date: Monday, December 29, 2014