Geography

The Consumer Expenditure Surveys (CE) program provides data for the following geographic areas: National, Census Regions, Census Divisions, selected States, Population Size of Area, and Metropolitan Statistical Areas. See the categories below for information on what data are available for the geographic areas.

Information on the geographic divisions used by the CE program is on the U.S. Census geography page.

National

  • The Consumer Expenditure Surveys' (CE) national population is the total noninstitutionalized residents of the United States, both urban and rural.

  • Combined Expenditure, Share, and Standard Error tables Beginning with the September 10, 2013, 2012 annual release, the standard tables combine the mean expenditures, expenditure shares, and standard error tables into one new format.

    The following combined expenditure, share, and standard error tables are available; quintiles of income before taxes, income before taxes, higher income before taxes, age of reference person, size of the consumer unit, composition of the consumer unit, number of earners, housing tenure and type of area (urban or rural), race of reference person, Hispanic or Latino origin of reference person, occupation of reference person, population size of area of residence, region of residence, selected age of reference person, and the new highest education level of any member.

  • Combined Expenditure, Share, and Standard Error Midyear tables are available beginning with the March 27, 2013 midyear release.

  • Aggregate expenditure shares tables show total national expenditures by category for all consumer units and percentages of the totals for various demographic groups. The following aggregate expenditure shares tables from 1989 onward are available; quintiles of income before taxes, income before taxes, age of reference person, size of the consumer unit, composition of the consumer unit, deciles of income before taxes, number of earners, housing tenure and type of area (urban or rural), race of reference person, Hispanic or Latino origin of reference person, occupation of reference person, and the new highest education level of any member.
  • Cross-tabulated tables show average annual expenditure data sorted by two demographic variables. The following groups of two-year cross-tabulated tables from 1986-87 onward are available; age of reference person by income before taxes, size of consumer unit by income before taxes, size of consumer unit by age of reference person, single women and men by income before taxes, and single women and men by age of reference person.
  • Multiyear tables show average annual expenditure data for all consumer units by year. Multiyear tables from 1984-91, 1992-99, 2000-05, 2006-12, and 2013 onward are available.
  • Expenditure tables show average annual expenditures, income, and characteristics for consumer units by various demographic characteristics. The separate expenditure table format has been discontinued with the release of the 2012 data. The following expenditure tables from 1984 through 2011 are available; quintiles of income before taxes, income before taxes, higher income before taxes, age of reference person, size of the consumer unit, composition of the consumer unit, number of earners, housing tenure and type of area (urban or rural), race of reference person, Hispanic or Latino origin of reference person, occupation of reference person, selected age of reference person, and education of reference person.
  • Expenditure shares tables show the portions allotted to expenditure categories as percentages of total average annual expenditures. The separate expenditure shares table format has been discontinued with the release of the 2012 data. The following expenditure shares tables from 1989 through 2011 are available; quintiles of income before taxes, income before taxes, higher income before taxes, age of reference person, size of the consumer unit, composition of the consumer unit, number of earners, housing tenure and type of area (urban or rural), race of reference person, Hispanic or Latino origin of reference person, occupation of reference person, and education of reference person.
  • Standard error tables show annual expenditure means, standard errors (SE) and coefficients of variation (CV) by various demographic characteristics. The separate standard error table format has been discontinued with the release of the 2012 data. The following 12 standard error tables from 2000 through 2011 are available; quintiles of income before taxes, income before taxes, higher income before taxes, age of reference person, size of the consumer unit, composition of the consumer unit, number of earners, housing tenure and type of area (urban or rural), race of reference person, Hispanic or Latino origin of reference person, occupation of reference person, and education of reference person. A standard error table for Region of residence was added in 2011.

Census Regions

Region tables show average annual expenditure data for the four U.S. Census regions: Northeast, Midwest, South, and West. Two-year tables from 1987-88 onward are available.

Prior to the 2012 annual release, one-year region data tables are available on the expenditure tables web site. Region tables are also available on the expenditure shares, aggregate expenditure shares tables, and standard error tables web site.

Beginning with the September 10, 2013 annual release, region data tables for 2012 onward are available on the combined expenditure, share, and standard error tables web site.

Two-year region data tables classified by age of reference person by region of residence and region of residence by income before taxes are available on the cross-tabulated web site.

Midyear regional data tables are available on the combined expenditure, share, and standard error tables web site beginning with the March 2013 midyear release.

Census Divisions

Census Divisions are geographic subsets within the four Census Regions in the United States. Divisions contain a number of states, and each Census Region contains two or three Divisions. Beginning with the 2015 data, public-use microdata (PUMD) provides the variable Division to identify the divisions. Note that the CE sample only includes a subset of states and thus the CE program may not collect data in each state within a Division.

New tables showing expenditures at the Census Division level are expected to be published at the end of 2019 using 2017-2018 data.

State

Expenditures at the state-level are not calculated or published. The CE program releases annual public-use microdata (PUMD) which contain state identifier information.

New as of December 2017, the CE program provides experimental weights that allow for statistically valid computation of selected states. Please see the PUMD documentation for further information on state identifiers and the experimental products page for access to the current experimental weighting files for selected states. Please note that for confidentiality reasons some state codes have been suppressed for some or all sampled consumer units in that state.

With the exception of the experimental weights for selected states, population weights in the public-use microdata represent national weights. Also, the CE sample was not selected and weighted to produce precise estimates for individual states. Although state-level estimates that are unbiased in a repeated sampling sense can be calculated for various statistical measures, such as means and aggregates, their estimates will generally be subject to large variances. Additionally, a particular state population estimate using the national weight from the CE sample may be far from the true state population parameter.

Population Size of Area

Population size of area of residence tables show average annual expenditure data classified by population size ranges. Two-year tables from 2002-03 onward are available.

Metropolitan Statistical Area

Metropolitan statistical area tables show average annual expenditure data for selected cities in each of the four Regions of the country. Two-year metropolitan statistical area tables from 1986-87 onward are available with the exception of the 1995-96 period. Note: The number of areas published may change from period to period due to sampling changes.

  • MSA Definitions for the U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2015-2016 (HTML) (PDF)

 

Last Modified Date: September 27, 2018