Consumer expenditure survey (illustrating the income divide)


I recently dug through Consumer Expenditure Survey data, and found some interesting snippets. I don't have great deal of commentary on the data in aggregate, but I grouped the different cuts and called out some interesting points below.


Annual spending habits across income groups
  • The bottom 40% of earners spend more than they make in a given year.
  • The lowest 20% of earners spend over 2x earnings each year.
  • The lowest 20% of earners spend over 90% of income on housing alone, 30% on food.

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Vehicle ownership across income groups
  • The bottom 20% of earners own <1 car on average, while the highest 20% own nearly 3 cars
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Gender distribution across income groups
  • The lowest income quantile is comprised of >60% women, while the highest quantile drops to ~44% women.
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Education distribution across income groups
  • >50% of the lowest income quantile do not have a college education. Higher levels of education correlated with higher income, not surprising.
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Racial distribution across income groups
  • As we move up in income quantiles, we see fewer African Americans.
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Housing distribution across income groups
  • The poorest groups primarily rent.
  • The middle groups primarily own homes, but many with mortgages.
  • The richest groups primarily own homes outright.
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