Americans today spend the most on housing, transportation, and food.
The three sectors account for a combined 65% of the annual amount spent by the average US household consumer in 2015 – or about $32,000, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as cited by BAML.
But it’s also interesting to compare how much Americans spend on various goods and services today compared to 70-something years ago.
Spending on housing and transportation have jumped significantly since the 1940s. In 1941 spending on housing was around $7,000 after adjusting for inflation; by 2014 it was just shy of $18,000. Inflation-adjusted spending on healthcare, recreation and entertainment, and education also increased in that time period.
On the flip side, spending on food, tobacco, personal care, and clothing decreased.