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FeaturesVariablesProfile DefinitionsConsumer ExpendituresGeographyMethodology Order

Consumer Expenditures - List of Variables

Below the List of Variables is the definition for each of the variables, as described by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on their web page

    The Expenditures are broken in 7 Categories:
  1. Food
  2. Housing
  3. Apparel and Services
  4. Transportation
  5. Health Care
  6. Entertainment
  7. Other Expenditures

Average annual expenditures
  1. Food
    1. At home
      1. Cereal and bakery products, total
      2. Cereals and cereal products
    2. Bakery products
    3. Meat, poultry, fish, and eggs
      1. Beef
      2. Pork
      3. Other meats
      4. Poultry
      5. Fish and seafood
      6. Eggs
    4. Dairy products
      1. Fresh milk and cream
      2. Other dairy products
    5. Fruits and vegetables
      1. Fresh fruits
      2. Fresh vegetables
      3. Processed fruits
      4. Processed vegetables
    6. Other food at home
      1. Sugar and other sweets
      2. Fats and oils
      3. Miscellaneous foods
      4. Nonalcoholic beverages (excl. juices)
    7. Food prepared on out-of-town trips
  2. Food away from home
  3. Alcoholic beverages
  4. Housing
    1. Shelter
      1. Owned dwellings
        1. Mortgage interest and charges
        2. Maintenance, repairs, insurance, other expenses
      2. Rented dwellings
      3. Other lodging
    2. Utilities, fuels, and public services
      1. Natural gas
      2. Electricity
      3. Fuel oil and other fuels
      4. Telephone
      5. Water and other public services
    3. Household operations
      1. Personal services
      2. Other household expenses
    4. Housekeeping supplies
      1. Laundry and cleaning supplies
      2. Other household products
      3. Postage and stationery
    5. Household furnishings and equipment
      1. Household textiles
      2. Furniture
      3. Floor coverings
      4. Major appliances
      5. Small appliances, miscellaneous housewares
        1. Housewares
      6. Miscellaneous household equipment
  5. Apparel and services
    1. Men and boys
      1. Men, 16 and over
      2. Boys, 2 to 15
    2. Women and girls
      1. Women, 16 and over
      2. Girls, 2 to 15
    3. Children under 2
    4. Footwear
    5. Other apparel products and services
  6. Transportation
    1. Vehicle purchases, (net outlay)
      1. Cars and trucks, new
      2. Cars and trucks, used
      3. Other vehicles
    2. Gasoline and motor oil
    3. Other vehicle expenses
      1. Vehicle finance charges
      2. Maintenance and repairs
      3. Vehicle insurance
      4. Vehicle rental, licenses, other charges
    4. Public transportation
  7. Health care
    1. Health insurance
    2. Medical services
    3. Drugs
    4. Medical supplies
  8. Entertainment
    1. Fees and admissions
    2. Televisions, radios, sound equipment
    3. Pets, toys, and playground equipment
      1. Pets
    4. Other entertainment supplies, equipment, and services
  9. Personal care products and services
  10. Reading
  11. Education
  12. Tobacco products and smoking supplies
  13. Miscellaneous
  14. Cash contributions
  15. Personal insurance and pensions
    1. Life and other personal insurance
    2. Retirement, pensions, and Social Security


Food at home refers to the total expenditures for food at grocery stores (or other food stores) and food prepared by the consumer unit on trips. It excludes the purchase of nonfood items.
Cereals and cereal products includes ready-to-eat and cooked cereals, pasta, flour, prepared flour mixes, and other cereal products such as cornmeal, corn starch, and rice.
Bakery products includes bread, crackers and cookies, biscuits and rolls, cakes, cupcakes, bread and cracker products, pies, tarts, sweet rolls, coffeecakes, doughnuts, and frozen and refrigerated bakery products, such as cookies, bread and cake dough, and batter.
Beef includes ground beef, roasts, steaks, and other cuts of beef (excluding canned beef), and veal.
Pork includes bacon, pork chops, ham (including canned), roasts, sausage, and other cuts of pork.
Other meats includes frankfurters; lunch meats, such as bologna, liverwurst, and salami; lamb and organ meats; and mutton, goat, game.
Poultry includes fresh and frozen chickens and other fresh and frozen poultry (Cornish hens, turkey, duck, etc.).
Fish and seafood includes canned fish and seafood and fresh or frozen finfish and shellfish.
Eggs includes fresh eggs, as well as powdered eggs and egg substitutes.
Fresh milk and cream includes fresh whole milk and other fresh milk, such as buttermilk and fresh cream (including table cream, whipping cream, fresh sour cream, and fresh sour cream dressing).
Other dairy products includes butter, cheese, ice cream products, yogurt, powdered milk, condensed and evaporated milk, liquid and powdered diet beverages, malted milk, milk shakes, chocolate milk, and other specified dairy products.
Fresh fruits includes all fresh fruits.
Fresh vegetables includes all fresh vegetables.
Processed fruits includes all frozen fruits and fruit juices, canned and dried fruits, and canned or bottled fruit juices.
Processed vegetables includes canned, dried, and frozen vegetables, and vegetable juices.
Sugar and other sweets includes sugar, candy and chewing gum; artificial sweeteners; and jams, jellies, preserves, fruit butters, syrup, fudge mixes, icings, and other sweets.
Fats and oils includes margarine, shortening, and salad dressings, vegetable oils, nondairy cream substitutes and imitation milk, and peanut butter.
Miscellaneous foods includes frozen prepared meals and other foods; canned and packaged soups; potato chips, nuts and other snacks; condiments and seasonings, such as olives, pickles, relishes, sauces and gravies, baking needs and other specified condiments; and other canned and packaged prepared foods, such as salads, desserts, baby foods, and vitamin supplements.
Nonalcoholic beverages includes diet and nondiet carbonated drinks (cola, fruit, and other carbonated drinks); coffee (roasted, instant, and freeze dried); tea (loose, instant, and ready-to-drink); ice; nonalcoholic beer; and other nonalcoholic beverages, including noncarbonated fruit drinks, breakfast substitutes, chocolate flavored powders; others.
Food away from home includes all meals (breakfast and brunch, lunch, dinner and snacks and nonalcoholic beverages) including tips at fast food, take-out, delivery, concession stands, buffet and cafeteria, at full-service restaurants, and at vending machines and mobile vendors. Also included are board (including at school), meals as pay, special catered affairs, such as weddings, bar mitzvahs, and confirmations, school lunches, and meals away from home on trips.
Alcoholic beverages includes beer and ale, wine, whiskey, gin, vodka, rum, and other alcoholic beverages.


Owned dwellings includes interest on mortgages, interest on home equity loans and lines of credit, property taxes and insurance, refinancing and prepayment charges, ground rent, expenses for property management and security, homeowners' insurance, fire insurance and extended coverage, expenses for repairs and maintenance contracted out, and expenses of materials for owner-performed repairs and maintenance for dwellings used or maintained by the consumer unit. Mortgage principal repayments are payments of loans and are shown in Other financial information.
Rented dwellings includes rent paid for dwellings, rent received as pay, parking fees, maintenance, and other expenses.
Other lodging includes all expenses for vacation homes, school, college, hotels, motels, and other lodging while out of town.
Utilities, fuels, and public services includes natural gas; electricity; fuel oil and other fuels, such as wood, kerosene, coal, and bottled gas; water and other public services, such as garbage and trash collection, sewerage maintenance, septic tank cleaning; and telephone charges.
Personal services includes baby-sitting; day care, nursery school, and preschool tuition; care of the elderly, invalids and handicapped; adult day care; and domestic and other duties.
Other household expenses includes housekeeping services, gardening and lawn care services, coin-operated laundry and dry-cleaning (non-clothing), termite and pest control products and services, home security systems service fees, moving, storage, and freight expenses, repair of household appliances and other household equipment, repair of computer systems for home use, computer information services, reupholstering and furniture repair, rental and repair of lawn and gardening tools, and rental of other household equipment.
Housekeeping supplies includes laundry and cleaning supplies, cleaning and toilet tissues, stationery supplies, postage, delivery services, miscellaneous household products, and lawn and garden supplies.
Household textiles includes bathroom, bedroom, kitchen and dining room, other linens, curtains and drapes, slipcovers and decorative pillows, and sewing materials.
Furniture includes living room; dining room; kitchen; bedroom; nursery; porch, lawn, and other outdoor furniture.
Floor coverings includes new and replacement wall-to-wall carpets, room-size rugs, and other non-permanent floor coverings.
Major appliances includes refrigerators and freezers, dishwashers and garbage disposals, stoves and ovens, vacuum cleaners, microwaves, air-conditioners, sewing machines, washing machines and dryers, and floor cleaning equipment.
Small appliances/miscellaneous housewares includes small electrical kitchen appliances, portable heating and cooling equipment, china and other dinnerware, flatware, glassware, silver and other serving pieces, nonelectric cookware, and plastic dinnerware (excludes personal care appliances).
Miscellaneous household equipment includes typewriters, luggage, lamps and light fixtures, window coverings, clocks, lawnmowers and gardening equipment, other hand and power tools, telephone answering devices, telephones and accessories, computers and computer hardware for home use, computer software and accessories for home use, calculators, business equipment for home use, floral arrangements and house plants, rental of furniture, closet and storage items, other household decorative items, infants' equipment, outdoor equipment, smoke alarms, other household appliances, and other small miscellaneous furnishings.


Men's and boys' apparel includes coats and jackets, sweaters and vests, sportcoats and tailored jackets, trousers and slacks, shorts and short sets, sportswear, shirts, underwear, nightwear, hosiery, uniforms, and other accessories.
Women's and girls' apparel includes coats and jackets, furs, sportcoats and tailored jackets, sweaters and vests, blouses and shirts, dresses, jeans, culottes, slacks, shorts, sportswear, underwear, nightwear, uniforms, hosiery, and other accessories.
Apparel for children under age 2 includes coats, jackets, and snowsuits; underwear; diapers; dresses; crawlers and other sleeping garments; hosiery; footwear; and accessories.
Footwear includes articles such as shoes, slippers, boots, and other similar items. It excludes footwear for children under age 2 and special footwear used for sports such as bowling or golf shoes.
Other apparel products and services includes material for making clothes, shoe repair, alterations and repairs, sewing patterns and notions, clothing rental, clothing storage, dry cleaning and sent-out laundry, watches, jewelry, and repairs to watches and jewelry.


Vehicle purchases (net outlay) includes the net outlay (purchase price minus trade-in value) on new and used domestic and imported cars and trucks and other vehicles, including motorcycles and private planes.
Vehicle finance charges includes the dollar amount of interest paid for a loan contracted for the purchase of vehicles described above.
Gasoline and motor oil includes gasoline, diesel fuel, and motor oil.
Maintenance and repairs includes tires, batteries, tubes, lubrication, filters, coolant, additives, brake and transmission fluids, oil change, brake work including adjustment, front-end alignment, wheel balancing, steering repair, shock absorber replacement, clutch and transmission repair, electrical system repair, exhaust system repair, body work and painting, motor repair, repair to cooling system, drive train repair, drive shaft and rear-end repair, tire repair, audio equipment, other maintenance and services, and auto repair policies.
Vehicle insurance includes the premium paid for insuring cars, trucks, and other vehicles.
Public transportation includes fares for mass transit, buses, trains, airlines, taxis, school buses for which a fee is charged, and boats.
Vehicle rental, leases, licenses, and other charges includes leased and rented cars, trucks, motorcycles, and aircraft; inspection fees; State and local registration; driver's license fees; parking fees; towing charges; tolls; and automobile service clubs.


Health insurance includes traditional fee-for-service health plans, preferred-provider health plans, health maintenance organizations (HMO's), commercial Medicare supplements, and other health insurance.
Medical services includes hospital room and services, physicians' services, service by a professional other than a physician, eye and dental care, lab tests and X-rays, medical care in a retirement community, care in convalescent or nursing home, and other medical care service.
Drugs includes nonprescription drugs and vitamins and prescription drugs.
Medical supplies includes topicals and dressings, antiseptics, bandages, cotton, first aid kits, contraceptives, syringes, ice bags, thermometers, sun lamps, vaporizers, heating pads, medical appliances (such as braces, canes, crutches, walkers, eyeglasses, and hearing aids), and rental and repair of medical equipment.


Fees and admissions includes fees for participant sports; admissions to sporting events, movies, concerts, and plays; health, swimming, tennis and country club memberships; fees for other social, recreational, and fraternal organizations; recreational lessons or instruction; rental of movies, and recreation expenses on trips.
Television, radio, and sound equipment includes television sets, video recorders, video cassettes, tapes, discs, disc players, video game hardware, video game cartridges, cable TV, radios, phonographs, tape recorders and players, sound components, records, compact discs, and tapes (including records, compact discs, and tapes purchased through mail order clubs), musical instruments, and rental and repair of TV and sound equipment.
Pets, toys, hobbies, and playground equipment includes pets, pet food, pet services, veterinary expenses, etc.; toys, games, hobbies, and tricycles; and playground equipment.
Other entertainment equipment and services includes indoor exercise equipment, athletic shoes, bicycles, trailers, purchase and rental of motorized campers and other recreational vehicles, camping equipment, hunting and fishing equipment, sports equipment (winter, water, and other), boats, boat motors and boat trailers, rental of boats, landing and docking fees, rental and repair of sports equipment, photographic equipment and supplies (film and film processing), photographer fees, repair and rental of photo equipment, fireworks, and pinball and electronic video games.


Personal care products and services includes products for the hair, oral hygiene products, shaving needs, cosmetics and bath products, electric personal care appliances, other personal care products, and personal care services for males and females.
Reading includes subscriptions for newspapers and magazines; books through book clubs; and the purchase of single-copy newspapers, magazines, newsletters, books, and encyclopedias and other reference books.
Education includes tuition; fees; and textbooks, supplies, and equipment for public and private nursery schools, elementary and high schools, colleges and universities, and other schools.
Tobacco products and smoking supplies includes cigarettes, cigars, snuff, loose smoking tobacco, chewing tobacco, and smoking accessories (such as cigarette or cigar holders, pipes, flints, lighters, and pipe cleaners).
Miscellaneous includes safety deposit box rental, checking account fees and other bank service charges, credit card memberships, legal fees, accounting fees, funerals, cemetery lots, union dues, occupational expenses, expenses for other properties, and finance charges other than those for mortgages and vehicles.
Cash contributions includes cash contributed to persons or organizations outside the consumer unit, including alimony and child support payments; care of students away from home; and contributions to religious, educational, charitable, or political organizations.
Life, endowment, annuities, and other personal insurance includes premiums for whole life and term insurance; endowments; income and other life insurance; mortgage guarantee insurance; mortgage life insurance; premiums for personal liability, accident and disability, and other nonhealth insurance other than for homes and vehicles.
Retirement, pensions, and Social Security includes all Social Security contributions paid by employees; employee contributions to railroad retirement, government retirement, and private pension programs; and retirement programs for the self-employed.


GeoLytics, Inc.
PO Box 5336, Somerville, NJ 08876 · 1-800-577-6717 · Voice: 1-908-707-1505 · Fax: 1-908-707-1595
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