American family spends 33% on housing, 19% on transportation, 14% on food

Americans spend about a third of their income on the housing expenses, while the share of entertainment spending remained at 5.4% in both 1950 and 2003.

Americans spend about a third of their income on the housing expenses, while the share of entertainment spending remained at 5.4% in both 1950 and 2003. Education expenses grew almost 5 times in 50 years.

Average US household spending allocation

1950 1960 1972 1984 1993 2003
Total annual spend $3,925 $5,431 $8,601 $21,975 $30,692 $40,817
Housing 25.8% 29.3% 29.4% 30.4% 31.4% 32.9%
Transportation 13.8 15.1 24.0 19.6 17.8 19.1
Food, alcohol 32.5 26.0 22.6 16.2 15.2 14.0
Health care 5.1 6.6 4.7 4.8 5.8 5.9
Entertainment, reading 5.4 4.9 5.2 5.4 5.8 5.4
Apparel 11.5 10.3 8.4 6.0 5.5 4.0
Education 0.4 1.1 1.1 1.4 1.5 1.9
Other 5.5% 6.8% 4.6% 16.3% 17.1% 16.8%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics