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October 13, 2011 9:52 PM   Subscribe

Is there public data which shows average amount of money spent on various expenses for an average sized family (food, taxes, mortgage, car, stock investments, etc.) based on income?

I want to see where the money goes based on how much money a family makes, on average, from families in poverty to those making millions a year.

What would be really great is a stacked graph that shows how these amounts change (y axis) based on income (x axis).

Something like this, but in addition showing the relative changes based on size of paycheck.
posted by hanoixan to Work & Money (4 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Count me in as being very interested.

This video (youtube, Elizabeth Warren, 13:00 minutes onward), had tidbits on comparisons between consumption of the average family between 1970 to 2005.
She mentions there's an office of the Commerce department that measures this stuff, and it is 'accessible', I just have no idea whether it's online.
posted by Elysum at 11:18 PM on October 13, 2011

Here in Canada, the government publishes the Canadian Market Research Handbook from Stats Canada. There is something similar in the US, but I cannot think of the name. I state this in hopes that my example will job someone's memory. I believe it's broken into quartiles or quintiles, though, so that might not be as helpful as you'd like.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 11:29 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Bureau of labor statistics collects this data (it's used to calculate weights in the inflation index).

Scroll down to Current Expenditure Tables and select Income Before Taxes & Higher Income Before Taxes.
posted by atrazine at 2:20 AM on October 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks, atrazine! The BoLS data seems to be just what I want. It would be perfect if it listed data for higher income earners, but this is a great start.

I don't feel I can just generalize without supporting data to say whether the rich spend the extra money on higher quality items, leisure activities, real estate, or other investments. If anyone knows where one may find this data for, say, the upper "1%", I'd be very interested.
posted by hanoixan at 11:01 AM on October 14, 2011

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