Publication Date



[Excerpt] As consumers age, both their level of spending and the way they allocate their spending changes. So called “life events” such as getting a first job, marriage, having children, and retirement can all have profound effects on spending patterns. This report provides a brief examination of how expenditures vary with age.

Twenty-six percent of the Nation’s consumer units (CU’s) have a reference person under the age of 35, and these families account for less than 23 percent of total annual consumer spending. On the opposite end of the age spectrum, households headed by someone aged 65 and older account for more than 20 percent of total households but less than 15 percent of total spending. Households headed by someone 35 to 64 years old account for the largest share of the population—53 percent— and an even larger share of overall spending— 63 percent.


Suggested Citation
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2000). Spending patterns by age. Issues in Labor Statistics (Summary 00-16). Washington, DC: Author.