Publication Date



Between 1986 and 2010, homeowners and renters dramatically changed their spending habits in response to changes in the economy, although the amount they spent on overall expenditures remained roughly the same. A comparison of spending by homeowners and renters in the major expenditure categories shows many differences, but one thing remains constant: housing is the largest expenditure for U.S. consumers.

This issue of BEYOND THE NUMBERS uses data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) to compare expenditures of homeowners with those of renters, from 1986 through 2010. The analysis of CE data helps to shed light on the effects that recent housing crises had on consumer spending, revealing many interesting shifts in spending on housing and other expenses, changes in household size and demographics, and movement among geographic areas.


Suggested Citation
Reichenberger, A. (2012). A comparison of 25 years of consumer expenditures by homeowners and renters. Beyond the Numbers (Vol. 1, No. 15). Washington, DC: Bureau of Labor Statistics.