Transportation Economic Trends
Household Spending on Transportation:
Total National Household Spending
Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE), produced by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), is the broadest measure of consumer spending in the U.S. economy. It measures total national household spending on goods and services, as discussed on this page. Data and discussion on average household spending from the Consumer Expenditure Survey also available.
- Transportation accounted for $1.6 trillion (9.8 percent) of total national household spending (including spending on behalf of households, such as employee transit subsidies) in 2021, making transportation the fourth largest household expenditure category after healthcare, housing, and food (when excluding other expenditures).
- After a 14.0 percent decline from 2019 to 2020, total national household spending on transportation increased by 28.9 percent from 2020 to 2021 (not adjusted for inflation).
- Of the components making up household spending on transportation, motor vehicle fuels, lubricants, and fluids increased the most, at 50.9 percent, from 2020 to 2021 (not adjusted for inflation), followed by motor vehicles and parts (29.0 percent), transportation services (20.7 percent), and motor vehicle insurance (1.9 percent). Except for motor vehicle insurance, spending grew more, year-over-year, in 2021 than in any previous year (with data beginning in 2003).
- Before increasing in 2021, motor vehicle fuels, lubricants, fluids, declined 27.2 percent, transportation services declined 25.7 percent, and motor vehicle insurance declined 2.4 percent from 2019 to 2020. Spending on motor vehicles and parts contrastingly increased from 2019 to 2020 by 3.3 percent before increasing more in 2021.