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. 
2020 Year-in-Review
Transportation accounted for $1.2 trillion (8.7 percent) of total national household spending (including spending on behalf of households, such as employee transit subsidies) in 2020, making transportation the fourth largest household expenditure category after healthcare, housing, and food  (when excluding other expenditures). National household spending on transportation declined 13.7 percent from 2019 to 2020 (not adjusted for inflation).

Total National Household Spending on Transportation: Personal Consumption Expenditures
Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) measures total household spending on durable goods, such as vehicles; nondurable goods, such as fuel; and services, such as for-hire transportation. It includes spending by governments, employers, and other organizations on behalf of households—for example, employee transit subsidies.
PCE measures total national spending only; it does not measure differences in household spending by income or social group. The Consumer Expenditure Survey details spending by select household characteristics.
Transportation accounts for a small portion of PCE and as a percent of PCE, fluctuates little over time.
PCE are one part of final demand for goods and services. Transportation PCE account for about three-fourths of total final demand attributed to transportation.                                                                                                                                                                         >>Next

Recommended citation
U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Transportation Economic Trends, available at

Bureau of Transportation Statistics
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, is the preeminent source of statistics on commercial aviation, multimodal freight activity, and transportation economics, and provides context to decision makers and the public for understanding statistics on transportation.