Transportation Economic Trends
Household Spending on Transportation:
Average Household Spending
The Consumer Expenditure Surveys (CE) program is the only Federal survey that contains information on the complete range of expenditures for individual households, including transportation, along with select demographic, geographic, and socio-economic characteristics. This page presents average household spending from the CE. Data and discussion on total national household spending on transportation are also available.
- Households spent an average of $12,295 on transportation in 2022—the second largest household expenditure category after housing when spending on behalf of households, such as healthcare benefits, is excluded. Transportation expenditures grew by the second largest amount (12.2 percent) from 2021 to 2022, just behind food (12.7 percent).
- Households in the lowest income quintile spent the least on transportation ($4,928 vs $22,926 by households in the highest income quintile) but faced a larger transportation cost burden, spending 30.2 percent of their after-tax income on transportation compared to 11.6 percent by the highest income quintile in 2022.
- The lowest income quintile spent more of their after-tax income on transportation in 2022 than in 2021, rising just over 3 percentage points. Contrastingly, households in the highest income quintile spent just over 1 percentage point more of their after-tax income on transportation in 2022 than in 2021. Households in the second lowest income quintile spent less of their after-tax income on transportation in 2022 than in 2021, because their average income increased more than their transportation expenditures. Households in the third and fourth income quintile spent nearly the same share of their after-tax income on transportation in 2022 as in 2021. See the Household Expenditures by Income Level table for before-tax statistics.
- Rural households spent slightly more on transportation ($13,217) and spent slightly more of their after-tax income on transportation (15.9 percent) than urban households ($12,078 and 14.5 percent, respectively) in 2022. See the Household Expenditures in Urban and Rural Areas table for before-tax statistics.