Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Do two live as cheaply as one? Evidence from the Consumer Expenditure Survey

This article examines per-person—also known as per-capita—differences in spending patterns between singles[1] ages 21 to 29 and married couples[2] with at least one person in that age group. It also examines differences between married couples and singles who are in their early twenties (ages 21 to 23) and those in their late twenties (ages 27 to 29). Spending is measured in terms of weighted[3] out-of-pocket outlays[4] by consumer units (CUs).[5] According to the 2008-09 interview component[6] of the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE), total per-person spending levels of married couples and singles who are ages 21 to 29 are quite similar—$26,753 and $26,567, respectively, in 2008–09. (See table 1.) That was also true of the early-twenties groups, with married couples spending $21,138 per person and singles $19,980. However, married couples in the late-twenties group spent about $7,200 less per person ($27,816 versus $35,026) than did singles.

Source: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

Link to online article

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