Specific Categories and Items

The percentage of total income that is spent for particular categories of items also varies with chronological age and other demographic characteristics of purchasers. Note in Figure 11-3 that, in 1995, individuals in the 25- to 44-year-old age group and the 65 and over year group spent a greater percentage of their incomes on housing and food than those in the 45- to 64-year-old age group. Older adults also spent a higher percentage of their income on health care, utilities, and cash contributions than young and middle-aged adults. On the other hand, young and middle-aged adults spent higher percentages of their incomes than older adults on transportation, clothing, insurance, and pensions (US. Department of Labor, 1996).

The expense of specific items in the various expenditure categories in

Housing, Exc. Util Transportation Food Health Care Utilities Cash Contributions Clothing Insurance, Pensions Entertainment Other Expenditures

Housing, Exc. Util Transportation Food Health Care Utilities Cash Contributions Clothing Insurance, Pensions Entertainment Other Expenditures

Percent of Income after Taxes

Figure 11-3 Percent of total income spent in various categories for three age groups.

(Based on unpublished data from U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, November 25,1996.)

Percent of Income after Taxes

Figure 11-3 Percent of total income spent in various categories for three age groups.

(Based on unpublished data from U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, November 25,1996.)

Figure 11-3 is also of interest. For example, in the "food" category, 62% was spent for food at home and 38% for food away from home; the most expensive food group was "meats, poultry, fish, and eggs." The most costly item in the "utilities" category was electricity, and in the "clothing" category, women's and girls' clothes cost more than boys' and men's clothes. The highest cost in the "transportation" category was for vehicle purchases, and the highest cost in the "health care" category was for health insurance.

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