Greater Boston locals tend to spend more money on alcohol and cigarettes than 17 other cities polled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for their recently released 2011-2012 Consumer Expenditure Survey. Overall expenditures by people in Greater Boston was almost 30 percent more ($63,063) than the the national average of $48,588 in 2011 and 2012.
Before we dive into the figures, the metropolitan area for "Boston," as indicated in this study, consists of Boston-Brockton-Nashua, Mass.-N.H.-Maine-Conn. which is also comprised of select cities and towns in Windham, Conn.; Bristol, Essex, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester, Mass.; York, ME; Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham, and Strafford, N.H. counties.
Data contained in this report are from the CE, which is collected on an ongoing basis by the U.S. Census Bureau for BLS. Here are some other interesting Boston-related figures from the study:
- Boston households spent more money on alcohol ($813) as compared to the national average ($454).
- Boston area households spent an average of $64,982 per year in 2011–2012, over 28 percent more than the $50,581 average expenditure level for the typical U.S. household.
- Among expenditure categories, housing was the largest expenditure outlay which accounted for 31.8 percent of a Boston area household's total budget, followed by transportation which accounted for 14.8 percent of the total budget.
- Boston consumers spent significantly smaller portions of their budgets on both housing and transportation. Conversely, expenditures for education accounted for a significantly larger portion of a typical budget in the Boston area than they did nationwide.
- Of the $9,610 in annual expenditures for transportation in Boston, 90.7 percent was spent buying and maintaining private vehicles; the remaining 9.3 percent was spent on public transportation, compared with the 6.1 percent average for the nation. Across metropolitan areas, only Houston area households spent an above-average share of their annual budgets on transportation.
- The rate of homeownership in the Boston area at 63 percent compared to the national average of 65 percent, while Boston area households owned fewer vehicles (1.7) than the average household nationally (1.9).
- Also, Boston leads other cities in tobacco product purchases.
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- Boston.com's Government Center
- Dept. of Education school and district profiles
- MetroBoston Data Common
- The Boston Indicators Project
- Dept. of Revenue's Data Bank
- Dept. of Revenue Cherry Sheets
- New England Economic Partnership employment data
- Labor and Workforce Development Dept. economic data
- Sec. of State's Citizen Information Service
- MassGIS Geospatial Web Services
- Federal Reserve Bank of Boston data resources
- US Census Bureau
- Bureau of Economic Analysis
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Bureau of Justice Statistics
- Bureau of Transportation Statistics
- Consumer Price Index
- Energy Information Administration
- FBI Uniform Crime statistics
- IRS Statistics of Income
- National Archive of Criminal Justice Data
- National Center for Agricultural Statistics
- National Center for Education Statistics
- National Center for Health Statistics
- USDA Economic Research Service