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Spending on apparel over the decades

May 31, 2006

Between 1901 and 2002-03, expenditure shares for clothing steadily declined.

Percentage of expenditures allocated for clothing in the U.S., New York City, and Boston, selected periods, 1901 to 2002-03
[Chart data—TXT]

In 1901, the average U.S. household allocated 14.0 percent of total spending for apparel, while households in New York City allocated 13.0 percent on average, and households in Boston, 14.4 percent. By 2002-03, spending shares for clothing had decreased to 4.2 percent in the country as a whole, 5.2 percent in New York City, and 3.9 percent in Boston.

Also, by 2002-03, women’s clothing had become the single largest component of the clothing budget in New York City and Boston, at 2.0 percent of total spending in New York City and 1.5 percent in Boston.

These data come from the Consumer Expenditure Survey. Find out more in "100 Years of U.S. Consumer Spending: Data for the Nation, New York City, and Boston," BLS Report 991.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Spending on apparel over the decades at (visited July 25, 2024).

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