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Household Spending Patterns: A Comparison of Four Census Regions

Cassandra Yocum


This paper reviews the expenditures made by households in selected areas of the United States as defined by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and classified into four regional areas. Following a model previously devised and published in the Monthly Labor Review, it then attempts to break down these aggregate expenditures into five categories of change which can impact total expenditures. These categories, or components of change in total expenditures, are population growth within a geographic region, the effects of changes in population concentrations between local areas within a geographic region, allowances for any changes in the definitions of goods and services as collected and priced by the CPI, price changes, and quantity changes. Some of the largest impacts in each region for each component are discussed. Comparisons of results are made between regions for selected goods and services in each of the eight major groups of commodities and services used by the CPI.