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News Release Information

Monday, October 31, 2022

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Consumer Expenditures for the Dallas Metropolitan Area — 2020-2021

Households in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX, metropolitan area spent an average of $62,672 per year in 2020-21, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Michael Hirniak noted that this figure was not significantly different from the $64,187 average expenditure level for households in the United States. Dallas-area households allocated their dollars similarly to the nation in 5 of the 8 largest major components. Three of the largest components in the local area differed significantly from their respective U.S. averages. For example, the share of expenditures for food, which accounted for 9.6 percent of the average household’s budget in the Dallas area, was lower than the national average of 12.2 percent. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

Highlights of the Dallas area’s 2020-21 spending patterns:
  • Housing: This was the largest expenditure component for Dallas-area households and averaged $22,896. Housing accounted for 36.5 percent of the area’s household budget, not significantly different than the 34.3-percent U.S. average. Housing expenditure shares among the 22 published metropolitan areas ranged from 41.9 percent in San Francisco to 30.7 percent in St. Louis. (See table 2.)
  • Transportation: Dallas-area households spent 17.5 percent of their budget on transportation, not significantly different than the national average of 16.2 percent. Of the $10,943 in annual transportation expenditures in Dallas, 97.2 percent was spent buying and maintaining private vehicles; this compared to the national average of 96.6 percent.
  • Food: The portion of a Dallas household’s budget spent on food, 9.6 percent, was significantly lower than the 12.2-percent U.S. average. Dallas-area households spent $3,506, or 58.2 percent, of their food dollars on food at home and $2,521 (41.8 percent) on food away from home. In comparison, the average U.S. household spent 65.3 percent of its food budget on food at home and 34.7 percent on food away from home.
  • Personal Insurance and Pensions: Households in Dallas spent an average of $8,018, or 12.8 percent of their budget on personal insurance and pensions, significantly higher than the national average of 11.8 percent. Expenditures for this component in the South region ranged from $12,683 in Washington, D.C, to $6,087 in Miami.
Additional Information

Data in this release are from the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE), which the U.S. Census Bureau conducts for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The data in this release were averaged over a 2-year period, 2020 and 2021.

A household in the CE survey is defined as a consumer unit which includes families, single persons living alone or sharing a household with others but who are financially independent, or two or more persons living together who share expenses. The terms household or consumer unit are used interchangeably for convenience.

Differences in spending among metropolitan areas may reflect differences in the cost of living, but they also may reflect other causes. Spending differences may result from different consumer preferences or variations in demographic characteristics, such as household size, age, or income levels. However, expenditure shares, or the percentage of a household’s budget spent on a particular component, can be used to compare spending patterns across areas. Sample sizes for the metropolitan areas are much smaller than for the nation, so the U.S. estimates and year-to-year changes are more reliable than those for the metropolitan areas. Users should also keep in mind that prices for many goods and services have changed since the survey was conducted.

A value that is statistically different from another does not necessarily mean that the difference has economic or practical significance. Statistical significance is concerned with our ability to make confident statements about a universe based on a sample. A large difference between two values may not be statistically significant, while a small difference could be significant; both the sample size and the variation among the values in the sample affect the relative error of the estimates.

For additional technical and related information, see Data for the nation, the four geographic regions of the United States, and 22 metropolitan areas nationwide are available at Metropolitan definitions used in the survey are available at The metropolitan area discussed in this release is the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area which comprises Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Somervell, Tarrant, and Wise Counties in Texas.  Metropolitan area news releases for the Consumer Expenditure Survey are available at

Information in this release will be made available to individuals with sensory impairments upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Telecommunications Relay Service: 7-1-1.

Table 1. Average annual expenditures, characteristics, and percent distributions, United States and Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, 2020–21
Category United
Dallas-Fort Worth

Consumer unit characteristics:

Income before taxes

$85,906 $91,585

Age of reference person

52 49.3

Average number in consumer unit:


2.5 2.7

Children under 18

0.6 0.6

Adults 65 and over

0.4 0.4


1.3 1.5


1.9 1.8

Percent homeowner

65 60

Average annual expenditures

$64,187 $62,672

Percent distribution


100.0 100.0


12.2 9.6*

Alcoholic beverages

0.8 0.7


34.3 36.5

Apparel and services

2.5 2.3


16.2 17.5


8.3 8.1


5.1 4.8

Personal care products and services

1.1 1.1


0.2 0.1*


1.9 2.6

Tobacco products and smoking supplies

0.5 0.3*


1.5 1.0*

Cash contributions

3.7 2.5*

Personal insurance and pensions

11.8 12.8*

Note: An asterisk (*) represents a statistically significant difference from the U.S. average at the 95-percent confidence level.

Table 2. Percent share of average annual expenditures for housing, transportation, and food, United States and 22 metropolitan areas,
Area Housing Transportation Food

United States

34.3 16.2 12.2


34.4 12.1* 14.6*


35.9 15.4 13.9*


33.2 17.9 11.3


34.2 10.6* 12.3


37.3* 13.8 13.0

Dallas-Fort Worth

36.5 17.5 9.6*


36.2 16.3 11.2


33.0 16.4 12.3


41.2* 12.4* 15.2*


37.2* 17.7 9.3*

Los Angeles

38.0* 16.3 12.7


39.9* 16.8 12.1

Minneapolis-St. Paul

33.6 13.1* 10.4*

New York

39.6* 11.7* 12.2


34.3 11.6* 11.6


34.2 18.9 11.4

San Diego

37.0* 12.2* 11.9

San Francisco

41.9* 12.1* 11.9


36.9* 14.3 11.9

St. Louis

30.7* 14.9 13.0


36.3 18.2 11.6

Washington, DC

37.4* 10.5* 12.0

Note: An asterisk (*) represents a statistically significant difference from the U.S. average at the 95-percent confidence level.


Last Modified Date: Monday, October 31, 2022