Thursday, December 14, 2017

New Generation Table Reveals Spending Patterns

The World War II generation gets smaller by the day. This generation, defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as people born in 1927 or earlier, heads fewer than 2 percent of the nation's households. Despite its small size, the BLS has revealed its characteristics and spending patterns, along with those of younger generations, in a new standard table in the Consumer Expenditure Survey's annual series...

World War II generation (1927 or earlier): Still alive and kicking, the average householder in this generation is 91 years old. Two-thirds are women. Fifty-eight percent own a vehicle. They spent $35,344 in 2016, including $1,095 on eating out and $1,223 on entertainment. 

Silent generation (1928 to 1945): With an average age of 77, households headed by a member of the Silent generation spent $41,763 in 2016. The 58 percent majority of Silent generation householders are women, and 84 percent own a vehicle. They spend slightly more on cell phone than landline service, and they are the biggest spenders on reading material. 

Baby-boom generation (1946 to 1964): Boomers are still the largest generation of householders, accounting for 35 percent of the total. The average Boomer householder is 60 years old and owns an average of 2.1 vehicles. Forty percent are homeowners with a mortgage, and another 36 percent own their home free and clear. Boomer households spent an average of $61,204 in 2016.

Generation X (1965 to 1980): Gen Xers, with an average age of 43, are the biggest spenders. The average Gen X household spent $68,532 in 2016. Gen Xers spend more on mortgage interest than any other generation—$4,526 per year, nearly 7 percent of their total spending. They are also the biggest spenders on education because many have children in college and some are still paying off student loans.

Millennials (1981 or later): The 30 million households headed by Millennials, with an average age of 28, account for 23 percent of total households—less than Generation X's 27 percent share. Only 33 percent of Millennial households own their home. This generation is less likely to own a vehicle (83 percent) than the Silent generation (84 percent). On average, Millennial households spent $48,576 in 2016. Nearly half of their food spending (47 percent) is devoted to eating out. In 2016, they spent $1,110 on cell phone service and just $64 on reading material. 

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016 Consumer Expenditure Survey

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