Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Big Spenders on Food

A century ago, 38 cents out of every dollar spent by the average American household was spent on food. Today, the figure is just 11 cents. Whew, right? 

Not so fast. Many Americans still spend more than one-third of their income on food—and it's not because they're dining out at fancy restaurants. The share of income a household devotes to food is greatest for households with the lowest incomes. Here is the food share of household expenditures by household income quintile...

Percent of after-tax income spent on food by household income quintile, 2019
Bottom quintile: 36%
Second quintile: 18%
Middle quintile: 14%
Fourth quintile: 11%
Highest quintile: 8%

Note: Households in the bottom income quintile have a before-tax income below $22,488; second income quintile $22,488 to $43,431; middle income quintile $43,432 to $72,233; fourth income quintile $72,234 to $120,728; highest income quintile $120,729 and above.

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