The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor is the principal Federal agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy.
For Release: Wednesday, December 01, 2021
WESTERN INFORMATION OFFICE: San Francisco, Calif.
(415) 625-2270 BLSinfoSF@bls.gov www.bls.gov/regions/west
Consumer Expenditures for the Seattle Metropolitan Area: 2019–20
Households in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA, metropolitan area spent an average of $81,728 per year in
2019-20, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Chris Rosenlund noted
that this figure was significantly higher than the $62,188 average expenditure level for households in the
United States.Seattle-area households allocated their dollars similarly to the nation in 4 of the 8 largest major
components. Four of the largest components in the local area differed significantly from their respective U.S.
averages. For example, the share of expenditures for healthcare, which accounted for 6.1 percent of the
average household’s budget in the Seattle area, was significantly lower than the national average of 8.3
percent. (See chart 1 and table 1.)
Highlights of the Seattle area’s 2019–20 spending patterns:
Housing: This was the largest expenditure component for Seattle-area households and averaged
$30,007. Housing accounted for 36.7 percent of the area’s household budget, significantly higher than
the 33.8 percent U.S. average. (See table 1.) Among the 22 metropolitan areas nationwide for which data
were available, Seattle was 1 of 10 areas to have a housing expenditure share significantly higher than
the national average. Housing expenditure shares among the 22 published metropolitan areas nationwide
ranged from 39.1 percent in New York to 31.8 percent in St. Louis. (See table 2.)
Transportation: Seattle-area households spent 13.2 percent of their budget on transportation,
significantly lower than the national average of 16.5 percent. Of the $10,766 in annual transportation
expenditures in Seattle, 90.0 percent was spent buying and maintaining private vehicles; this compared
to the nati