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: Monday, October 26, 2020
MIDWEST INFORMATION OFFICE: Chicago, Ill.
(312) 353-1880 BLSInfoChicago@bls.gov www.bls.gov/regions/midwest
Consumer Expenditures for the Chicago Metropolitan Area: 2018-19
Households in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI metropolitan area spent an average of $64,804 per
year in 2018–19, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Jason Palmer
noted that this figure was not significantly different from the $62,395 average expenditure level for households
in the United States. Chicago-area households allocated their dollars similarly to the nation in eight major
components, while shares for six components differed significantly from their respective U.S. averages. For
example, the share of expenditures for entertainment, which accounted for 4.3 percent of the average
household’s budget in the Chicago area, was lower than the national average of 5.1 percent. (See chart 1 and
Highlights of the Chicago-area’s 2018–19 spending patterns:
Housing: This was the largest expenditure component for Chicago-area households and averaged $23,677.
Housing accounted for 36.5 percent of the area’s household budget, significantly higher than the 32.7-percent
U.S. average. (See table 1.) Among the 22 metropolitan areas nationwide for which data were available,
Chicago was 1 of 11 areas to have a housing expenditure share that was significantly higher than the national
average. Housing expenditure shares among the 22 published metropolitan areas ranged from 38.0 percent in
New York to 30.3 percent in Detroit. (See table 2.)
Transportation: Chicago-area households spent 14.0 percent of their budget on transportation, significantly
lower than the national average of 16.8 percent. Of the $9,084 in annual transportation expenditures in
Chicago, 88.3 percent was spent buying and maintaining private vehicles; this compared to the national
average of 92.4 percent.