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: Friday, October 15, 2021
MID-ATLANTIC INFORMATION OFFICE: Philadelphia, Pa.
(215) 597-3282 BLSInfoPhiladelphia@bls.gov
(215) 861-5600 BLSMediaPhiladelphia@bls.gov
Consumer Expenditures for the Washington Metropolitan Area: 2019-20
Households in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-MD-VA-WV, metropolitan area spent an average of
$89,052 per year in 2019–20, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner
Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that this figure was significantly higher than the $62,188 average expenditure
level for households in the United States. Washington-area households allocated their dollars similarly to the
nation in 3 of the 8 largest major components. Five 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 7.1 percent of the average household’s budget in the Washington area, was lower than the
national average of 8.3 percent. (See chart 1 and table 1.)
Highlights of the Washington area’s 2019–20 spending patterns:
Housing: This was the largest expenditure component for Washington-area households and averaged
$33,572. Housing accounted for 37.7 percent of the area’s household budget, significantly higher than
the 33.8-percent U.S. average. Housing expenditure shares among the 22 published metropolitan areas
for which data were available ranged from 39.1 percent in New York to 31.8 percent in St. Louis. (See
Personal insurance and pensions: Washington households spent 13.5 percent ($12,004) of their annual
budget on personal insurance and pensions, the second-largest expenditure component for the area’s
households. The portion of a local-area household’s budget spent on personal insurance and pensions
was significantly above the national average of 11.6 percent.
Transportation: Washington-area households spent 12.3 percen