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 09, 2020
WESTERN INFORMATION OFFICE: San Francisco, Calif.
(415) 625-2270 BLSinfoSF@bls.gov www.bls.gov/regions/west
Consumer Expenditures for the Seattle Area: 2018–19
Households in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA, metropolitan area spent an average of $81,266 per year in
2018–19, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations
Richard Holden noted that this figure was significantly higher than the $62,395 average expenditure level for
households in the United States. Seattle-area households allocated their dollars similarly to the nation in four
major components, with four differing significantly from their respective U.S. averages. The share of
expenditures for healthcare, which accounted for 6.3 percent of the average household’s budget in the Seattle
area, was significantly lower than the national average of 8.1 percent. (See chart 1 and table 1.)
Highlights of the Seattle area’s 2018–19 spending patterns:
Housing: This was the largest expenditure component for Seattle-area households and averaged $29,234.
Housing accounted for 36.0 percent of the area’s household budget, significantly higher than the 32.7-percent
U.S. average. (See table 1.) Seattle was one of 11 metropolitan areas to have a housing expenditure share
significantly higher than the national average. Housing expenditures shares among the 22 metropolitan areas
nationwide for which data were available ranged from 38.0 percent in New York to 30.3 percent in Detroit.
(See table 2.)
Transportation: Seattle-area households spent 14.2 percent of their budget on transportation, significantly
lower than the national average of 16.8 percent. Of the $11,506 in annual transportation expenditures in
Seattle, 85.9 percent was spent buying and maintaining private vehicles; this compared to the national average
of 92.4 percent.
Food: The portion of a Seattle household’s budget spent on fo