New study: Seattle-area households spend 33 percent more than U.S. average

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SEATTLE - Households in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan area of Washington state spent an average of 33.4 percent more than the average U.S. household, a new federal study found.

The study, conducted over the past two years for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, found that the average household in the Seattle metropolitan area spent $74,723 per year, significantly more than the $56,648 average expenditure level for households in the United States.

The study also found that annual household income in the Seattle area averages $104,475 - which is also considerably higher than the national average of $72,156.

Housing is the largest expenditure category for Seattle-area households, the research showed, averaging $24,993 per year - about a third of the area's average household budget.

Seattle-area households spent 13.4 percent of their budgets on transportation, significantly lower than the national average of 16.4 percent. Of the $9,997 in annual transportation expenditures in Seattle, 87.6 percent was spent buying and maintaining private vehicles, compared to the national average of 93.1 percent.

The portion of a Seattle household’s budget spent on food, 13.6 percent, was not significantly different from the 12.6-percent U.S. average. Seattle-area households spent 58.3 percent of their food dollars on food at home and 41.7 percent on food away from home.

Interestingly, the study found that Seattle households spend only about 0.3 percent of their budget on tobacco products and smoking supplies - about half the national average.

But Seattleites spend about the same percentage of their income on alcohol as the rest of the country - about 1 percent of the total household budget.

Data in the study is from the Consumer Expenditure Survey, which the U.S. Census Bureau conducts for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The data in th e study were averaged over a two-year period, 2015 and 2016.

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