How much does the average American make? Breaking down income and salary data.

The average American household takes in $63,091 per year.  With recent shifts in the economy, it is very likely that this figure is much lower for the current year.  But the baseline point is important to understand where most Americans stand.  After all, salary and income is still a somewhat taboo subject.  You can talk to family and friends about politics, economics, and sometimes religion but talking about personal income is off limits.  I always think that this is why most articles that cover the subject of income tend to garner much fanfare (as long as you don’t ask the forbidden question; how much do you make?).

Income is only useful in the context of spending since we have to measure spending ability against something else:

Source:  Visual Economics

“The average consumer has a budget that is split into a large number of monthly and yearly spending. The average consumer spends $49,638 a year on a range of necessary and desired expenditures. These expenditures come out of an annual household income of $63,091 per year on average, before taxes. The average consumer owns 1.9 vehicles, and 67 percent of them are homeowners. Households average 2.5 people and 1.3 earners reside in each.

The largest expenditure of the average household is housing. This takes up an average 34.1 percent of the yearly budget of households. This is an average of $16,920 spent on housing. This amount includes $10,023 spent on shelter, $3,477 spent on public services and utilities, $984 spent on household operations, $639 spent on housekeeping supplies and 3.6 Percent spent on household furnishings and equipment.

The second largest expenditure for the average consumer is transportation. The cost of vehicles purchased is an average of $3,244 per year, making it 6.5 percent of the average budget. The cost of oil and gas for vehicles costs the average consumer $2,384 per year, for an average of 4.8 percent of the total yearly budget. Combines, the cost of vehicles and their maintenance costs consumers an average of $8,758 per year. This is a total of 17.6 percent of the yearly budget.

Another large expenditure is healthcare. The average consumer spends $2,853 on healthcare each year. Another physical necessity, food, costs consumers an average of $6,133 per year. An average of $3,465 of that is spent on food that is consumed at home, and $2,668 of it is spent on food consumed away from home. Combines, the money spent on food is 12.4 percent of the entire yearly household budget.”

$323 a year on tobacco and $457 a year on alcoholic beverages.  I can scratch out the tobacco but I do enjoy a good beer and a bottle of good wine so that $457 seems accurate in my current budget.  I am surprised that the average spending on clothing is $1,881.  Seems a bit high but just go to the mall and you can see all this spending going on.

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