How do New Yorkers spend their money?

I was curious how New Yorkers spent their money. Turns out Bureau of Labor Statistics has that data.


How do New Yorkers spend their money?

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 5.27.07 PM.png
Source: US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Consumer Expenditures Survey. New York 2013-2014

Mostly housing (not surprising),  transportation, food, and retirement savings.


How do Americans spend their time?

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 5.37.10 PM.png
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics. American Time Use Survey, Ages 15+, Employed and Unemployed 2015

Sleeping (personal care) is most of it. Then, we spent time on leisure and sports, work, and household activities (cooking and cleaning). This data includes retired people too, so that’s why the work hours are lower than expected. Amazingly, about 3 hours a day is still spent on TV.


What does this say about society and technology?

Top Areas of Money Spent

  1. Housing
  2. Transportation
  3. Food
  4. Retirment Savings

Top Areas of Time Used

  1. Sleeping
  2. Leisure and sports
  3. Work
  4. Household activities


First, it’s interesting that the things we spend all our time on are not the things that we spend our money on. It seems like we actually spend fairly little money on things that we choose and mostly spend money on things that we have to.

Second, it feels like the biggest changes have come in the areas where we spend our time (communications, entertainment) and not so much the areas where we spend our money. Althought it seems like there are some developing technologies which will change this, most notably self driving cars.

I wonder if I feel that certain industries are not seeing progress because there hasn’t been or because I don’t know enough about all of these industries to judge. May warrant some further investigation.

One thought on “How do New Yorkers spend their money?”

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