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Consumer Expenditure Survey
The Consumer Expenditure Surveys (CE) program provides data on expenditures, income, and demographic characteristics of
consumers in the United States. The CE program provides these data in tables, databases, news releases, reports, and public use microdata files.
CE OVERVIEW CE NEWS RELEASES
CE data are collected by the Census Bureau for BLS in two surveys, the Interview Survey for major and/or recurring items and the Diary
Survey for more minor or frequently purchased items. CE data are primarily used to revise the relative importance of goods and services
in the market basket of the Consumer Price Index. The CE is the only Federal household survey to provide information on the complete range of consumers' expenditures and incomes. Here is an overview of the CE program and its methods.
CE PUBLIC USE MICRODATA
To be notified when new datasets become available, sign up for CE updates. The menu will prompt you to select Consumer
CE SURVEY MATERIALS
Expenditures. If you have comments or questions about this page and its contents, contact us.
CE PUBLICATIONS CE FAQS
CE EVENTS IN YOUR AREA
NEW Consumer Expenditures in 2016 NEW Beyond the Numbers article "Consumer spending by state: BLS puts New Jersey to the test" by Taylor Wilson
NEW Monthly Labor Review article "Fun facts about Millennials: comparing expenditure patterns from the latest through the SEARCH CE
Greatest generation" by Geoffrey Paulin.
NEW The State Weights for New Jersey and California are available with their documentation.
NEW Four new 2-year experimental research tables with consolidated income-categories and higher income ranges are now
available. Registration and call for presenters for the 2018 CE Survey Methods Symposium and Microdata Users' Workshop is now
available. Here are the 2017 agendas with links to presentations for the CE Survey Methods Symposium and Microdata Users'
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
INFORMATION FOR CE RESPONDENTS POVERTY RESEARCH DATA COMPARISONS
Introduction to CE Data Products
CE Workshop & Symposium
CE News Releases
CE Public Use Microdata
CE FAQs CE Events in Your Area Contact CE
CE Survey Materials
Introduction to CE Data Products
What kind of data do you need? CE provides you its data in five formats: News releases and reports These publications provide analysis of CE data and overviews of major spending trends. You do not need statistical software to use these publications. They are available in two formats: News releases and reports. Tables of major expenditures, incomes, and demographic characteristics These products provide data by region, income categories, age, race, education, occupation, or other household characteristics. In addition, CE provides tables that cross tabulate variables of interest by two characteristics, for example age and income. You do not need statistical software to use these tables. They are available in two formats: Published tables or a database. Tables of detailed expenditure, incomes, and demographic characteristics Provide additional expenditure detail and related reliability measures, such as standard error. You need to take into account that some data points may be subject to significant sampling error causing a coefficient of variation of over 25 percent and thus should be used with caution. These tables are available on the experimental research products page or upon request from CE. Public Use Microdata (PUMD) with edited survey responses The PUMD contain edited data derived from the survey instruments. The data have been edited to meet strict confidentiality requirements set in place by BLS and the Census Disclosure Review Board. The PUMD include an extensive list of variables that allow in-depth analysis. CE staff edit these data in two main ways: Anonymizes the data to protect the respondents' identities. Imputes components that respondents did not report in sufficient detail or were unwilling to share. These include types of income and income taxes. You may need to use PUMD with caution because some data points may have a large coefficient of variation and you should be proficient with a statistical software package, such as SAS or R to use these files. They are available on the PUMD data page. To get started, you may want to explore the data availability with the Dictionary for Interview and Diary Survey (XLSX), and the methodology with the Getting Started Guide. Data files with unedited survey responses This product contains the same information as the Public Use Microdata files (PUMD) except that the confidentiality measures to protect respondents' identities have not been applied. Thus, these data provide slightly more demographic, income, and expenditure data. You have to come to the BLS national office to use this product. You may need to use these data files with caution because some data points may have a large coefficient of variation and you should be proficient with a statistical software package, such as SAS or R to use these files. In addition, accessing these files is more involved than accessing the above alternatives. For onsite access at the BLS national office, you need to fulfill the following requirements: Be affiliated with a government agency, academic institution, or nonprofit organization, be a U.S. citizen or legal resident, be able to fund travel to Washington D.C., demonstrate to BLS that your research is in the public's interest and will be publically available, and receive clearance from both BLS and the U.S. Census Bureau to access the unedited data (Title 13). The process to access these files normally takes at least six months, and may take longer. For more information about onsite access, see the BLS restricted data access page.
Methods of Contact Consumer Expenditure Survey program staff are available Monday through Friday to respond to inquiries. Please use any of the methods below to contact the CE program. Inquiries should include your name, and phone number, fax number, mailing address, or email address, along with a brief message. Telephone (202) 691-6900 Incoming calls are connected to the office's voice mail and answered promptly. FAX (202) 691-7006 Mail Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Surveys — Branch of Information and Analysis Postal Square Building, Room 3985 2 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E. Washington, DC 20212-0001 Email Contact us
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U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics | Consumer Expenditure Surveys, PSB Suite 3985, 2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE Washington, DC 20212-0001 www.bls.gov/CEX | Telephone: 1-202-691-6900 | Contact Us