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Except for housing, transportation was the largest single expenditure for the average American household in 2010. The average household spends more on transportation in a year than on food. Vehicle purchases, along with gasoline and motor oil, make up a large part of vehicle expenditures, but insurance, finance charges, repairs, vehicle rental and public transportation are all considered transportation.

2010 Share of Annual Household Expenditures
Graphic showing the percent of annual household expenditures on housing, transportation, food, personal insurance and pensions, health care, entertainment, apparel and services, and other. See table below for more detailed information.

Notes: Transportation includes new and used vehicle purchases; gasoline and motor oil; maintenance and repairs; vehicle insurance; vehicle finance charges; vehicle rental and public transportation.

Other includes personal care products and services; reading; education; tobacco products and smoking supplies; cash contributions; personal insurance and pensions; and miscellaneous.

Supporting Information

2010 Share of Annual Household Expenditures
Expenditure Type Percent
Housing 34.4%
Transportation 16.0%
Food 13.6%
Personal Insurance and Pensions 11.2%
Health care 6.6%
Entertainment 5.2%
Apparel and Services 3.5%
Other 9.6%
Source: 2011 Vehicle Technologies Market Report, Figure 19.

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