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The overall share of annual household expenditures for transportation was lower in 2010 than it was in 1984, reaching its lowest point in 2009 at 15.5%. In the early to mid-1980s when oil prices were high, gasoline and motor oil made up a larger share of transportation expenditures but then declined until about 2004 when gasoline and motor oil expenditures began to rise again. The share of household expenditures on gasoline and oil was exactly the same in 1985 as it was twenty five years later in 2010 at 4.4%. During this period, expenditures for vehicle purchases declined to the lowest level in 2009 and remained constant for 2010 at 5.4%.

Share of Household Expenditures on Transportation, 1984-2010
Graphic showing the share of household expenditures on transporation from 1984 to 2010. the categories include vehicle purchases, gasoline and motor oil, and other transporation related items. See table below for more detailed information.

Note: Other transportation-related expenditures include vehicle finance charges, maintenance and repairs, vehicle insurance, vehicle rental, leases, licenses and other charges, and public transportation.

Supporting Information

Annual Household Expenditures and Transportation Share of Expenditures, 1984-2010
Year Vehicle Purchases Gasoline and Motor Oil Other Transportation related Annual Household Expenditures (current dollars)
1984 8.2% 4.8% 6.6% $22,546
1985 8.6% 4.4% 6.4% $23,976
1986 9.6% 3.8% 6.6% $24,439
1987 8.1% 3.6% 6.8% $24,776
1988 9.0% 3.5% 6.9% $26,389
1989 8.3% 3.5% 6.9% $28,323
1990 7.5% 3.6% 6.8% $29,062
1991 7.1% 3.3% 6.8% $30,487
1992 7.1% 3.2% 6.9% $30,527
1993 7.4% 3.1% 7.0% $31,436
1994 8.3% 3.0% 7.3% $32,740
1995 8.0% 3.0% 7.2% $33,597
1996 8.2% 3.1% 7.2% $35,591
1997 7.9% 3.1% 7.5% $36,146
1998 8.2% 2.8% 7.3% $37,260
1999 8.7% 2.7% 7.0% $39,143
2000 8.6% 3.3% 6.9% $40,238
2001 9.1% 3.1% 6.9% $41,395
2002 8.9% 2.9% 6.9% $42,557
2003 9.1% 3.2% 6.6% $42,742
2004 7.8% 3.7% 6.5% $43,395
2005 7.6% 4.3% 6.0% $46,409
2006 7.1% 4.6% 5.9% $48,398
2007 6.5% 4.8% 6.3% $49,638
2008 5.5% 5.4% 6.2% $50,486
2009 5.4% 4.0% 6.1% $49,067
2010 5.4% 4.4% 6.1% $48,109
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Consumer Expenditure Survey 2010, Table 2, 2011.

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