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A Snapshot of 2009 Utility Expenditures by Older Consumers

A Snapshot of Utility Expenditures by Older Consumers by PPI’s Neal Walters identifies trends in consumer spending on utilities and shows how these expenditures vary among consumers by age, income, household size, and geographic location.  This analysis is based on the latest available data (2009) from the Consumer Expenditure Survey.

Key findings:

  • Spending on utilities comprised a larger percentage of overall expenditures for consumers age 50+ than for younger consumers. Expenditures were highest for the 65+ age group.  
  • Expenditures on electric utilities accounted for more than a third of all utility expenditures by consumers aged 50+ in 2009.
  • The South had the highest overall utility expenditures as a percentage of annual expenditures for all age groups, while the West had the lowest utility expenditures. Expenditures on utilities composed a larger percentage of overall expenditures for consumers age 50+ living alone. Utility expenditures as a percentage of overall expenditures were highest for those aged 65+ and living alone.  

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