Californians Spend More

By Dennis Meyers

The first 2012 edition of Economic Perspective from the California State Board of Equalization delivers some fascinating information about how household spending in California stacks up against the nation and the West.

Not surprisingly, higher incomes in California lead to higher-than-average consumer spending.  There are though some surprising contrasts between how Californians spend their money versus the nation as a whole.

“Compared to U.S. consumer spending, Californians expend 20 percent more overall than the national average, and nearly 60 percent more on housing.”

“Californians spend considerably less for other life necessities, such as utilities, household fuels, public services, and health care.”

California Household Spending vs. the National Average

  • 20% higher total spending—California household incomes are 23% higher
  • 59% more on housing—real estate is pricier
  • 9% more on taxable goods—again, higher incomes
  • 53% less on alcohol and tobacco
  • 15% less on utilities, fuels, public services (waste collection, sewerage services, and telephone charges)
  • 14% less on new and used vehicles

Of the three major California metropolitan areas, the San Francisco region had the highest household spending—139% of the national average vs. 112% for Los Angeles and 107% for San Diego.  Higher incomes largely explain these contrasts.

(Read the newsletter)

1 Comment

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One response to “Californians Spend More

  1. A couple of notes:

    First it appears that spending on taxable goods (stuff) is not the result of a shift to services, but to the higher cost of housing. And the cost of housing is much higher here.

    Second is the lower cost of heath care the result of a more efficient health care system (unlikely), a younger population, or our huge number of uninsured?

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