One of the first things you want to understand before starting any business is your target audience—more specifically, their spending capacity.

With nearly $850 billion in ecommerce sales expected in 2021, the United States market definitely shows potential. So how much does the average American spend per year?

According to the latest statistics, the average yearly expenses of a US consumer in 2019 is $63,036. This averages to $5,253 per month. 

This represents a 3.0 percent growth from 2018, during which average consumer spending in the US was $61,224. In comparison, spending increased 4.8 percent from 2016 to 2017 and 1.9 percent from 2017 to 2018.

The average annual American spending has risen steadily over the past few years. In 2015, the average yearly expenses of a US consumer was $55,978. That means that in just four years, US consumers increased their average annual expenditure by 12.6 percent, which is an average annual growth rate of 3.15 percent.

Interestingly, the rate of increase in average consumer spending in the US is slower than the rate of increase in income. From 2015 to 2019, the average US consumer income rose from $69,627 to $82,852—a 19 percent overall increase and an average annual growth rate of 4.7 percent. 

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Average Consumer Spending: Top Expenses

US consumers’ biggest expenditure is on housing. In 2019, the typical US consumer spent $20,679 on housing, which covers expenses on both owned and rented dwellings, housing utilities, operations, supplies, as well as all furnishings and equipment. This represents 32.8 percent of their average yearly expenses and a 2.9 percent year-over-year increase. 

US consumers’ second-highest expense is transportation. Of the average yearly expenses in 2019, $10,742, or 17 percent, is spent on transportation. This includes vehicle purchases, gasoline, public transportation, and other related expenses.

The third-biggest expenditure is food. The average US consumer spent $8,169 on food in 2019, 3.1 percent more than they did in 2018. This is followed by personal insurance and pensions, on which $7,165 is spent.

In total, the top three expenditures of US consumers in 2019, housing, transportation, and food, add up to $39,590—or 62.8 percent of their average yearly expenses.

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