Americans on average spent more on taxes than on food and clothing combined in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s new data on consumer expenditures, which was released this month.
“Consumer units” (which include families, financially independent individuals, and people living in a single household who share expenses) spent an average of $9,562 on food and clothing in 2017, according to BLS.
But they spent $16,749 on federal, state and local taxes.
The average 2017 tax bill included $7,819 in federal income taxes; $2,098 in state and local income taxes; and $51 in other taxes—which the BLS rounded to a subtotal of $9,967.
It also included $4,717 in Social Security taxes; and $2,065 in property taxes—bringing the total average tax bill for the year to $16,749.
At the same time, according to the BLS data, the average consumer unit spent $7,729 on food in 2017 and $1,833 on apparel and services—bringing the total average spending for food and clothing for the year to $9,562.
In fact, the 2017 average expenditure of $9,917 for income taxes alone—which includes the $7,819 for federal income taxes and $2,098 for state and local income taxes—was more than the average expenditure of $9,562 for food ($7,729) and clothing ($1,833).