Average American Entertainment Expenditure

It’s no secret that America loves its entertainment, from movies to music to video games. Just how much do they spend on these things every year?

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statics, the average annual expenditures during this period were $50,486. Northeast spending was $54,918, Midwest spending was $47,846, Southern spending was $46,823 and Western spending was $55,453.

Average Annual Expenditures Per Consumer Unit

The average annual expenditures break down as follows:

  • Housing – 33.9 percent, or $17,115
  • Transportation – 17 percent, or $8,583
  • Food – 12.8 percent, or $6,462
  • Personal insurance and pensions – 11.1 percent, or $5,604
  • Health care – 5.9 percent, or $2,979
  • Entertainment – 5.6 percent, or $2,827
  • Apparel and services – 3.6 percent, or $1,817
  • Cash contributions – 3.4 percent, or $1,717
  • Education – 2.1 percent, or $1,060
  • Miscellaneous – 1.7 percent, or $858
  • Personal care and services –1.2%, or $606
  • Alcoholic beverages – 0.9 percent, or $454
  • Tobacco products and smoking supplies – 0.6 percent, or $303
  • Reading – 0.2 percent, or $101

Entertainment costs included audio and visual equipment and services; pets, toys, hobbies and playground equipment; fees and admissions; and other entertainment spending.

US Home Entertainment Spending (2016-2017)

Regional Expenses

Annual Entertainment Expenditures By Region

Other spending (entertainment supplies, equipment and services): 16 percent, or $454

  • In the Northeast: 15 percent, or $439
  • South: 13 percent, or $328
  • Midwest: 21 percent, or $574
  • West: 18 percent, or $610
Fees and admissions: 21 percent, or $606
Northeast24 percent$714
South20 percent$515
Midwest21 percent$574
West22 percent$721

Pets, toys, hobbies and playground equipment: 25 percent, or $707

Northeast: 24 percent, or $714

South: 24 percent, or $609

Midwest: 21 percent, or $622

West: 28 percent, or $943

Audio and visual equipment and services: 38 percent, or $454

Northeast: 37 percent, or $1,098

South: 41 percent, or $1,030

Midwest: 36 percent, or $1,005

West: 28 percent, or $1,054

Total U.S. consumer units were 120,770,000 with an average annual before-tax income of $63,563 and average annual expenditures of $50,486.

Total Annual Entertainment Expenses Per Consumer Unit (2013-2016)

Average annual before-tax income in the West was $68,031 before taxes and average annual expenditures were $26,941.

This included:

Food- 12.7 percent, or $7,043

Alcoholic beverages- 0.9 percent, or $499

Housing- 35.5 percent, or $19,686

Apparel and services- 3.4 percent, or $1,885

Transportation- 15.8 percent, or $8,762

Personal care and services- 5.5 percent, or $3,050

Miscellaneous- 1.8 percent, or $998

Tobacco products and smoking supplies- 0.5 percent, or $277

Entertainment- 6.0 percent, or $3,327

Reading- 0.3 percent, or $166

Education- 1.8 percent, or $998

Cash contributions- 1.8 percent, or $998

Personal insurance and pensions- 10.9 percent, or $6,044

Average annual before-tax income in the Midwest was $61,063 before taxes and average annual expenditures were $27,786.

This included:

Food- 12.5 percent, or $5,981

Alcoholic beverages- 0.9 percent, or $431

Housing- 32.5 percent, or $15,550

Apparel and services- 3.4 percent, or $1,627

Transportation- 17.6 percent, or $8,421

Personal care and services- 6.4 percent, or $3,062

Miscellaneous- 1.5 percent, or $718

Tobacco products and smoking supplies- 0.7 percent, or $335

Entertainment- 5.8 percent, or $2,775

Reading- 0.2 percent, or $96

Education- 2.2 percent, or $1,053

Cash contributions- 3.6 percent, or $1,722

Personal insurance and pensions- 11.6 percent, or $6,550

Average annual before-tax income in the Northeast was $70,436 before taxes and average annual expenditures were $22,348.

This included:

Food- 12.7 percent, or $6,975

Alcoholic beverages- 0.9 percent, or $439

Housing- 32.6 percent, or $19,551

Apparel and services- 3.6 percent, or $1,977

Transportation- 18.2 percent, or $8,897

Personal care and services- 5.5 percent, or $3,020

Miscellaneous- 1.7 percent, or $934

Tobacco products and smoking supplies- 0.6 percent, or $330

Entertainment- 5.4 percent, or $2,966

Reading- 0.3 percent, or $165

Education- 2.9 percent, or $1,593

Cash contributions- 2.7 percent, or $1,483

Personal insurance and pensions- 10.9 percent, or $5,986

Average annual before-tax income in the South was $58,881 before taxes and average annual expenditures were $43,696.

This included:

Food- 13 percent, or $6,087

Alcoholic beverages- 0.9 percent, or $375

Housing- 32.6 percent, or $15,264

Apparel and services- 3.8 percent, or $1,779

Transportation- 18.1 percent, or $8,476

Personal care and services- 6.1 percent, or $2,856

Miscellaneous- 1.8 percent, or $749

Tobacco products and smoking supplies- 0.7 percent, or $328

Entertainment- 5.4 percent, or $2,528

Reading- 0.2 percent, or $94

Education- 1.7 percent, or $796

Cash contributions- 3.7 percent, or $1,732

Personal insurance and pensions- 11 percent, or $5,151

Consumers have cut back their overall out-of-town entertainment spending and have found many at-home entertainment replacements. Community-based and affordable entertainment options, including movies, museums and family entertainment centers (FECs) are faring better than extreme entertainment and major tourist destinations, due to the staycation phenomenon.

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