Consumers in the region spent on average $23,154 a year, or almost 40 percent of their total budget, the department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
That’s considerably more than consumers nationwide, who spent 34.1 percent of their budget on housing.
What can we learn from the report?
*We spend more than the rest of the nation. Consumers here spent on average $58,172, compared with consumers nationwide, who spent on average $48,926.
*These are averages instead of medians, so the figures could be swayed by the region’s 1 percenters.
*We’re either fairly healthy or better insured. We spent 5.3 percent of our all expenditures on health care, compared with the U.S. average of 6.6 percent.
*We’re either smart or more heavily in debt. We spent 2.8 percent of our total expenditures on education, compared with the U.S. average of 2.2 percent.
*We’re better dressed. We spent 4.5 percent of our expenditures on apparel and services, compared with the U.S. average of 3.5 percent.
*We drink a lot. We spent $523 a year on alcohol, compared with the U.S. average of $440 a year. Although both figures represent .9 percent of our total expenditures.
*We don’t smoke as much. About .4 percent of our total spending went toward tobacco products and smoking supplies. (Smoking supplies? Like, pipes?) That’s lower than the U.S. average of .7 percent.
With more of our money going toward housing, what took a hit?
Surprisingly, it looks like entertainment. About 4.3 percent of our spending went to entertainment, compared with 5.2 percent nationwide.