South Florida household spending high on housing, low on transportation
The average South Florida household spends proportionally more on housing than the national average but, surprisingly, less than average on transportation, healthcare and food, a federal study issued last week shows. Tri-county residents in MiamiDade, Broward and Palm Beach counties put on average 36.4% of the money they spend into housing, versus 32.9% of annual spending in the nation as a whole, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. In dollars, housing costs averaged $20,501 per household in the area for the years studied, 2015 and 2016. For transportation, however, the 14.8% of total household spending in South Florida was lower than the 16.4% of household transportation spending nationally. Of the $8,344 in annual transportation spending in South Florida, 89.3% was used buying and maintaining private vehicles, versus 93.1% across the nation. Though healthcare costs rose rapidly here, the study found that healthcare spending in South Florida consumed 6.5% of total spending, below the national average of 7.9%.
Nationally, 12.6% of household spending is for food, versus 12.3% in South Florida. South Floridian households spend on average $4,120, or 59.5%, of their food dollars for food at home and $2,810, or 40.5%, on food away from home. The average US household spent 56.7% of its food budget on food at home and 43.3% on food away from home, the government study found. The study found that the average annual spending of a South Florida household was a tick below the national average. South Florida averaged $56,378 in household spending per year, while the national average was $56,648. Income before taxes in South Florida for the two-year period studied was $73,843, above the national average of $72,156. Nationally, the percent of household spending that went to housing, which was 36.4% here, ranged from a low of 30.3% in Detroit to a high of 40.3% in San Francisco. In transportation spending, which here was on average 14.8% of household spending, the low by far was 11.4% in Manhattan, which has the best-developed mass transit system in the nation. The high was 21% in Houston. In food spending, which was 12.3% of household spending in South Florida, the low was 10.2% in Atlanta and the high 15.4% in Honolulu.