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Expenditures of the Aged Chartbook, 2002

(released May 2007)


Expenditures of the Aged Chartbook examines the spending patterns of the population aged 65 or older. Policymakers and researchers are concerned about the adequacy of economic resources of the elderly. Income tells part of the story with regard to adequacy, but it is also useful to seek out other measures of standards of living, such as expenditures. The goal of this chartbook is to improve the availability of statistics on expenditures.

This chartbook is based on data from the 2002 Consumer Expenditure Survey Public-Use File, sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It contains many comparisons of the expenditures of the aged population (65 or older) with those of the near aged (55–64). In addition, many charts also compare those aged 65–74 and 75 or older. Charts that present data by age group also show information for those aged 65 or older as a whole, which is given in either a table or a shaded bar that accompanies the chart.

Many charts in this book show distributions of expenditures by using box plots of the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentiles of expenditure amounts and percentages of total amounts spent on various components. The upper and lower edges of the box plots denote the 75th percentile and 25th percentile, respectively.

Kimberly Burham prepared this chartbook. Staff of the Division of Information Resources edited the book and prepared the print and electronic versions for publication.

Susan Grad
Acting Associate Commissioner for Research, Evaluation, and Statistics
May 2007