How much higher is the average consumer spending of the poorest 10% of U.S. households than their reported, before-tax, cash income?
In the U.S., the poorest 10% of households have average annual reported, before-tax, cash income of $5,724, while their average annual consumer spending is $25,309, or 342% higher. This difference is mainly because such households have high levels of unreported income. Furthermore, consumer spending doesn't include goods and services received but not directly purchased by households, such as Medicaid, housing subsidies, and school lunches. These benefits, which wealthier households often earn for themselves, typically cost tens of thousands of dollars per poor household per year.