- Reuters/Bernardo Montoya
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases annual estimates of how American households make and spend money.
- One category of spending tracked by the BLS is food away from home.
- Gen Xers spend more at restaurants and on takeout than other age groups, but food away from home represents a larger share of millennials’ total spending.
Americans of all ages like to eat out from time to time, but Gen Xers tend to spend more on average at restaurants and on takeout than other generations.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey tracks how households make and spend money. One set of tables breaks down spending in several different categories based on the age of the person in a household that answered the survey.
One category shows the amount of money spent on food away from home, which includes eating out at restaurants or buying takeout. Like many spending categories, Americans in their prime working and earning years spend more on eating out than older or younger people.
Here’s what Americans of different ages spent on food away from home in 2017 on average. We loosely assigned the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ age groupings to different generations using the best match for each age bracket with the Pew Research Center’s generational definitions:
Here’s the percent share of total spending that goes to food away from home. While Americans in their 20s and early 30s spend less on eating out than the cohorts slightly older than them, food away from home represents a larger share of total spending:
- Business Insider/Andy Kiersz, data from Bureau of Labor Statistics