Consumer spending is the engine that powers the American economy, accounting for about 70 percent of all activity. When the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis— part of the U.S. Department of Commerce—published new numbers in October tabulating personal consumption, the website howmuch.net reviewed the data and published the state-by-state breakdown. The data includes areas such as housing and utilities, health care expenses, and eating at restaurants.

Washington D.C. topped the personal consumption per capita list, and Connecticut reached the top ten, landing at number six.  The data, the website suggests, “reveals an interesting snapshot about the economy.”  The top ten:

  1. Washington, DC: $56,843
  2. Massachusetts: $51,981
  3. Alaska: $49,547
  4. New Jersey: $48,972
  5. New Hampshire: $48,810
  6. Connecticut: $48,497
  7. North Dakota: $48,225
  8. Vermont: $47,648
  9. New York: $46,906
  10. Hawaii: $45,123

The map of the data illustrates a number of trends including that the Northeast has a cluster of heavy consumer spending states.  Six of the top ten most expensive places are in the Northeast, including three of the New England states, led by Massachusetts.

There is also a collection of lower consumer spending states across the Deep South to the Southwest, stretching all the way from North Carolina ($33,779) to Nevada ($36,177) and even up to Oregon ($39,742). At the bottom of the list is Mississippi, “where it costs only $30,200 to pay for life’s most common expenses,” the website points out.

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