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Consumer Expenditure Survey, 1960-1961

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Collective Title
  • Consumer Expenditure Survey Series
Publication Date
Free Keywords
automobile expenses; consumer behavior; consumer expenditures; consumption; debt; demographic characteristics; durable goods; employment; energy consumption; families; fixed income; food costs; household appliances; household budgets; household expenditures; household income; housing costs; insurance; purchasing; recreation expenses; taxes; unemployment benefits; vehicles; wages and salaries
  • Abstract

    This data collection includes detailed information on the purchasing habits of Americans in 1960-1961, with over 200 types of expenditures coded. For the first time since 1941, the Consumer Expenditure Survey sampled both urban, non-farm and rural, farm households in an attempt to provide a complete picture of consumer expenditures in the United States. Personal interviews were conducted in 1960 and 1961 (and a small number in 1959) with 9,476 urban families, 2,285 rural non-farm families, and 1,967 rural farm families, for a total of 13,728 consumer units interviewed. A complete account of family income and outlays was compiled for a calendar year, as well as household characteristics. The expenditures covered by the survey were those which respondents could recall fairly accurately for three months or longer. In general, these expenditures included relatively large purchases, such as those for property, automobiles, and major appliances, or expenditures that occurred on a fairly regular basis, such as rent, utilities, or insurance premiums. Expenditures incurred while on trips were also covered by the survey. Information to determine net changes in the family's assets and liabilities during the year was also gathered. The estimated value of goods and services received, as gifts or otherwise, without direct expenditures by the family, was requested also. In addition, farm families provided farm receipts, disbursements, changes in farm assets, and value of home-produced food. To supplement the annual data, non-farm families who prepared meals at home provided a detailed seven-day record, during the week prior to the interview, of expenditures for food and related items purchased frequently (e.g., tobacco, personal care, and household supplies). For selected items of clothing, house furnishings, and food, the record of expenditures was supplemented by information on quantities purchased and prices paid. Characteristics of the housing occupied by homeowners and renters and an inventory of the major items of house furnishing they owned also were recorded. Demographic information includes sex, age, years of school completed, occupation, race, and marital status of each family member.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • 1960 / 1961
    Time period: 1960--1961
  • 1959 / 1962
    Collection date: 1959--1962
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Households in the United States from 1959-1961.
Nationwide stratified probability samples selected for urban areas, rural areas in metropolitan counties, and rural areas in nonmetropolitan counties.
Collection Mode
  • (1) ICPSR obtained the 1960-1961 Consumer Expenditure Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics in two files, one containing the urban families and a second file containing the rural families interviewed. The data records in each of the files were recorded in zoned-decimal format, with two records of 911 columns each per case. ICPSR processing consisted of transforming the data from zoned-decimal to character mode, altering the file from two records of 911 columns per case to a single record of 1748 characters per case (deleting blank and duplicate fields in the process), and combining the urban and rural interview records into a single file. (2) The codebook is provided by ICPSR as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided on the ICPSR Web site.

This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (
Alternative Identifiers
  • 9035 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR09035.v1
  • Walden, Michael L.. Absolute and relative consumption of married U.S. households in 1960 and 1996: The Cleavers meet the Taylors. Journal of Consumer Affairs.36, (1), 77-98.2002.
    • ID: 10.1111/j.1745-6606.2002.tb00421.x (DOI)
  • Costa, Dora L.. American Living Standards, 1888-1994: Evidence from Consumer Expenditures. NBER Working Paper Series.7650, Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research. 2000.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Idson, Todd, Miller, Cynthia. The implications of demographic-specific inflation rates for trends in real educational wage differentials. Journal of Business and Economic Statistics.15, (4), 464-469.1997.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Haller, H. Brandon, Norpoth, Helmut. Let the good times roll: The economic expectations of U.S. voters. American Journal of Political Science.38, (3), 625-650.1994.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Rubin, Rose M., Riney, Bobye J.. Workig Wives and Dual-Earner Families. Westport: Praeger. 1994.
  • Mayer, Susan, Jencks, Christopher. Recent trends in economic inequality in the United States: Income versus expenditure versus material wellbeing. Poverty and Prosperity in the U.S.A. the late twentieth century.New York: St. Martin's. 1993.
  • Slesnick, Daniel T.. Gaining Ground: Poverty in the Postwar United States. Journal of Political Economy.101, (1), 1-38.1993.
    • ID: 10.1086/261864 (DOI)
  • Cutler, David M., Katz, Lawrence F.. Rising Inequality? Changes in the Distribution of Income and Consumption in the 1980s. American Economic Review.82, (2), 546-551.1992.
  • Cutler, David M., Katz, Lawrence F.. Rising Inequality? Changes in the Distribution of Income and Consumption in the 1980s. NBER Working Paper Series.3964, Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research. 1992.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Cutler, David M., Katz, Lawrence F.. Macroeconomic performance and the disadvantaged. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity.1991, (2), 1-61.1991.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Lazear, Edward P., Michael, Robert T.. Allocation of Income Within the Household. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. 1988.
  • Lazear, Edward P., Michael, Robert T.. Family size and the distribution of real per capita income. American Economic Review.70, (1), 91-107.1980.
  • Vickery, Clair. Women's economic contribution to the family. The Subtle Revolution.Washington, DC: The Urban Institute. 1979.
  • Lamale, Helen H.. Marketing Uses of Consumer Expenditure Survey Data. Conference on Purposes and Uses of Federal Statistics.Washington, DC. 1967.
  • Clague, Ewan. Changing Consumption Patterns. Conference on Consumer Economics.Raleigh, NC. 1965.
  • Lamale, Helen H.. Levels of Living Among the Poor. Seminar on Poverty.Los Angeles, CA. 1965.
  • Lamale, Helen H.. Uses of Family Expenditure Data. Annual Meeting of the American Home Economics Association.Atlantic City, NJ. 1965.
  • Murphy, Kathryn R.. Spending and saving in urban and rural areas. Monthly Labor Review.88, (10), 1169-1176.1965.
  • Webb, Laura Mae. Food expenditures of urban families, 1950 to 1960-61. Monthly Labor Review.88, (2), 150-153.1965.
  • Chase, Arnold E.. Consumer Expenditures and Income, with Emphasis on Low-Income Families. 22nd Interstate Conference on Labor Statistics.Miami Beach, FL. 1964.
  • Lamale, Helen H.. Expenditure Patterns of Low-Consumption Families. Annual Meeting of the American Statistical Association.Chicago, IL. 1964.
  • Murphy, Kathryn R.. Contrasts in spending by urban families: Part I, trends since 1950. Monthly Labor Review.87, (11), 1249-1253.1964.
  • Murphy, Kathryn R.. Contrasts in spending by urban families: Part II, variations in 1960-61. Monthly Labor Review.87, (12), 1408-1415.1964.
  • Tibbetts, Thomas R.. Expanding ownership of household equipment. Monthly Labor Review.87, (10), 1131-1137.1964.
  • Chase, Arnold E.. Changing Patterns of Consumer Expenditures, 1950-60. meeting of the American Statistical Association, Business and Economic Statistics Section.. 1963.
  • Clague, Ewan. Economics and Public Welfare. Southeastern Regional Conference.Asheville, N.C.. 1963.
  • Lamale, Helen H.. The Impact of Rising Prices on Younger and Older Consumers. International Gerontological Seminar.Markaryd, Sweden. 1963.
  • Lamale, Helen H.. Workers' wealth and family living standards. Monthly Labor Review.86, (6), 676-686.1963.
  • Webb, Laura Mae. Changing Patterns of Consumer Expenditures. 41st Annual Agricultural Outlook Conference.Washington, DC. 1963.
  • (author unknown). Survey of Consumer Expenditures, 1960-61: Consumer Expenditures and Income, Advanced Report. Washington, DC: United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. 1962.

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics (1984): Consumer Expenditure Survey, 1960-1961. Archival Version. Consumer Expenditure Survey Series. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.