I am looking for a resource similar to this website that shows the mean effective federal taxation on households in different percentiles broken down into percentiles (and even shows historical data and breaks the percentages down to the different types of taxes e.g. income, excise, corporate, etc.)

What I want that is different is a resource that does the above but for all levels of taxation in the United States. This means I want effective taxation to include taxes imposed on the state and local levels like property and sales taxes.

There were some resources I found but nothing that satisfies that I described in the first paragraph (with the exception of one website: see below).

This website titled "How do Americans Spend Money? US Household Spending Breakdown by Income Group" shows (visually) how household spending broken down by quintiles, and includes how much of their overall income is taxed. The problem is that I cannot find the resource it uses to display its information. The website says:

I obtained data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), based upon a survey of consumer households and their spending habits.

However it does not link a source.

I did look through BLS resources but did not find any numbers on taxation. I found this document that does detail household spending broken down by pre-tax income quintiles, but does not show how much is spent on paying all taxes. It does say in the report:

Beginning with the 2013 public-use microdata, new estimates of local, state, and federal tax liabilities are included.

I, however cannot find these.

I also did find this report called Who Pays? which is a "distributional analysis of tax systems in all 50 states and the District of Columbia". Figure 1 shows pretty much what I am looking for however it is only state and local taxes and does not include federal taxes. It is really close to what I want so I must as if it is valid if I could somehow combine effective tax from the first resource with the effective tax in this report?


1 Answer 1


Your second link actually mentions the data I thought might be helpful here: Consumer Expenditure Survey

From the link https://engaging-data.com/household-spending-income/

Data and Tools: Data on consumer spending was obtained from the BLS Consumer Expenditure Surveys, and aggregation and calculations were done using javascript and code modified from the Sankeymatic plotting website. I aggregated many of the survey output categories so as to make the graph legible, otherwise there’d be 4x as many spending categories and all very small and difficult to read.

Consumer Expenditure Survey can be accessed here: https://www.bls.gov/cex/

If you access this page https://www.bls.gov/cex/pumd_data.htm, you should find the data dictionary (ce_pumd_interview_diary_dictionary.xlsx), which has the following variables that might give a helpful start: ADDFEDX, ADDOTHX, ADDSTAX. There are other tax variables as well, so have fun exploring the data. :)


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