Average back-to-school spending per household in the U.S. 2004-2019

The average planned back-to-school spending per household in the United States has gradually increased year-on-year to reach 696.7 U.S. dollars in 2019. This is an increase of over 200 dollars since the beginning of the survey period in 2004. According to another survey, in 2019, three quarters of respondents did back-to-school shopping in August in the United States.

Spending breakdown

In 2019, teens’ spending of their own money on back-to-school supplies averaged out at 36.71 U.S. dollars, whilst pre-teen spending averaged out at 26.4 dollars. Clothing and accessories, excluding shoes, was the biggest spending category for back-to-school shoppers in 2019. Average household spending on these items reached around 240 U.S. dollars, or approximately 34 percent of total household back-to-school expenditure. Department stores were the leading location for back-to-school shoppers to purchase such items – some 53 percent of respondents planned to undertake their shopping there. Discount stores and online shopping ranked in second and third places.

Average planned back-to-school spending per household in the United States from 2004 to 2019

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Release date

July 2019


United States

Survey time period

July 1 to 8, 2019*

Number of respondents

7,660 respondents

Method of interview

Online survey

Supplementary notes

* Date and study characteristics apply to the 2019 survey. Data for previous years have been conducted among equally large samples.

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Statistics on "Back-to-school market"

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