Ag and Food Sectors and the Economy

The U.S. agriculture sector extends beyond the farm business to include a range of farm-related industries. The largest of these are food service and food manufacturing. Americans' expenditures on food amount to 13 percent of household budgets on average. Among Federal Government outlays on farm and food programs, nutrition assistance far outpaces other programs.

Food accounts for 12.6 percent of American households’ expenditures

With a 12.6-percent share, food ranked third behind housing (33 percent) and transportation (15.8 percent) in a typical American household's 2016 expenditures. Expenditure shares for housing, food, personal insurance and pensions, healthcare, and savings rose slightly in 2016, while transportation, entertainment and alcoholic beverage, and apparel expenditure shares fell from 2015 to 2016.