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 12 percent of household budgets on average. Among Federal Government outlays on farm and food programs, nutrition assistance far outpaces other programs.

Food accounted for 11.9 percent of U.S. households’ expenditures in 2020

With an 11.9-percent share, food ranked third—behind housing (34.9 percent) and transportation (16 percent)—among the expenditures of the average U.S. household in 2020. Compared with 2019, shares for food, transportation, entertainment/ alcoholic beverages, apparel, education/ reading, and “other” categories of spending fell slightly in 2020, and shares for housing, personal insurance/ pensions, healthcare, and savings rose slightly.