Cost-of-Living Differences in Urban Versus Rural Areas: An Analysis with Expenditure Data

Richard McHugh
December 1990  [90-SR 49]

This study illustrates the usefulness of consumer expenditure data for analyzing urban/rural differences in expenditure patterns.

The primary findings are that when the effects of income, children, home ownership, aging, and college education are held constant, rural households spend a proportionately larger share of income on transportation, health care, and tobacco.

Further breakdown within the category of health care reveals that health insurance, drugs, and medical supplies are responsible for higher expenditure by rural households. Within the transportation category, vehicles, gasoline, and oil are the sources of higher rural expenditure shares.

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