What Americans are buying

The U.S. Census Bureau has published its 2008 Statistical Abstract of the United States. And it shows that times are definitely changing.

The report takes about ten months to compile, and Census Bureau employees spend their days searching for studies and statistics that give insight into how Americans spend their money.

Here are some of the more interesting statistics:

  • Sales of MP3 players in 2007 were $5.9 billion, compared to just $424 million in 2003

  • The number of cosmetic procedures on Americas doubled from 2000 to 2006; more than 11.4 million procedures were done in 2006

  • Online sales are still only a small fraction of retail sales, at 2.5% of the $3.7 trillion total

  • Dining out is the single largest leisure activity done by Americans, with 106 million adults eating in at least one restaurant during 2006