Hi. We would like to link the average spend per consumer unit from the BLS Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) with ‘household’ counts from the American Community Survey.
From our understanding, the consumer unit is more granular than a typical “household”, as a single household can contain multiple families. This would lead us to consider counting the number of families in the ACS rather than households.
However, we noticed that in the CE published tables, the weighted count of CUs is around 120-130 million. This is much closer to the number of households in the US than to the number of families measured from the household-weighted tabulations from the ACS-- which our calculations suggest about 270 million.
Do you have any suggestions on the most comparable unit of observation (i.e. family or household) to the CE consumer unit? On a related note, would the household or person weights be more appropriate to achieve similar counts as the CE?