Complete Description:The Consumer Expenditure Survey collects information from households and families on their buying habits (expenditures), income, and household characteristics. The survey data are collected on an ongoing basis by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This nationwide household survey is designed to represent the total U.S. civilian noninstitutional population. The survey consists of two components, a quarterly Interview Survey and a weekly Diary Survey. In the Interview Survey, each consumer unit is interviewed every 3 months over five calendar quarters. In the initial interview, information is collected on demographic and family characteristics and on the consumer unit’s inventory of major durable goods. Expenditure information is collected in the second through the fifth interviews using uniform questionnaires. Income and employment information is collected in the second and fifth interviews. In the fifth interview, a supplemental section is administered in order to account for changes in assets and liabilities over a one-year period. The Interview Survey collects detailed data on an estimated 60 to 70 percent of total family expenditures. In addition, global estimates—that is, estimated average expenditures for a 3-month period—are obtained for food and other selected items. These global estimates account for an additional 20 to 25 percent of total expenditures. In the Diary Survey, respondents are asked to keep track of all their purchases made each day for two consecutive 1-week periods. Participants receive each weekly diary during a separate visit by a Census Bureau interviewer. Diary and Interview Survey microdata for individual consumer units since 1990.