I'm trying to get annual data on purchases of televisions at the MSA or city level.

I looked at BLS Consumer Expenditure Survey, but it looks like the MSA-level data is aggregated into coarse categories. The public use micro data, has individual-level data, but it looks like it only has state but not MSA.

Is there a way to get MSA-level total purchases that are not aggregated into very coarse purchase categories? I am interested both in free data like BLS and also potentially private data (so long as it's affordable on a academic research budget

2 Answers 2


there is a metro area identifier on the ce, but only for the largest ten or so cities.. there probably isn't sample to get any smaller than that; ce should not even be used for state-level statistics. some bls-published msa tables with ce: http://www.bls.gov/cex/csxmsa.htm


I am trying to find a way to identify the portion of national consumer spending for certain items from households by geographic unit (e.g., by census tract or block group). The Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditures Survey seems fairly promising but I am unfamiliar with this dataset and how to dissect it into granular geographic units.

BLS: http://www.bls.gov/cex/csxgloss.htm

Any help on how to read this would be appreciated - I have looked at the 'new users' materials but still can't make heads or tails of it.

  • the consumer expenditure survey is an intensive, detailed, yearlong survey of a couple thousand households. that's not enough sample for anything smaller than a few of america's largest cities and and states Sep 20, 2016 at 15:46
  • Is there anything else the BLS offers that has somewhat detailed information but at a more exhaustive number of households? @AnthonyDamico
    – Ralph
    Sep 20, 2016 at 15:54
  • review the list of surveys at asdfree.com Sep 21, 2016 at 3:04

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