The Consumer Expenditure Surveys (CE) program provides data on expenditures, income, and demographic characteristics of consumers in the United States.
If you have been asked to participate in either the Consumer Expenditure Quarterly Interview Survey (Quarterly Interview) or the Consumer Expenditure Diary Survey (Diary), this site will help you verify that the survey came from the Census Bureau, verify that the person who called or came to your door is a Census Bureau employee, and inform you of how we protect your data.
If you have additional concerns and wish to contact Census Bureau staff regarding the survey, please see the contact information at the bottom of this page.
The Consumer Expenditure Survey is a national survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau on behalf of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The survey collects the data needed for the calculation of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), our nation’s most important measure of inflation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has been conducting this survey since 1980.
There are two separate surveys in the Consumer Expenditure Survey: the Quarterly Interview survey and the Diary survey.
The U.S. Census Bureau conducts this survey under the authority of Title 13, United States Code (U.S.C.), Section 8. Section 9 of this law requires the Census Bureau to keep all information about you and your household strictly confidential. We may use this information only for statistical purposes.
We selected your address and not you personally. The Census Bureau scientifically selects random addresses throughout the country to be in this survey. Your address represents thousands of other households in your region.
If you wish to verify that your address was selected for this survey, you can contact your Census Bureau Regional Office and they can verify for you whether your address was selected for a particular survey (see the map for contact information).
The Census Bureau depends on your responses in order to produce quality statistics - even if your household has limited or minimal expenses.
Participation in the Consumer Expenditure Survey is voluntary. However, when you participate, you are representing thousands of other households like yours. In order to be able to create quality statistics, we rely on the participation of those who are randomly selected. If you choose not to participate, your household and others like it will not be adequately represented.
The responses you provide for this survey are confidential. They are used to produce statistical summaries. No information about your household or you as an individual can be identified through these statistics. The law completely protects your confidential answers from disclosure.
The Census Bureau encrypts all of the answers you provide whether your information is in transit or at rest on the Census Bureau’s servers. These servers are part of a stand-alone network that is not accessible by the Internet. These servers are constantly monitored for any attempts at intrusion.
Additional information about the survey as well as reports and statistics based on the information we collect are found at the website.
If you have additional questions about the survey, or if you wish to speak to someone at the Census Bureau, you can contact the respondent advocate. The respondent advocate can address the concerns of those households that have been selected to participate in this survey, as well as share that feedback with those who manage the survey operations.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey website offers additional information for households selected to participate in the Quarterly Interview or Diary survey.
The Census Bureau has a web page “Are You In A Survey” designed to answer additional questions you might have about being in a Census Bureau survey.