Thursday, January 23, 2014

OKC Residents Spend More On Cars Than They Do on Homes

The average American family spends 19% of their earned income on transportation. And according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in the United States is $51,017, which means the average American family spends more than $9,700 per year on transportation. Combine this with 34.1% spent on housing, and the average American family spends more than $27,100, or 53.1% of their income on housing and transportation.

The H+T Affordability Index is a great resource to determine how your region, county, or city compares to national averages. Let’s look at Oklahoma City:

One great thing about Oklahoma City is that housing is cheap; so cheap, in fact, that the majority of people in the city spend MORE on transportation than they do on housing. That’s right. The average person in Oklahoma City spends 29.41% of their income on transportation, and 22.56% of their income on housing. People in Oklahoma City spend more money on their cars than they do for their homes! More than a quarter of the OKC population spends upwards of 30% on transportation. Oh, and the H+T Affordability Index doesn't include parking costs. 

Percentage of Income Spent on Transportation
% of Population
Insufficient Data
< 15 %
15 to 25 %
25 to 30 %
30 to 35 %
35 + %

Percentage of Income Spent on Transportation
This could all be for a number of reasons. For one, the median household income of $45,474 for OKC is less than the U.S. figure. The average household in OKC spends around $13,500 on transportation each year. For comparison, one person could ride the Metro Transit bus with monthly passes for 22.5 years for this amount of money!

Another, more obvious reason (at least if you live here) is that the city is designed around cars; therefore, every time a typical resident of OKC goes ANYWHERE they are spending money to get there. Each day, the average OKC household is spending $36.50 on transportation costs.

If you add in housing at 22.56%, the average OKC household spends upwards of $23,000, around 52% of their total income. We have great prices on housing, and it’s a shame that we meet the national average of housing and transportation expenses due to the reliance on motor vehicle transportation.

Here at CarlessInOKC we did the math and we spend a combined 19.1% on housing and transportation, with transportation costs only being 2.6% of our total income. We're comfortable, we're happy, and we get to where we need to go, and all it took was choosing a place to live that gives us the option to not have a car... the affordable housing costs also help a great deal!

We challenge you to take a look at your expenses and see how transportation is impacting your financial situation, and think about what a difference getting rid of your car would make!

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