Ag and Food Sectors and the Economy

The U.S. agriculture sector extends beyond the farm business to include a range of farm-related industries. In 2021, agriculture, food, and related industries contributed 5.4 percent to U.S. gross domestic product and provided 10.5 percent of U.S. employment; Americans' expenditures on food amount to 12 percent of household budgets on average. Among Federal Government outlays on farm and food programs, nutrition assistance far outpaces other programs.

Food rose to 12.4 percent of U.S. households’ expenditures in 2021

Expenditures on food accounted for 12.4 percent of U.S. households’ spending in 2021, an increase from 11.9 percent in 2020. The share of household expenditures on food ranked third behind housing (33.8 percent) and transportation (16.4 percent). Compared with 2020, shares for entertainment/alcoholic beverages, food, transportation, apparel, and “other” categories of spending rose slightly in 2021, and shares for housing, healthcare, savings, education/reading, and personal insurance/pensions fell slightly.