Back to School Expenditure in the U.S from 2006 to 2022

In the United States back to school expenditure is approx. 30 billion U.S. dollars in 2020. 

When students say goodbye to their summer holidays and return to school, their parents also say goodbye to their paychecks to fulfil the needs of their children.

In the U.S. back to school shopping season comes in the summer and early autumn. At that time, guardians, parents, and children planned to spend 30 billion U.S dollars in 2020. Those who are planning to go back to school shopping usually do this late July to early August. 

According to studies, in 2020, U.S. parents planned to spend the highest on electronic gadgets, accessories, and clothing. Some used electronic items like laptops, speakers, and other electronic items come under e-learning supplies. Also, in 2020 the average amount of 800 U.S. dollars parents are planning to spend on back-to-school expenditure. 

According to the 2019 survey, American consumers planning to buy back-to-school supplies. To use their smartphones for getting price information, access a retailer’s website or make a payment.

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In the U.S. Average Expenditure of Back to School in 2020 

The planned average expenditure of back to school increases year after year to reach 789.49 U.S. dollars in 2020. At the beginning of the survey period, it increased up to 300 dollars in 2004. In 2019, another survey was done, which shows three-quarters of parents again respond back to school shopping in August in the United States. 

In 2020 pre-teens and teens are spending their own pocket money for back-to-school shopping. Pre-teen’s average spending is 22.58 U.S. dollars, or teen’s average spending is 45.35 U.S. dollars. Mainly students purchase electronic items or related to computer equipment. That is the most significant spending for back to school shopping.


Approx. 274 U.S. dollars back to school expenditure was expected for the average household. In particular, 55 per cent of shoppers respond to online shopping. That’s why online retailers locate for back to school shoppers. Discount and departmental stores ranked second place in back-to-school shopping. 

National Retail Federation chief executive has said in a statement that “By any measure, this is an unprecedented year with great uncertainty, including how students will get their education this fall whether they are in kindergarten or college,” 

List of Items That You Need Most for Back to School

Firstly ask your child then ask his school teacher about books, and other stationery

  1. Which type of items/supplies your child needs.
  2. Clothing according to the school dress code.
  3. Also, think about other expenses of the child and his fees.

Please don’t wait to buy anything for the last time because most schools issue a list of supplies in June on their websites. So, if you see the information early, you have to try to purchase early because you get less crowd and get lots of time shopping. 

The parent must tell your student about the difference between needs and wants. Also, please help them to create a list of which they need most and the necessary items. Teach them always to reuse their school supplies and clothing, which is in good condition.

Covid-19 Impact on Back to School Expenditure

The covid-19 situation is very critical for the parents or K-12 children’s that’s why this year, all learning is done online. The unusual thing that is happening this year is parents finding an increase in money spent this year because of coronavirus. 

Because of e-learning methods, parents have to provide proper technology to their children for distance e-learning. It’s a very tough situation for those families who are not able to provide laptops or tablets. Also, they don’t have Wi-Fi facilities. They faced many problems during the lockdown.

For the last five years back to school expenditure is approximately flat in the K-12 segment and the college segment, it’s been moderate. Now, it was changing in 2020-2021.

As reported by the National Retail Federation(NRF), in 2020 back to school expenditure will be 101.6 billion U.S. dollars. It is an increase from 80.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, its volume increasing 26%. This record beat the record of 2018, which is 82.8 billion U.S. dollars. 


Online retailers are getting benefit from this situation because of lockdown and fear of corona people choosing to buy online in 2020. Similarly, e-commerce websites are gaining benefits from these restrictions. 

In 2019 49% of consumers chose online shopping, but this year in 2020, 55% prefer online shopping. These percentages show an increase this year; it shows in NRF data. Only 37% of families choose to shop in departmental stores in the year 2019 it is 53%. Most families shop in departmental stores because of discounts on supplies.

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