Marimekko chart of back to school spending by age and category and a stacked bar chart comparing average spend per student by category

Back-to-School Spending

Americans spend over $75 billion this back-to-school season for both K-12 and college students.  About 2/3 of the dollars spend went to college students with an average spend per student of  $889 for college students and $674 for K-12.   Electronics and clothing were the biggest categories for both groups.  Based on data from the National Retail Foundation, the Marimekko chart below breaks down spending by student type and then by spending category.  The stacked bar chart splits average spending for each student type into the relevant categories.backtoschoolspend

I used two charts on one slide to show the two key aspects of spending that retailers would be most interested in--total and average spend.  The Marimekko chart allows you to drill-down into total spend by both student type (K-12 or college) and spending category within the student type.  You can see that some spending categories are common to all students (e.g., clothing and electronics) and others are unique to college students (e.g., branded college gear).  The stacked bar shows how much greater the average spend is for college students.  Both charts are sorted so that the biggest spending categories are on the bottom and both use the same colors for each category.  Here is the chart in SlideShare to download and edit using Mekko Graphics: