The back-to-school season has traditionally been one of the biggest US shopping holidays of the year. This typically happens in the months of July to September, when parents across the country purchase supplies to prepare their kids for the new school year.

So how much do US consumers spend on shopping for back-to-school supplies?

According to the latest back-to-school statistics from the National Retail Federation, the total planned back-to-school spending for 2022 is $36.9 billion. This marks a marginal year-over-year decrease of 0.54 percent. 2021’s $37.1 billion was a record high, which experts say was a result of increased spending as families adapted to learning changes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite the dip in total expenditure, the back-to-school spending per household is forecast to rise this year to $864.35 – approximately $15.45 more than the previous year. 

Despite some falls over the years, back-to-school spending trends show that expenditure has actually been increasing. In fact, 2022’s expected spending is nearly double what it was in 2008. 

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Back-to-School Spending: Top Categories

The top back-to-school category parents are expected to spend on this year is electronics. At $293.05 per shopper, this is $2.60 less than what they forked out for electronics in 2021. 

The second-largest spending category on back-to-school supplies is clothing and accessories at $263.63, which is $10.17 more than the previous year. This is followed by $168.11 on shoes – an increase of $7.07.

Of all the back-to-school spending categories, the only one that’s expected to see a fall in expenditure is electronics. In fact, 57 percent of shoppers say they’ve noticed higher prices on electronics this year compared to last. As many as 38 percent also say they plan to cut back on back-to-school expenditures, which experts attribute to rising inflation.

Shopping for Back to School: Top Destinations

In terms of where consumers are shopping for back-to-school supplies, the latest statistics show that consumers’ top choice is online stores. As many as half of all back-to-school shoppers plan on purchasing back-to-school supplies on the internet.

This is followed by department stores and discount stores, where 45 percent and 40 percent of consumers plan to get their school supplies, respectively.

Clothing stores, electronics stores, and local and small businesses round out the top places where consumers will be shopping for back-to-school items.

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