In Japan, consumers spent more than 17 percent of every yen on groceries, twice the 8.6 percent of every dollar that Americans spent. In the United States, households spent over 7 cents of every dollar on health care, compared with just 1.4 pence of every pound in the United Kingdom. This article compares how consumers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Japan allocated different shares of total spending to categories such as food, housing, and transportation in 2009. Such variation can be expected, given differences in cultural tastes, the relative availability of goods and services, and institutional factors, such as government regulation and tax laws, among those countries. As shown in chart 1, housing and health care shares of total expenditures were higher in the United States than in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Japan in 2009, whereas Americans had the lowest clothing (or apparel) share. Canada had the highest clothing and transportation shares, and Japan had the highest food share, among the countries compared.