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Household spending highest in South of England in 2010-2012

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Latest ONS data reveals regional differences in spending habits

How did household spending differ between regions?

The latest figures from the Living Costs and Food Survey reveal that in 2010-12 the southernmost regions of England – the South West, South East, London and East of England – all had an average weekly household spend higher than the UK average of £482.10. Meanwhile, households in all other English regions and countries in the UK spent less than this average.

Households in the North East spent the least out of the English regions and countries within the UK at £408.70, which was £73.40 lower than the weekly UK average. Households in Wales spent the second lowest out of the English regions and countries within the UK at £411.30. Northern Ireland was the only country or region within £20 of the UK average at £480.90.

Map 1: Difference between the total weekly household spending in English regions and UK countries, and UK average weekly household spending in 2010–12

Map showing difference between the total weekly household spending in English regions and UK countries, and UK average weekly household spending in 2010–12

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What did households in different regions spend their money on?

Differences in spending were particularly notable for some key categories. London households averaged a weekly spend of £97.50 on housing, fuel and power (excluding mortgages) whereas Northern Ireland spent £52.00. The South East averaged £80.20 a week in transport spending whereas the North East averaged £53.50. 

There was less variation in spending on food and non-alcoholic drinks. The highest spending area, the South East, averaged a weekly spend of £59.70, while households in the North East spent £47.20. In the recreation and culture category, the South East averaged £72.80 a week and the North East averaged £52.10.

The data suggests a general North-South divide in English household spending across the range of expenditure categories. The South East, East of England and London had a higher average weekly household spend than Yorkshire & the Humber, the North East and the North West in all but one of the 13 expenditure categories which was alcoholic drinks, tobacco and narcotics. 

Figure 1: Average weekly household spending, region or country, 2010–12

Figure 1: Average weekly household spending, region or country, 2010–12

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Where can I find out more about UK family spending?

These statistics were analysed using the results of the Living Costs and Food Survey (formerly the Expenditure and Food Survey). For more information regarding Family Spending read the full article. If you have any comments or suggestions, we’d like to hear them! Please email us at: better.info@ons.gsi.gov.uk.

Categories: Economy, Personal Finances, Consumers and Customers, Personal Expenditure, People and Places, Housing and Households, Household Income and Expenditure
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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