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The Headlines: Household Expenditure at a Glance

Released: 11 December 2013 Download PDF

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Go to the interactive version of this graph.

Average weekly household expenditure was £489.00 in 2012.

See Table A1 (186 Kb Excel sheet) for detailed household expenditure.

Household Spending Over Time

The graph shows average household expenditure between 2001/02 and 2012. The interactive version of this graph allows the user to look at the main components of expenditure for each year, either with prices adjusted for inflation, or with prices at the time the survey was conducted (not adjusted for inflation).

  • In the years since 2006, households have on average been spending less each week, once inflation has been taken into account.

  • Housing (net), fuel and power (excluding mortgage payments) has overtaken transport as the highest expenditure category.

See Chapter 4 for household expenditure over time.

Average Weekly Household Expenditure in 2012

Housing (net), fuel and power became the category with the highest average spending in 2012, at £68.00 per week. This category includes electricity, gas and other fuels (£23.20) and net rentals for housing (£29.30 a week). It does not include mortgage payments. “Net” rent refers to the amount spent on rent after removing housing benefit and related allowances.

The second highest category was transport (£64.10). Of which, £17.20 was spent on the purchase of vehicles, £10.50 on transport services (such as rail, tube and bus fares) and £36.40 on the operation of personal transport (such as petrol, diesel, repairs and servicing). Spending on petrol (£16.40), combined with diesel (£8.20) accounted for almost two fifths of the transport costs.

Recreation and culture (£61.50) was the third highest category.  This category includes spending on TVs, computers, newspapers, books, leisure activities and package holidays. £16.80 a week was spent on package holidays abroad, compared with £1.50 a week on package holidays in the UK.

Average weekly expenditure on food and non-alcoholic drinks in 2012 was £56.80.  £15.00 of which was spent on meat and fish, £4.20 on fresh vegetables, and £3.20 on fresh fruit.

Expenditure by Region

  • Residents of London spent the most over the years 2010-12 combined, with a household average of £571.60 per week;  those in the North East spent the least at £408.70 per week.

  • Four regions showed expenditure higher than the UK average, in descending order: London, the South East, the East and the South West. At the opposite end of the scale, are the North East, Wales and Yorkshire and The Humber with the lowest average spending.

  • London was the highest spending region on housing (net), fuel and power (excluding mortgage payments) by a considerable margin, at £97.50 per week over the three-year period.

  • The South East is the highest spending region on transport, at £80.20 per week.

  • Expenditure in rural areas continues to be higher overall than in urban areas.

Detailed expenditure by UK country and region can be found in Table A35 (130 Kb Excel sheet) .

Expenditure by Income

  • The lowest earning ten per cent of households spent an average of £189.30 per week, while the highest earning ten per cent of households spend an average of £1065.60 per week.

See the list of Appendix A Tables for further breakdowns of expenditure and income.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

  1. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

    These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

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