1. Summary

The Living Costs and Food Survey (LCF) collects information on spending patterns and the cost of living that reflect household budgets. It is conducted throughout the year, across the whole of the UK, and is the most significant survey on household spending in the UK.

The survey provides essential information for key social and economic measures, such as:

  • household spending patterns for the consumer prices index and for GDP figures

  • detailed information on food consumption and nutrition for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

It is also an important source of economic and social data for a range of government and other research agencies.

The results are essential for understanding society and planning to meet its needs.

Information about the LCF is available for people selected to take part in the survey.

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2. Latest publications

The LCF releases data on an annual basis. The latest release, covering the financial year ending March 2016, was published on 16 February 2017. Previous editions are listed on the ONS website.

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3. Access to LCF datasets

LCF data are made available through the End User Licence at the UK Data Service. The End User Licence is an agreement between the user and the University of Essex to provide users with the right to use the data held at the UK Data Service, this includes LCF data. The End User Licence dataset can be accessed through the UK Data Service (UKDS) website.

To find out more about the types of datasets available and how to apply for access, please contact access2data@ons.gsi.gov.uk.

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