Skip to content

Households spent an average of £474 per week in 2010

Released: 29 November 2011 Download PDF

Average UK weekly household spending in the UK rose to £473.60 last year.

Family Spending, the annual report from ONS on household expenditure in the UK, shows that in 2010, average UK weekly expenditure, unadjusted for inflation, increased after a fall in 2009 to reach a level slightly higher than that recorded for 2008.

Spending was highest on transport costs at £64.90 per week, up £6.50 from the previous year, an increase of 11 per cent. Over half of all transport spending (£33.30) was on running costs, which rose by £4.00 (an increase of 14 per cent). Most of the increase in running costs was due to spending on fuel, as petrol, diesel and other motor oils, which increased by £2.40.  There was a growth in spending on public transport too, as seen in the rise of £2.50 for transport services.

Spending on housing, fuel and power category increased to £60.40 in 2010 from £57.30 in 2009, making this the second highest category. This was mainly due to increases in gross rent, which rose by £4.50 in 2010.
Spending in the third highest category, recreation and culture, remained similar to 2009 at £58.10 per week.

This encompasses a wide variety of expenses, including package holidays at £12.60 per week and TV, video and satellite subscriptions at £6.00 per week, which slightly exceeded spending on the more traditional newspapers, books and stationery at £5.90 per week. A weekly average of £4.30 was spent on pets and pet food.

Spending on household goods and services increased by £3.50 to £31.40, which was mainly due to an increase of £2.20 for furniture. Clothing and footwear bounced back from a three year downward trend, increasing by £2.50 to reach an average weekly expenditure of £23.40. Clothing accounted for £1.60 of this increase, rising to £18.60. Spending on men’s outer garments grew by 80p to £4.80, while spending on women’s outer garments increased by 50p to stay much higher than for men’s at £8.40 per week. Footwear also increased by 80p in 2010: men’s footwear rising by 40p and women’s rising by 30p to reach £1.40 and £2.40 respectively. Of the £53.20 average weekly spend on food and non-alcoholic drinks, £7.10 was spent on fresh fruit and vegetables; £3.10 on fruit and £4.00 on vegetables.

Overall, average household expenditure in the UK was £466.50 per week for the years 2008–10 combined. There were five regions in which expenditure over this period was higher than the UK average: expenditure was highest in London (£577.80), followed by the South East (£523.20 per week), the East (£493.40), the South West (£482.60) and Northern Ireland (£482.80). Spending was lowest among households in the North East (£372.70), Wales (£394.00), and Yorkshire and the Humber (£405.50). London households’ high spending of £577.80 was partly due to the housing, fuel and power category, £87.00 per week, compared with the UK national average of £56.90 per week.

Households in rural areas had higher overall expenditure (£506.30 per week) than those in urban areas (£454.60 per week). This was reflected in expenditure on transport, where spending was highest (£76.00 in rural areas and £58.30 in urban areas), and recreation and culture (£68.00 in rural areas and £55.80 in urban areas). However, expenditure on the housing, fuel and power category was higher in urban areas (£58.00 per week) than in rural areas (£54.50 per week).

The full Family Spending report contains a wealth of data on the UK's countries and regions


Background notes

  1. Family Spending is based on the findings of the Living Costs and Food Survey (LCF), a survey of over 5,000 households across the UK. The LCF shows how households spend their money on all items, including food, clothing, leisure, transport, and housing. The survey also provides data on how spending patterns vary depending on household income, household composition and regional location of households.
  2. Information from the LCF is a major source of data for the UK National Accounts and is used by government departments as a basis for policy making. It is also used to determine the content of the ‘basket of goods’ used to measure inflation in the Retail Price Index and is a valuable resource for business and academic research. 
  3. Media contact

    Heath Jeffries: 01633 456289/ 07789 924241

    Statistical contact

    Giles Horsfield: 01633 455731

    Statistical queries on Family Spending data: 01633 456254/ 01633 455813 

    Media Relations Office: 0845 6041858 

  4. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting or from the Media Relations Office email:

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

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.