Household spending

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In 2019/20, the average household weekly spend in the UK was £588. Households in the lowest income quintile spent £329 a week. This is just under 40% of the average weekly spend of households in the richest income quintile (£937).

When looking at spending on housing, energy, food and clothing this gap closes. The poorest fifth of households spend £153 a week, which is just over 50% of the £301 that richer households spend.

This highlights that for poorer households these unavoidable costs make up a larger proportion of their spending.

The poorest fifth of households spend 47% of their budget on housing, energy, food and clothing compared with 32% in the richest households. This leaves poorer families with a smaller proportion of their budget to deal with unexpected costs and their budgets are even further pressured by price increases for necessities.

Focusing on households in the lowest income quintile we can look at spending by household type. Within this poorest 20% of households, those with children use a higher proportion of their weekly spending on housing, energy, food and clothing. For lone parents this spending makes up 55% of the total, for couples with children it is 51%.

The data presented here is from our 2022 UK Poverty report, setting out the trends and impacts of poverty across the UK. Read the full report at UK Poverty 2022.