Revealing trends in consumption

In: Uncategorized

30 Jan 2008

The latest annual Family Expenditure Survey from Britain’s National Statistics gives some idea of how living standards have increased over the past 50 years.

For example, according to the official release: “In 2006 most homes had central heating (95 per cent), a washing machine (96 per cent), a microwave (91 per cent) and a telephone or mobile phone (99 per cent).”

Even the bottom decline (poorest 10th) of the population is benefitting. According to a BBC report on the survey 31% of the bottom decline have computers, 21% an internet connection and 56% a mobile phone.

From a 50 year perspective the trends are also revealing. For instance, in 1957 food and non-alcoholic drinks took up 33% of the household budget compared with 15% in 2006.

In contrast, food and travel costs have risen from 8% to 16%. This suggests more people have cars and they travel more.