The way we spend our cash – more rent, less alcohol, healthier eating

Credit card payment-2The average family in London spends £616.30 per week, £100 more than the national average, and most of the extra money is spent paying housing costs.

The data for household spending from the Office for National Statistics gives an insight in how households live based upon their spending patterns.

Rent is biggest bill each week for London households costing an average of £96.30 before any benefits are taken into account. That’s double the next nearest region, the South East, and 3 times more than households are paying in Scotland.

Households are spending £67.20 a week on transport, but the way that money is spent is different to the rest of the country. As a big city with a bus, tube and rail network London has the lowest level of spending on running a car and the highest on public transport.

The weekly food bill is £63.20 and reveals our eating habits. Households spent £2.90 on chicken compared to £1.80 on beef. And Londoners spend £3.60 a week on fish, more than any other region.

London households appear more health conscious, as they are the only ones in the UK to spend more on fresh fruit (£4.20) than on cakes and biscuits (£3.60).

They also spend less on alcohol and cigarettes. The average household drinks £7.30 worth of alcohol at home, lower than every region except the West Midland, and only the South West is spending less on smoking.

But while Londoners are saving something on booze at home their bar bills are the among the highest in the country. Average weekly spending on alcohol consumed away from home was £9.50, and eating out accounts for £21 per week.

Gambling appears less popular in London than elsewhere in the country. The average household bets £2.00 a week, the lowest of any region. Londoners spend more on books than anyone else, £1.80 a week, or enough to buy a paperback once a month.

Londoners spend £12.60 per household each week on pampering themselves with visits to the hairdresser, toiletries and hair and beauty products. Women spend £9.60 per week or £499.20 a year on clothing, 25% more than men.

Household spending


The ONS uses data from 2012-2104 to calculate regional averages.

Source data

See also

More “affordable” homes but the rents prove unaffordable for many

London may win for iPhone earning power over Poland but cost of living much higher

How London’s choice of nightlife compares to other cities

 

How the obesity rate doubled for the class of 2007

dreamstime_s_9910135The rate of obesity in primary school children in London doubles between Reception and Year 6. And the capital has the biggest problem of any region in the country with children who are overweight or classified as obese.

The findings come from analysis by Urbs Media of data from the National Child Measurement Programme over the last 9 years. Under this programme children are measured and weighed at the start and the end of primary school. It was set up by the government to help tackle obesity and covers children in all state schools, with around 95% taking part.

The most recent figures are for the 2013-14 school year and show that more than a fifth of children in Year 6 in London are classified as obese. That is more than double the rate for children in reception.

child obesity London

And this is not a recent phenomenon. Data going back to the 2006-07 school year shows a similar doubling in rates of obesity.

The Year 6 children from last year entered the school system in 2007. The data for that year shows that of the 74,235 Reception children measured, 10.8% or 8,017 were classified as obese.   In Year 6, 78,642 were measured. Many of the children may be different as families leave and arrive in the capital. But many will be the same. The rate of obesity for the class of 2007 had doubled by age 11.

London’s record looks even grimmer when children who are classified as overweight are added. In London, 38% of 11-year-olds are classified as overweight or obese. The North East and the West Midland have a very similar proportion of overweight 11-year-olds but a slightly lower rate of obese children.

child obesity regional

The Body Mass Index (BMI) is used to calculate levels of body fat to indicate whether someone is classified as underweight, healthy weight, overweight or obese. For most adults a BMI above 30 indicates obesity. The index levels for each classification vary for children to take account of difference in growth rates at different ages.

The data for London shows a largely capital-wide problem with 7 boroughs (Hackney, Westminster, Tower Hamlets, Newham, Barking and Dagenham, Lambeth and Southwark) with more that a quarter of Year 6 pupils classified as obese. Richmond stands out by having a much lower level. It also has a lower level of obese 5-year-olds, just 6%.

child obesity map

London has a better record on adult obesity than other regions of the country but the National Child Measurement Programme data shows a significant problem for youngsters that will lead to serious health issues in later lifer.

Much has been done in the recent year to raise awareness of the need for a good diet and the risks of being overweight. Despite that, the data shows that this has been  a consistent problem and it is not going away.

Source data

BMI calculator

See also

Thousands of children sent to hospital because of tooth decay

Size matters – and it depends where you live

London may win for iPhone earning power over Poland but cost of living much higher

It takes 100 hours longer to earn enough money to buy an iPhone in Poland as it does in the UK.

This insight into earning power by researchers at the financial services company UBS helps to demonstrate why overseas workers find London an attractive city to find a job.

But their findings also show that while the earning potential may be better, London is an expensive city with prices much higher than they are in the place many Londoners once called home.

UBS took 68,000 pieces of data from 71 cities around world to put together an index which looks at costs and the spending power of people working there.

London is ranked as the 5th most expensive city after New York, Zurich, Geneva and Oslo and 6th most expensive if rents are excluded. When it comes to take home pay, the amount we earn after tax, London trails in 11th in the list.

And UBS came up with some interesting measures of spending power. Using a new iPhone as a benchmark they examined how long the average worker would take to earn the cash to buy one. In New York it takes 3 working days. In London it’s 41 hours, in Warsaw 141, but the longest labour was in Kiev.

Iphone earnings

Across the globe it is much quicker to eat a Big Mac than to earn the money to buy one. In London it takes 12 minutes and in Warsaw twice that. In Nairobi it’s nearly 3 hours.

Big Mac earnings

Many can happily avoid the indulgence of a new smartphone or a burger and the real cost of living is measured in essentials such as food and housing.

UBS looked at a shopping basket of 39 common food items including bread, milk, meat, fish and vegetables. Many arriving in London to work will have realised that it is much more expensive to feed the family, unless you have moved from New York or Zurich. The average global price for the basket of goods was $400. Prices were highest in Zurich and lowest in Kiev. London was 8th most expensive of the 71 cities

 

USB has published the Price and Earnings Index every three year since 1971.

See also

London expensive? Not compared to being an expat in Luanda

What National Insurance really tells us about London’s overseas workforce