Sunday, 09 December 2012 21:05

Rural families face higher living costs

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Rural families face higher living costs

THE cost of living is higher for families in the countryside than it is for those in towns and cities, reveals a report.

Weekly household expenditure across the UK averaged £470.70 for the years 2009 to 2011 combined, says the Family Spending study by the Office for National Statistics.

But expenditure by rural households (£510.50 per week) was more than £50 higher overall than expenditure by urban households (£458.30 per week).

The study suggests it costs £2700 a year more to live in the countryside than it does in a city.

This is reflected in weekly expenditure on transport, where spending was highest (£77.40 in rural areas and £58.80 in urban areas), and leisure (£68.80 rural and £57.20 urban).

However, expenditure on the housing, fuel and power category was higher in urban areas (£61.30 per week) than in rural areas (£58.30 per week).

There were five regions in which expenditure over this period was higher than the UK average: expenditure was highest in London (£574.90 per week).

This was followed by the South East (£539.30), East Anglia (£497.10), Northern Ireland (£489.40) and the South West (£479.90).

Spending was lowest among households in the North East (£384.20 per week), Wales (£398.20) and Yorkshire and the Humber (£410.10).

The high spending of London households of £574.90 was partly due to the housing, fuel and power category, £91.30 per week, compared with the UK average of £60.30 per week.

Family Spending, the annual report from ONS on household expenditure in the UK, found that in 2011, average UK weekly expenditure rose to £483.60, an increase of £10.00 on 2010.

The 2011 average expenditure is the highest recorded by Family Spending.

Spending was highest on the transport costs category at £65.70 per week, up 80p from the previous year.

Over half of all transport (£36.40) was on running costs, which rose by £3.10 (an increase of 9%, following last year's 14% increase).

The second highest expenditure category was recreation and culture (£63.90 per week).

It showed a small decrease in expenditure on audio-visual equipment (including computers) averaging £6.30 per week in 2011 compared with £7.20 in 2010.

Some types of expenditure decreased in 2011.

This was most notable for household goods and services, which saw a drop of £4.10 to £27.30 – mainly due to a decrease of £2.80 in spending on furniture to £13.80.

The full report can be read here.

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