Average Alcohol Spending in the UK

The average UK household spends £868 on alcohol each year, based on an average household size of 2.4 people—£452 for consumption at home and £416 on drinks out of the house. We've crunched the numbers from the latest Office of National Statistics Family Spending report to see how alcohol spending varies by age, where you live and household income, so you can see how your spending compares. We've also broken out UK spending by type of alcohol (e.g., spirits, wine, beer, etc.).

How Much do Brits Spend on Alcohol?

Each week, the average UK household spends £16.70 on alcoholic drinks. Over the course of a year, this adds up to £868 representing 3% of the typical UK household budget, and is more than we spend buying meat and fish from grocery stores each year.

UK Household Alcohol SpendingWeeklyAnnually
Alcohol Out£8.00£416
Alcohol at Home£8.70£452
Total£16.70£868
chart showing annual alcohol spending in the UK
The average UK household spends £868 per year on alcohol

Actual spending on alcohol varies significantly by age, where you live and income levels. Below we've broken out alcohol spending by these categories so you can see how your spending compares.

Average Household Spending on Alcohol by Age

Not surprisingly, younger people spend more of their total alcohol budgets on drinks out of the house (59%) than at home (41%); the under-30 age group spends £15.20 per week on alcohol in total, or £790 per year.

The 50 to 64 year old age group spends the most on alcohol—£19.90 per week or £1,035 per year. As people age, they drink at home more often. Those aged 75 or older spend 68% of their alcohol budgets on drinks at home.

Weekly Alcohol Spending by Age (years)Alcohol at HomeAlcohol OutTotal
Less than 30£6.3£8.9£15.2
30 to 49£8.3£8.9£17.2
50 to 64£10.5£9.4£19.9
65 to 74£10.6£8.2£18.8
75 or Over£5.6£2.6£8.2
Average£8.7£8.0£16.7
Annual Alcohol Spending by Age (years)Alcohol at HomeAlcohol OutTotal
Less than 30£328£463£790
30 to 49£432£463£894
50 to 64£546£489£1,035
65 to 74£551£426£978
75 or Over£291£135£426
Average£452£416£868
chart showing annual alcohol spending by age
Alcohol spending peaks for those aged 50 to 64

Average Household Spending on Alcohol by Geography

Those in the North West spend more on alcohol than any other region in the UK—£17 per week. At the other end of the spectrum, those in Wales spend just over £13 a week on alcohol. The region where people spend the most on drinking at home is the East Midlands. Not surprisingly, Londoners spend the most on drinks out.

Weekly Alcohol Spending by RegionAlcohol at HomeAlcohol OutTotal
Wales£7.5£5.9£13.4
West Midlands£7.6£6.7£14.3
Northern Ireland£8.3£6.4£14.7
Scotland£8.3£6.5£14.8
South West£8.6£6.8£15.4
United Kingdom£8.2£7.8£16.0
North East£7.5£8.7£16.2
England£8.2£8.1£16.3
East Midlands£8.9£7.5£16.4
East£8.6£7.8£16.4
London£7.4£9.3£16.7
Yorkshire and The Humber£7.9£8.9£16.8
South East£8.6£8.3£16.9
North West£8.7£8.3£17.0
Average£8.7£8.0£16.7
chart showing annual alcohol spending in regions across the UK
Households in the North West spend the most on alcohol

Average Household Spending on Alcohol by Income

Spending on alcohol rises drastically with income levels—households with the highest 10% of income spend 6.5X as much on alcohol as the lowest 10%. Households with the lowest incomes (less than £10,000 of disposable income per year) spend £5.60 a week or £292 a year on alcohol, with 63% spent on consumption at home. At the other end of the spectrum, the highest earning 10% of households spend £35 on alcohol each week, or £1,820 each year—with more money spent on drinks out than drinks at home.

Weekly Alcohol Spending by Disposable Income GroupAlcohol at HomeAlcohol OutTotal
Lowest 10%£3.5£2.1£5.6
2nd Decile Group£4.2£2.9£7.1
3rd Decile Group£5.5£3.5£9.0
4th Decile Group£6.6£6.0£12.6
5th Decile Group£7.9£5.8£13.7
6th Decile Group£8.8£7.1£15.9
7th Decile Group£9.9£9.2£19.1
8th Decile Group£11.1£10.8£21.9
9th Decile Group£13.0£14.1£27.1
Highest 10%£16.3£18.7£35.0
Average£8.7£8.0£16.7
Annual Alcohol Spending by Disposable Income GroupAlcohol at HomeAlcohol OutTotal
Lowest 10%£182£109£291
2nd Decile Group£218£151£369
3rd Decile Group£286£182£468
4th Decile Group£343£312£655
5th Decile Group£411£302£712
6th Decile Group£458£369£827
7th Decile Group£515£478£993
8th Decile Group£577£562£1,139
9th Decile Group£676£733£1,409
Highest 10%£848£972£1,820
Average£452£416£868
chart showing annual alcohol spending by household income levels
Alcohol Spending: The wealthiest households spend 6.5X as much as the poorest households

Which Types of Alcohol do Brits Buy the Most?

Most of our spending on alcoholic drinks brought home goes to wine. Each year, the average UK household spends £234 on wine, £114 on beer, £104 on spirits, £21 on cider and £26 on bubbly to drink at home. (Note, these numbers do not reflect money spent on drinks out of the house.)

Alcoholic Drinks (Brought Home)
Spirits and liqueurs£104
Wines, fortified wines£234
Wine from grape or other fruit£198
Fortified wine£5
Champagne and sparkling wines£26
Beer, lager, ciders and perry£114
Beer and lager£94
Ciders and perry£21
Total Alcoholic Drinks Brought Home£452
chart showing annual UK alcohol spending by type of alcohol
UK households spend the most on wine, followed by beer and spirits

For information on how alcohol spending compares to other areas of our household budgets, see our related articles on Average Annual UK Food Spending and Average Annual UK Household Budget.

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