Average Alcohol Spending in the UK

The average UK household spends £916 on alcohol each year, based on an average household size of 2.4 people—£484 for consumption at home and £432 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 English household spends £17.60 on alcoholic drinks. Over the course of a year, this adds up to £915 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£8.30£432
Alcohol at Home£9.30£484
Total£17.6£916
chart showing annual alcohol spending in the UK
The average UK household spends £915 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 (67%) than at home (33%); the under-30 age group spends £14 per week on alcohol in total, or £728 per year.

The 50 to 64 year old age group spends the most on alcohol—£22.30 per week or £1,160 per year. As people age, they drink at home more often. Those aged 75 or older spend 67% of their alcohol budgets on drinks at home.

Weekly Alcohol Spending by Age (years)Alcohol at HomeAlcohol OutTotal
Less than 30£4.6£9.4£14.0
30 to 49£8.9£8.6£17.5
50 to 64£12.1£10.2£22.3
65 to 74£10.1£8.2£18.3
75 or Over£6.7£3.3£10.0
Average£9.3£8.3£17.6
Annual Alcohol Spending by Age (years)Alcohol at HomeAlcohol OutTotal
Less than 30£239£489£728
30 to 49£463£447£910
50 to 64£629£530£1,160
65 to 74£525£426£952
75 or Over£348£172£520
Average£484£432£916
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—£19.6 per week. At the other end of the spectrum, those in Northern Ireland spend £14.5 a week on alcohol. The region where people spend the most on drinking at home is the East. Not surprisingly, Londoners spend the most on drinks out.

Weekly Alcohol Spending by RegionAlcohol at HomeAlcohol OutTotal
Northern Ireland£8.1£6.4£14.5
Wales£8.7£6.7£15.4
Scotland£9.1£6.3£15.4
West Midlands£8.8£7.3£16.1
South West£9.2£7.4£16.6
East Midlands£9.2£7.6£16.8
Yorkshire and the Humber£9.0£8.4£17.4
East£10.2£7.2£17.4
London£7.5£10.0£17.5
South East£9.4£8.9£18.3
North East£9.1£9.4£18.5
North West£9.8£9.8£19.6
England£9.1£8.5£17.6
United Kingdom£9.1£8.2£17.3
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 5X as much on alcohol as the lowest 10%. Households with the lowest incomes (less than £10,000 of disposable income per year) spend £7.40 a week or £385 a year on alcohol, with 65% spent on consumption at home. At the other end of the spectrum, the highest earning 10% of households spend £36.5 on alcohol each week, or £1,898 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%£4.8£2.6£7.4
2nd Decile Group£4.9£2.7£7.6
3rd Decile Group£6.1£3.5£9.6
4th Decile Group£6.8£5.5£12.3
5th Decile Group£8.3£6.0£14.3
6th Decile Group£8.7£7.4£16.1
7th Decile Group£9.7£9.3£19.0
8th Decile Group£11.9£12.7£24.6
9th Decile Group£14.4£14.1£28.5
Highest 10%£17.3£19.2£36.5
Average£9.3£8.3£17.6
Annual Alcohol Spending by Disposable Income GroupAlcohol at HomeAlcohol OutTotal
Lowest 10%£250£135£385
2nd Decile Group£255£140£395
3rd Decile Group£317£182£499
4th Decile Group£354£286£640
5th Decile Group£432£312£744
6th Decile Group£452£385£837
7th Decile Group£504£484£988
8th Decile Group£619£660£1,279
9th Decile Group£749£733£1,482
Highest 10%£900£998£1,898
Average£484£432£916
chart showing annual alcohol spending by household income levels
Alcohol Spending: The wealthiest households spend 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 £208 on wine, £109 on beer, £120 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£120
Wines, fortified wines£239
Wine from grape or other fruit£203
Fortified wine£5
Champagne and sparkling wines£26
Beer, lager, ciders and perry£130
Beer and lager£109
Ciders and perry£21
Total Alcoholic Drinks Brought Home£484
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.

Comments