How Much do North East Households Spend Each Year Smoking, Drinking and Gambling?

In 2018, North East households spent £1,144 on vices—drinking, smoking and gambling. How does this spending compare to 2017 and to spending across the UK? We dug into data from the Office of National Statistics to find out.

How Much do North East Households Spend on Vices?

How Much North East Households Spend on VicesPer WeekPer Year
Alcohol (total)£16.2£842
Alcohol (at home)£7.5£390
Alcohol (away from home)£8.7£452
Gambling (net)£2.3£120

To put these amounts in perspective, the average household could pay off half of their credit card debt but not spending on vices for one year.

Do North East Households Spend More or Less on Vices Than Other Regions?

The North East spent 11% more on cigarettes, alcohol and gambling than the average UK household in 2018, primarily due to larger gambling losses. Spending on cigarattes was also higher (25%) while the amounts spent on alcohol were comparable.

Chart showing how spending on vices in the NE compares to the UK


North East households spent roughly the same amount on alcohol each week than the average UK household—however North East households are more likely to do their drinking out of the house than at home. The data showed that in 2018 households in the North East spent 9% less on alcohol to be consumed at home than the UK average, but 12% more on alcohol consumed out of the house.

Monthly Spending on AlcoholUKNorth EastPercentage Difference
Alcohol (at home)£35.5£32.5-9%
Alcohol (away from home)£33.8£37.712%
Alcohol (total)£69.3£70.21%


In 2018 North East households lost £120 net on average to gambling each year, which is 130% more than average UK household net gambling losses of £52 per year. Digging into the numbers shows that North East households experience more volatility in their gambling wins and losses as well, implying that they take more gambling risks. According to the data, the amounts a typical North East household both wins and loses through gambling are greater than average.

For example, average annual gambling windfalls of £109 for North East households were 40% greater than the £78 won each year for the average UK household. Just as the overall amounts won were greater in the North East, so were the losses: the average North East household lost £229 in 2018 to gambling, which is 76% more than the average amount of £130 lost in the UK. Net, North East households ended up net losing £120 overall to gambling in 2018 on average (£229 won - £109 lost).

Monthly Spending on GamblingUKNorth EastPercentage Difference
Windfall receipts from gambling£6.5£9.140%
Gambling payments£10.8£19.176%
Net Gambling Losses£4.3£10.0130%


Households in the North East spent 25% more on cigarettes than the average UK household in 2018. This vice consumed £182 per year of the typical household budget in the North East (vs. £146 in the UK).

Monthly Spending on CigarettesUKNorth EastPercentage Difference

Did Spending on Vices Increase or Decrease in 2018?

North East households spent 20% more on vices (alcohol, cigarettes and gambling) in 2018 than they did in 2017. By category, households spent an additional 11% on alcohol, 13% on cigarettes and 229% on gambling. The huge change to gambling expenditures is primarily due to lower windfalls in 2018.

How NE Households Spent More on Vices in 201820172018Percentage Change
Alcohol (total)£14.6£16.211%
Alcohol (at home)£6.8£7.510%
Alcohol (away from home)£7.8£8.712%
Gambling (net)£0.7£2.3229%
Windfall receipts from gambling£3.6£2.1-42%
Gambling payments£4.3£4.42%
Vices (total)£18.4£22.020%
Chart showing how spending on vices in the NE rose from 2017 to 2018


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