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Household spending compared with 40 years ago

Find out how our spending has changed since the first Household Economic Survey, 40 years ago.

See text version of highlights from this infographic.

40 years HES infographic JPG

Text version of highlights from this infographic

On average, Kiwi households spend over twice as much of their total expenditure on rent now, compared with 40 years ago, according to the latest Household Economic Survey (HES).
In 1974, on average, 3.3 percent of a household’s total expenditure was spent on rent, compared with 8.6 percent in 2013.

Back then, on average we spent over three times as much of our total expenditure on clothing and footwear as we do today, according to HES.
Our households spent an average 9 percent of their total expenditure on clothing and footwear in 1974, compared with 2.8 percent in 2013, according to the latest results.

And 40 years ago, our households spent, on average, almost a third more of their total expenditure on fruit and vegetables, and over twice as much on meat, fish, and poultry compared with today.
Kiwi households are spending almost the same proportion of our total expenditure on food now (17.3 percent) as 40 years ago (17.6 percent), according to HES results. However, on average, 2.9 percent of a household’s total spending was on fruit and vegetables in 1974, compared with 2 percent in 2013. Additionally, 5.5 percent of a household’s total spending was on meat, fish, and poultry in 1974, compared with 2.5 percent in 2013.

Households spent over twice as much of their total expenditure on cigarettes and tobacco 40 years ago as we do today, according to 2013 HES results. The proportion we spend on alcohol has also decreased, by a fifth since the 1970s.
In 1974, on average, our Kiwi households were spending 1.6 percent of total expenditure on cigarettes and tobacco, compared with 0.7 percent in 2013. Similarly, we see a fall from spending 2.4 percent of total expenditure on alcohol in 1974, compared with 1.9 percent in 2013. 

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Published 28 November 2013, updated 2 December 2013

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