The Malta Independent 17 August 2022, Wednesday

Household budgetary survey: Food, non-alcoholic beverages account for 20% of household expenditure

Saturday, 27 January 2018, 09:00 Last update: about 6 years ago

On average households spent 19.8% of their total expenditure on Food and Non-alcoholic drinks, down from 22.5% in 2008, according to the latest Household Budgetary Survey.

Curiously, the average spent per week by households on food and non-alcoholic beverages was €85 both in 2008 and 2015.

According to the survey, released yesterday by the National Statistics Office, the total annual household expenditure of Maltese private households in 2015 was estimated at €3.7 billion. This amounts to an annual average of €22,3461 per household, which is 14.2 per cent higher than that estimated in HBS 2008.


Food and non-alcoholic beverages remained the largest proportion of total household expenditure. On average, households spent €4,417 on this category of goods in 2015, which amounted to just under €85 per week.

The second largest category of expenditure in 2015 was Transport (which includes fuel expenditure, air fares, purchase of vehicles, and ferry tickets), with an average annual expenditure of €3,181 during the reference year, translating to a weekly expense of €61.18. This category commands 14.2 per cent of the total household expenditure.

The lowest share of expenditure, both in 2008 and in 2015 was on Alcoholic beverages and tobacco, with a percentage total of 2.5 per cent and 2.4 per cent respectively

Education experienced the highest expenditure increase between 2008 and 2015, with households spending 82.4 per cent more on this category in the latter year.

Furnishing, household equipment and maintenance experienced the only expenditure drop between 2008 and 2015, with households spending 4.6 per cent less on this category in 2015.

Total household expenditure was the lowest in the Southern Harbour district and Gozo and Comino, with households in those districts spending an average of €363 and €372 weekly, respectively.

Households in the Western and Northern districts spent the most, at an average of €495 and €472 weekly, respectively. The average weekly expenditure for households in all districts stood at €430.

Households in the Northern Harbour, South Eastern, Western, and Northern districts spent more than the national weekly average, while households in the Southern Harbour, and Gozo and Comino spent below the national average line.

How we spent it

Food and non-alcoholic beverages. In 2015 households spent an average of €930 on meat, and €727 on bread and cereals. On the other hand, in 2015, households spent the least on oils and fats, spending an average of €120; and coffee, tea and cocoa, spending an average of €116.

Expenditure on fruit increased from €318 in 2008 to €439 in 2015. Expenditure on mineral waters, soft drinks and juices, as well as bread and cereals, decreased by €85 and €83 respectively.

Alcoholic beverages and tobacco. Expenditure on this category went down from 2.5% in 2008 to 2.4% in 2015.  The average spent on this category in 2015 was €525, with €335 (63.8%) being spent on tobacco. The expenditure on wines and spirits increased when compared to 2008 levels, but expenditure on beer decreased by 1.2 percentage points. (This category does not include expenditure on alcohol consumed in restaurants.)

Clothing and footwear. In 2015, households spent more, on average, on this category than in 2008, by €371. In both years, the sharpest increase in expenditure can be observed between household sizes of two and three persons. Households with three members recorded the highest increase in their expenditure from 2008 to 2015, by 49.0 per cent, followed by two-person households which registered an increase of 46.0 per cent.

Dwelling-related expenses. These can be subdivided into Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels and Furnishing, household equipment and maintenance. These two categories contributed to 8.4 per cent and 7.4 per cent of the total annual household expenditure respectively. This means that dwelling expenses account for 15.8 per cent of the total household expenditure.

Health. Households spent an average of €1,252 in 2015, a figure that also includes doctor’s fees and medicines. On average, households whose reference person 2 was aged over 45 spent above this national average. On the other hand, households whose reference person was under 45 years of age spent less than the national average, on average. Households whose reference person was aged between 55 and 64 registered the highest average annual expenditure on Health (€1,368). In contrast, households whose reference person was aged between 35 and 44 had the lowest average annual expenditure on Health (€1,041).

Households with two dependent children registered the highest expenditure on this category, at €1,354 per year.

Transport. This was the second largest contributor to the total household expenditure in 2015, with 14.2 per cent (an average of €3,181 per year) of households’ total expenditure being allocated to it.

The average annual expenditure on travel abroad has doubled since 2008. This relates both to passenger transport by air (which includes air fares and expenses related to travel by air) and passenger transport by sea (which includes sea fares from Gozo, sea fares to and from Malta, and local boat trips) from €163 to €328 and from €23 to €49 respectively.

Communication. Expenditure related to Communication accounted for 4.3 per cent of the total annual household expenditure in 2015. Similar to 2008, telephone, mobile, and internet services accounted for most (87.7 per cent) of the average annual household expenditure on Communication (€850).  On the other hand an average of €85 was spent on communication-related equipment.

Leisure. This includes expenditure on restaurants and hotels, and recreation and culture. In 2015, households spent, on average, just under €3,660 on leisure, up from 2008 levels.

Education. The average annual expenditure on Education stood at €624 in 2015. A trend can be seen in the average annual expenditure on this category with regard to the level of education of the reference person. The higher the level of education attained, the higher the expenditure. Households whose reference person had completed a tertiary level of education spent approximately €1,452 per year on Education, while at the other end of the scale, households whose reference person reported to have no schooling spent an average of €56 yearly.

Miscellaneous goods and services. Households recorded an average annual expenditure on Miscellaneous goods and services of €2,423 in 2015. This indicates an increase of €618 when compared to 2008 levels. This category includes services related to personal care, such as hairdresser and beautician fees; products for personal care; insurance connected with transport and health; jewellery; clocks and watches; as well as other services not elsewhere classified.



  • don't miss