Household spend on cigarettes and alcohol falls nearly 30%

Whilst Dubliners are most fond of a takeaway, according to new CSO stats...

Household spend on cigarettes and alcohol falls nearly 30%

Picture by: Siewert Falko/DPA/PA Images

Irish households spent an average of €845.12 each week in the year to February 2016, a 4.3% on the same period five years prior.

The CSO's 2015-2016 Household Budget Survey showed other signs that people were feeling the recovery, with transport expenditure up 7% to a weekly €124.39 – an increase mainly driven by an increase in car purchases. 

The average gross weekly household income was €1,097.04, which was 6.8% higher than the €1,026.77 figure recorded five years earlier.

The percentage of household members classifying themselves as working has increased from 36.7% in 2009-2010 to 40.7% in 2015-2016.

The weekly shop

The amount we shell out on common vices has fallen, however. The household spend on alcoholic drink and tobacco dropped 29% to €28 per week over the half-decade.

People are giving less money to publicans, with the proportion of total alcohol expenditure spent on drinks consumed at home increased from over 41% in 2009-2010 to over 51% in 2015-2016.

The proportion of total household expenditure on food has been in steady decline for the past 35 years. It has almost halved from 27.7% to 14.6% in that time.

Conversely, the proportion spent on housing increased from 18.2% to 19.4% over the five-year period.

Medical-related expenditure accounted for nearly 6% of total expenditure in 2015-2016.

In 1980, the amount spent on doctors, dentists, medicines and health insurance accounted for 1.8% of total household expenditure, in contrast to 5.9% some 35 years later.

Picture by: Philip Toscano/PA Archive/PA Images

Dublin had the highest expenditure for alcoholic drink and tobacco (€33.72), housing (€224.21) and miscellaneous goods and services and other expenditure (€337.90).

In absolute terms and as a proportion of expenditure on food, households in Dublin also had the highest expenditure on takeaways at €32.70, or just over a quarter (25.2%).


The CSO's survey also found that less than 66% of households now have a fixed telephone. This is a drop of twenty percentage points from a decade before when just under 86% of households had a fixed landline.

Almost 73% of households indicated they had internet access in 2015-2016, compared with just under 66% five years earlier.

In 2015-2016, nearly 81% of all households reported having at least one home computer, compared with 77.3% and 56.2% five and ten years previously.  In 2015-2016, just over half (50.9%) of all households indicated having two or more home computers.