Crisis squeezes household budgets

  • 2011-04-06
  • From wire reports

TALLINN - Household members spent less in 2010 than they did in 2007, but at the same time the share of compulsory expenditure in household budgets increased, show data from Statistics Estonia, reports news agency LETA. According to the Household Budget Survey, in 2010 the average expenditure of a household member per month was 265 euros, of which compulsory expenditure on food and dwelling accounted for 45 percent, or 119 euros.

The share of compulsory expenditure has increased during the last years. According to the survey of the last reference year, 2007, a household member spent 278 euros per month, of which the share of compulsory expenditure was lower than 40 percent, or 108 euros. Compulsory expenditures are unavoidable expenditures on food and dwelling and an increase of their share in the household budget shows a decrease in the quality of life, because less money and possibilities remain for other expenditures.

In 2010, a household member spent the most on food (69 euros per month), which accounted for 26 percent of the total expenditure. Expenditure on dwelling was 50 euros, on transport 29 euros, on leisure time 25 euros, on housekeeping 16 euros, on clothing and footwear 12 euros, and on health 10 euros per month per household member. Compared to 2007, the expenditure on dwelling has increased almost by a quarter. Expenditure on leisure time has also slightly increased. Expenditure on clothing and footwear has decreased the most – by over one third. Expenditure on transport and eating out has also decreased.

Households in urban areas spent more money on food than did rural households, but in urban households the share of food in total expenditure was smaller than in rural households (23 percent and 26 percent, respectively). Expenditure on dwelling was also bigger in urban households than in rural households (correspondingly 54 and 39 euros per month per household member). Urban households spent more on clothing, leisure time and on eating out. Expenditure on transport and housekeeping were bigger in rural areas.

By county, the expenditures of households of Harju county (incl. Tallinn) were the biggest (306 euros per month per household member), followed by households of Laane county (299 euros per month per household member). Expenditures of households of Jogeva and Polva counties were smaller (around 190 euros per month per household member) and the smallest expenditures were in households of Ida-Viru county (178 euros per month per household member).

The estimates are calculated according to the data of the Household Budget Survey conducted in 2010. The last comparable data is from 2007. In 2010, more than 3,600 households participated in the survey. A household is a group of persons who live at the same address and share joint financial resources and whose members consider themselves to be members of one household, while family is based on relationship or kinship. In 2010, nearly 600,000 households lived in Estonia and the average size of a household was 2.3 persons.