Swedes now spend more on fun than on food: study

Swedes spend more money on their recreation than they do on food, according to a new study.

The survey, conducted by Statistics Sweden, revealed that Swedes spend considerably more money on culture and recreational activities than they do on groceries.

In one year, the average Swede spends around 54,000 kronor ($7,700) on cultural and recreational activities, and only 36,800 kronor on food.

The data demonstrates an ongoing trend which has seen food spending eat up an ever smaller portion of families’ disposable incomes.

Fifty years ago, grocery bills accounted for at least 30 percent of the average household budget.

Today, the number has dwindled to a lowly 13 percent.

Interestingly enough, Swedish spending on tobacco products and alcohol has also decreased during the past thirty years.

Swedes now spend around 1,700 kronor less per year on both.

The study also showed that Swedish households are spending more overall.

Over the last three decades, Swedish household spending has increased by 35 percent.

In 1978, yearly household costs averaged just 216,000 kronor per year, compared with a total for 2008 of 291,000 kronor.

The study made no mention of corresponding changes in families’ income levels.

Additional changes in spending habits can be seen in the table below:

How Swedes’ spending has changed since 1978

Item 1978 spending (kronor) 2008 spending (kronor)
Household items: 43,900 71,600
Groceries: 40,100 36,800
Eating out: 6,800 10,500
Alcohol: 4,400 3,900
Tobacco: 3,400 2,200
Disposable goods: 5,400 5,900
Household services: 8,500 10,300
Clothes and shoes: 17,400 14,900
Furniture: 18,900 17,300
Healthcare: 3,000 6,600
Transportation: 32,800 50,300
Culture and recreation: 30,900 54,900
Total annual spending: 215,500 290,900

Source: Statistics Sweden

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