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Hungarians spend twice as much on alcohol as on clothing

Research on household expenditures across the European Union in 2017 reveals that Hungarians spent nearly twice as much on alcohol, tobacco and narcotics compared to clothing and footwear, while also spending a lot more than the average on food, the European Unionʼs statistical agency Eurostat revealed.

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Spending on food and non-alcoholic beverages made up more than 18% of household expenditures in Hungary in 2017, similar to fellow members of the Visegrád Four, with the equivalent figure being just over 16% in the Czech Republic, 17% in Poland, and a little over 18% in Slovakia. The purchase of food and beverages accounted for close to 28% of household expenditures in Romania, more than twice the EU average of 12.2%, Eurostat noted.

At the same time, Hungary was revealed as a leader in the alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and narcotics category, with Hungarians sacrificing 7.4% of their expenditure on these vices, almost twice the EU average of 3.8%. Among the surveyed countries, only Luxembourg, Estonia, the Czech Republic and Latvia spent even more on such items.

Hungarians also spent a lot on communications (3.6%), almost 50% above the average of 2.5%, the data show.

At the other end of the scale, Hungarians spent a lower portion of their expenditures on clothing and footwear, only 3.8% compared to the EU average of 4.9%. This is roughly half of what they spent on alcohol, tobacco, and narcotics in 2017. The only member states spending less on clothing and footwear were Bulgaria, Romania, the Czech Republic, and Greece.

Spending on housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels was 18.8% of the total, lower than the EU average of 24.4%. Other categories, including education, transport, as well as recreation and culture, yielded roughly average results for Hungary.