Czechs second in the EU for spending on alcohol, tobacco, and drugs

The Czech Republic was beaten only by Luxembourg for spending on alcohol and other vices in the EU

Czechs are among the biggest spenders on alcohol, tobacco, and narcotics, coming in second-place in the EU, according to 2018 figures from the EU statistical arm Eurostat. The Czech Republic was also above the EU average of spending on housing and food, but below average on culture and recreation.

Czechs spent 7.9% of household spending, about €7.95 billion, on alcohol, tobacco, and narcotics, while people in tiny Luxembourg spent 8.3% or €1.66 billion. Both country’s figures, though, can be affected by purchases by tourists and cross-border shoppers. The EU average was 3.9%, totaling 333.1 billion euros. Non-EU member Serbia also beat the Czech Republic, with 8.0% spent in this sector, adding up to €2.34 billion.

As a percentage of GDP, Czechs spent 3.8%, putting the country in fourth place, while the EU average was 2.1%.

household spending
via Eurostat

Separate research shows that 1.5 million Czechs are at-risk drinkers. Globally the country is in fourth place for alcohol consumption, with each person on average drinking 11.6 liters of pure ethanol per year.

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At the other end of the scale, the lowest spending on alcohol, tobacco, and narcotics was seen in Portugal, at 3.1%; Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands at 3.2%; and the UK at 3.3%.

Across the EU, the largest expenditure tended to be on housing, and the Czech Republic was no exception.

household spending
via Eurostat

“In 2018, households in the European Union spent almost €2.1 trillion (equivalent to 13.0% of EU GDP) on ‘housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels.’ This represents 24.0% of their total consumption expenditure and is by far the EU’s largest household expenditure item, ahead of ‘transport’ (13.2%), ‘food and non-alcoholic beverages’ (12.1%), ‘recreation and culture’ (9.1%) as well as ‘restaurants and hotels’ (8.7%),” Eurostat stated.

“In the vast majority of EU Member States, ‘housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels’ represents the most substantial item of household expenditure. In 2018, the share of household expenditure devoted to housing was largest in Finland (28.5%), Denmark (28.1%) and Slovakia (27.7%). They were followed by France (26.3%), the United Kingdom (26.0%), Sweden (25.9%) and the Czech Republic (25.2%),” Eurostat added.

“In contrast, Malta (10.3%), Lithuania (15.0%) and Cyprus (15.1%) spent the lowest share of their household expenditure on housing,” EU statisticians said.

Of all household expenditure main items, housing saw the most significant increase in spending over the last decade in the EU.

For transport, the Czech Republic was below average at 10.4%. Food and non-alcoholic beverage spending was above the EU average at 16.0%.

The Czech Republic was just below the EU average on culture and recreation spending, at 8.9%, and just above the EU average on restaurants and hotels, at 8.9%.

Spending on furnishings and household equipment was at the EU average of 5.4%, while footwear and clothing, at 3.6% was below the EU average of 4.7%.

Spending on both health and education were below the EU averages, while communication was slightly above.

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