British households spend a total of £76m on newspapers and magazines every week – the equivalent of £1.37 per person in the country per week.
People over 65 and those in Northern Ireland spend the most on them according to the latest Family Spending Survey, which shows that in 2006 the average British household spent £2 a week on newspapers and £1 on magazines, 0.65 per cent of households’ weekly spending.
The £3 average is up slightly from 2001/2 when families spent an average of £2.90 down from 2003/4 and 2004/5 when the figure was £3.10.
In 1957, the first year the survey took place, household spending on books, magazines and periodicals made up 1.6 per cent of households’ spending – the 20th highest item on top 50 list of the most-bought consumer items, just below buying cars, beef and furniture on the list.
For modern-day households, newspapers and magazines have dropped out of the top 50 items altogether, replaced by things like satellite TV subscription charges and take-away food.
The survey also reveals that people aged 65 to 74 spend the most on newspapers and magazines each week, £3.90, followed by those aged over 74 who spend an average of £2.50. Those under 30 spend £1.50 in total, the lowest spenders.
Families in Northern Ireland spend £3.80 on newspapers and magazines a week, the most of all Britain’s regions, followed by Scotland at £3.60 and the south-east of England with £3.20.
People earning the most in Britain spent the most on newspapers and magazines, parting with an average of £4.20 every week while those in the poorest ten per cent spend an average of £1.80.