Household Budget Survey 2004/2005

Main results

Each private household spends €2 540 a month on average. The group “Housing, energy” accounts for the largest share of household expenditure, at 22.3%, followed by “Transport” at 16.1%, “Food, non-alcoholic beverages” at 13.0%, and “Leisure, sport and hobbies” at 12.6%.

Standardising household expenditure by household size and composition results in an average monthly equivalence expenditure (weighted “per capital expenditure”) of €1 630. The weighting of equivalence expenditure was based on the following internationally established EU scale: first adult person in the household = 1.00; every other person aged 14 and over = 0.50; children under 14 = 0.30.

If the results for the individual Länder (federal provinces) are compared, Upper Austria (€2 730) and Salzburg (€2 720) have the highest – and Vienna (€2 330) and Carinthia (€2 400) the lowest – monthly household expenditure. Equivalence expenditure allows a direct comparison of the expenditure made by households of different sizes. The picture at the level of the federal provinces is as follows: Tyrol and Salzburg come first (€1 720), followed by Vienna (€1 700), with Styria (€1 500) and Carinthia (€1 520) in last place.

The comparison of the 2004/2005 Household Budget Survey with the 1999/2000 survey shows an increase from €2 440 to €2 540 for the average monthly household expenditure, which corresponds to a nominal growth of 4.3%. An analysis of equivalence expenditure, i.e. the figure which takes account of the household size (which is decreasing over the long term) and the household structure, reveals an increase from €1 350 to €1 470, which corresponds to a rise in nominal terms of 8.5%.

Results for social statistics

As is to be expected, household expenditure increases – and equivalence expenditure decreases – the larger the number of persons in a household. Compared with single-person households, very large households spend around one fifth less per adult equivalent; if the principal earner is gainfully employed, the gap widens further, at -32%.

The results by age of the principal earner reflect consumer behaviour during the various phases of life. While younger households for instance invest relatively more in going out and in communication, older households spend more on food, housing and health.

Expenditure and its composition are heavily influenced by the highest completed level of school education of the principal earner: the higher the education level, the more household expenditure and equivalence expenditure increase. The equivalence expenditure in households made up of academics is more than three quarters higher than that of households in which the principal earner has at most completed minimum compulsory education; it is also around one third higher than the average of all households. With regard to the composition of expenditure, the share of expenditure on food tends to decrease the higher the education level, contrasting with a sharp increase in the share of expenditure on leisure.


The monthly net household income (1/12 of the annual net income) was calculated for 3 156 700 households. The median of household incomes is around €2 350, that of equivalence incomes around €1 560 a month. The 25% of households with the lowest incomes had less than €1 520 per household or less than €1 160 per adult equivalent. By contrast, the 25% of households with the highest incomes had more than €3 470 in household income and more than €2 070 in equivalence income at their disposal.

Among households with low incomes, the proportion of expenditure spent on consumption shifted more towards the basic requirements of food and housing, while households with high incomes spent relatively more on leisure and transport.

Please consult our German website for tables and charts containing further information.

Results (overview): Monthly expenditures 2004/05

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