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Half of the consumption of low-income families, the’survival cost’ of eating and living… “The proportion of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased as eating out decreased due to the corona crisis.”


Conflicting differences in consumption behavior between low-income and high-income groups

Last year, it was found that half of the consumption of low-income households was used for’survival expenses’.

Although spending by low-income households, which is the bottom 20% of their income, only increased, the gap in consumption with high-income households is not narrowing.

According to the ‘2020 Annual Spending Household Trend Survey Results’ released by the National Statistical Office on the 8th, the average monthly consumption expenditure of households nationwide was 2.4 million won. It decreased by 2.3% from the previous year due to the effects of social distancing from the spread of Corona 19.

By income level, the lower 20% of the income (first quintile) consumed an average of 1058,000 won per month. This is a 3.3% increase from the previous year. On the other hand, the top 20% (fifth quintile) of income spent 4.21 million won a month, 0.3% less than the previous year. Consumption in the quintile decreased slightly compared to the previous year, but the gap was remarkable, as it was still 4 times more used than the first quintile.

The second quintile (lower 40% of income) spent 1637,000 won per month, the third quartile (lower 60% of income) spent 2202,000 won, and the fourth quintile (higher 40% of income) spent 2893,000 won. They were 2.8%, 6.3%, and 3.7% smaller than the previous year, respectively. This means that only the first quintile spending last year increased from the previous year.

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“In the first quartile, food accounts for 22.3%, but the proportion of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased due to the decrease in eating out due to the corona 19,” said Jeong Gu-yeon, head of the household balance trend at the Statistics Office. The increased influence was also reflected,” he explained.

In particular, the difference in consumption behavior between the low and high income groups was mixed.

The first quintile was the only increase in consumption, but more than half of this was spent on survival costs. In detail, 235,000 won per month was spent on food and non-alcoholic beverages, or 22.3% of the total consumption. This is an increase of 15.7% from the previous year.

19.9% ​​(211,000 won) of total consumption was devoted to housing, water supply, and light heat, and 13.5% (143,000 won) was devoted to health. They increased by 5.4% and 8.0% from the previous year, respectively. Of the total consumption, 55.7% was used only for the minimum food, housing, and welfare expenses necessary for maintaining daily life.

Expenditures on clothing and shoes (-10.6%), entertainment and culture (-8.8%), and education (-23.7%) decreased from the previous year. Spending for food, non-alcoholic beverages, and meals was 342,000 won, an increase of 9.4% from the previous year, accounting for 32.3% of the total expenditure.

Households in the fifth quintile spent 640,000 won on transportation, accounting for 15.2% of total consumption. It increased by 18.2% from the previous year, accounting for the largest share of total consumption. It is analyzed that expenditures used to purchase automobiles have increased due to government policies such as a reduction in individual consumption tax for automobiles. As a result of social distancing, consumption of entertainment and culture (-31.1%), education (-20.1%), and clothing and shoes (-15.1%) were transferred to transportation.

The fifth quintile also used 560,000 won for food and non-alcoholic beverages, the largest increase of 18.8% from the previous year, but only 13.3% of the total consumption. Housing, water and light (352,000 won) also devoted only 8.4% of consumption. The share of health consumption was 8.1%. Survival costs, which accounted for the majority of consumption in the first quintile, accounted for 29.8% in the fifth quintile.

However, the differences in the characteristics of the furniture in the first and fifth quintiles seem to have had some influence. In the first quintile, the average number of household members was 1.44, and the age of the head of the household was 62.3 years old. On the other hand, in the 5th quintile, the number of household members was 3.35, and the age of the head of the household was 50.2 years, which was low.

The number of household members increased as the income class increased, and consumption expenditure also increased accordingly. In addition, food and non-alcoholic beverages accounted for the highest expenditure of 1st quintile households with a large number of single-person households, while education (1.6%) was the smallest. The proportions of education consumption of the fourth and fifth quintile households with large numbers of household members were 7.6% and 9.6%, which were 4.8-6 times higher than the first quintile.

Reporter Kim Hyun-joo [email protected]

Photo = Newsis

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