Cost of living statistics UK: 2024

How is the cost of living crisis affecting the UK in 2024?

The cost of living crisis and efforts to contain inflation have had a knock-on effect on banking, including higher borrowing costs, but better savings rates. Finder conducted research to analyse the situation in the UK, and we look at the latest cost of living statistics below.

Cost of living statistics: Highlights

  • In January 2024, 6 in 10 adults (62%) in Great Britain said they were spending less on non-essentials because of increases in the cost of living.
  • In January 2024, around half (52%) of adults said their cost of living had risen compared with a month ago.
  • Around 4 in 10 adults (41%) who pay energy bills said it was difficult to afford them.
  • More than a third of adults (37%) are finding it very or somewhat difficult to afford their rent or mortgage payments.

Why is there a cost of living crisis?

The cost of living crisis is a result of increasing prices for goods and services across the UK. The pandemic, Brexit and the Ukraine conflict all contributed to increasing prices for fossil fuels, food and other commodities and services. Inflation peaked in October 2022 at 11.1%.

Annual CPI rate UK
Date CPI
Jan 2013 2.70%
Feb 2013 2.80%
Mar 2013 2.80%
Apr 2013 2.40%
May 2013 2.70%
Jun 2013 2.90%
Jul 2013 2.80%
Aug 2013 2.70%
Sep 2013 2.70%
Oct 2013 2.20%
Nov 2013 2.10%
Dec 2013 2.00%
Jan 2014 1.90%
Feb 2014 1.70%
Mar 2014 1.60%
Apr 2014 1.80%
May 2014 1.50%
Jun 2014 1.90%
Jul 2014 1.60%
Aug 2014 1.50%
Sep 2014 1.20%
Oct 2014 1.30%
Nov 2014 1.00%
Dec 2014 0.50%
Jan 2015 0.30%
Feb 2015 0.00%
Mar 2015 0.00%
Apr 2015 -0.10%
May 2015 0.10%
Jun 2015 0.00%
Jul 2015 0.10%
Aug 2015 0.00%
Sep 2015 -0.10%
Oct 2015 -0.10%
Nov 2015 0.10%
Dec 2015 0.20%
Jan 2016 0.30%
Feb 2016 0.30%
Mar 2016 0.50%
Apr 2016 0.30%
May 2016 0.30%
Jun 2016 0.50%
Jul 2016 0.60%
Aug 2016 0.60%
Sep 2016 1.00%
Oct 2016 0.90%
Nov 2016 1.20%
Dec 2016 1.60%
Jan 2017 1.80%
Feb 2017 2.30%
Mar 2017 2.30%
Apr 2017 2.70%
May 2017 2.90%
Jun 2017 2.60%
Jul 2017 2.60%
Aug 2017 2.90%
Sep 2017 3.00%
Oct 2017 3.00%
Nov 2017 3.10%
Dec 2017 3.00%
Jan 2018 3.00%
Feb 2018 2.70%
Mar 2018 2.50%
Apr 2018 2.40%
May 2018 2.40%
Jun 2018 2.40%
Jul 2018 2.50%
Aug 2018 2.70%
Sep 2018 2.40%
Oct 2018 2.40%
Nov 2018 2.30%
Dec 2018 2.10%
Jan 2019 1.80%
Feb 2019 1.90%
Mar 2019 1.90%
Apr 2019 2.10%
May 2019 2.00%
Jun 2019 2.00%
Jul 2019 2.10%
Aug 2019 1.70%
Sep 2019 1.70%
Oct 2019 1.50%
Nov 2019 1.50%
Dec 2019 1.30%
Jan 2020 1.80%
Feb 2020 1.70%
Mar 2020 1.50%
Apr 2020 0.80%
May 2020 0.50%
Jun 2020 0.60%
Jul 2020 1.00%
Aug 2020 0.20%
Sep 2020 0.50%
Oct 2020 0.70%
Nov 2020 0.30%
Dec 2020 0.60%
Jan 2021 0.70%
Feb 2021 0.40%
Mar 2021 0.70%
Apr 2021 1.50%
May 2021 2.10%
Jun 2021 2.50%
Jul 2021 2.00%
Aug 2021 3.20%
Sep 2021 3.10%
Oct 2021 4.20%
Nov 2021 5.10%
Dec 2021 5.40%
Jan 2022 5.50%
Feb 2022 6.20%
Mar 2022 7.00%
Apr 2022 9.00%
May 2022 9.10%
Jun 2022 9.40%
Jul 2022 10.10%
Aug 2022 9.90%
Sep 2022 10.10%
Oct 2022 11.10%
Nov 2022 10.70%
Dec 2022 10.50%
Jan 2023 10.10%

Where have Brits seen the cost of living increase?

In August 2023, almost all UK households (97%) reported an increase in their gas and electricity bills which contributed to the overall cost of living. Over two-thirds (69%) of households also saw a cost of living increase in their rent or mortgage payments.

Other common areas where costs increased were the price of food shop, where 40% saw a rise, and the price of fuel, where a quarter of households had reported increased costs. A fifth of Brits (19%) also saw the price of public transport going up, while one in ten households had to deal with rising cost of childcare or other care.

Area Percentage of UK households
Gas or electricity bills 97%
Rent or mortgage 69%
Food shop 40%
Fuel 25%
Public transport 19%
Childcare/care costs 10%

How are Brits responding to the cost of living crisis?

A survey conducted by Finder revealed that 96% of Brits said they would give up at least one good or service to save money in 2022, due to the cost of living crisis.

The most common sacrifice was eating out, with over 22 million (42%) Brits saving money by avoiding restaurants. Takeaways were in second place with 40%. Tied for third place were shopping and nights out with 31%.

Almost 2 in 3 Brits (65%) are spending less on non-essentials in 2023 while almost half (47%) are shopping around more to save money in 2023, according to external research.

Top sacrifices made due to the cost of living crisis
Sacrifice Percentage
Eating out 43.09%
Takeaways 39.36%
Shopping (e.g. clothes shopping, highstreet shopping, online shopping, impulse buys) 30.85%
Nights out 30.85%
Foreign holidays 22.87%
Entertainment (e.g. cinema, theme parks) 21.28%
TV/film subscriptions 15.43%
Events (e.g. gigs, sports) 18.62%
Better quality food from supermarkets (e.g. Tesco Finest) 14.89%
Domestic holidays 12.77%
Charity donations 13.83%
There is nothing specific that I would plan to sacrifice the most 11.70%
Music streaming subscriptions 7.98%
Food subscriptions 9.04%
Alcohol subscriptions 6.91%
Travel insurance 5.32%
The cost of living crisis hasn't negatively affected my finances/I don't predict it will 4.26%
None of the above 2.13%

Case study: The cost of living crisis has impacted Tracey's finances

Tracey Greyvenstein profile pic
Tracey Greyvenstein

The cost of living increases have negatively affected me financially and most price increases just cannot be justified. I have not been able to pay my mortgage, and some of my bills.

The increased cost in energy is crippling, with my energy bill going from £80 per month to £200 per month and I do not have any heating installed on my property.

I am not happy with how much I have saved. I have had to use some of it to pay for things like car insurance, tyres, MOTs, electricity bills and repairs.

Cost of living: spending statistics

As of August 2023, around two-fifths (62%) of Brits were looking to reduce their overall outgoings by spending less on non-essential items. Half of people in the UK (51%) are also shopping around more often to try and find better deals.

Other changes in spending habits included using less fuel (44%), spending less on food and essentials (41%) and, perhaps worryingly, one-third (33%) of Brits who were using their savings to deal with the cost of living crisis.

Cost of living: housing statistics

Another big impact of the cost of living crisis is on housing affordability. As of August 2023, over two-thirds (36%) of Brits had found it somewhat or very difficult to afford their rent or mortgage payments.

This is not surprising as private rental prices were up 5.3% year-on-year in July 2023, the biggest annual change since the record began in January 2016.

This was even higher in London, where rental prices increased by 5.5% year-on-year, the highest annual percentage change since records began in January 2006.

For those who are looking to buy rather than rent, house prices also saw an increase of 1.7% in the year to July 2023 and the average mortgage rate for a 2-year fix with a 15% deposit was 6.4%.

Growth in rent prices due to the cost of living crisis

Cost of living: food statistics

In August 2023, around half (51%) of UK adults reported spending more money than usual to get their usual weekly food shop. As a comparison, in October 2021, less than 1 in 5 (18%) adults said they were spending more than usual on the same food.

The CPIH inflation rate for food prices was reported to be a whopping 17.4% in June 2023, after reaching 19.2% in March 2023. The CPIH inflation rate for restaurants and cafes remained high at 9.1% in June 2023, after hitting a peak of 11.4% in February 2023.

When did the cost of living crisis start?

The cost of living crisis started in late 2021 and continues in 2023. Its effects were felt strongly in 2022. The UK experienced high inflation before, such as in the 1990s, but the term “cost of living crisis” has only been widely used in the current inflationary period.

The search term “cost of living crisis” peaked in August 2022, with negligible search volume in the last 10 years.

Search interest on Google for the cost of living crisis
Date Search interest (indexed)
Jan 2012 0
Feb 2012 0
Mar 2012 1
Apr 2012 0
May 2012 0
Jun 2012 0
Jul 2012 1
Aug 2012 0
Sep 2012 0
Oct 2012 0
Nov 2012 0.5
Dec 2012 0
Jan 2013 0
Feb 2013 1
Mar 2013 0
Apr 2013 0
May 2013 0
Jun 2013 0
Jul 2013 0
Aug 2013 0
Sep 2013 0
Oct 2013 1
Nov 2013 1
Dec 2013 0
Jan 2014 2
Feb 2014 1
Mar 2014 0.5
Apr 2014 0.5
May 2014 1
Jun 2014 0.5
Jul 2014 0
Aug 2014 0
Sep 2014 0
Oct 2014 0
Nov 2014 0
Dec 2014 0
Jan 2015 0
Feb 2015 0
Mar 2015 0
Apr 2015 1
May 2015 0
Jun 2015 1
Jul 2015 0
Aug 2015 0
Sep 2015 0
Oct 2015 0
Nov 2015 0
Dec 2015 0
Jan 2016 0
Feb 2016 1
Mar 2016 0
Apr 2016 0.5
May 2016 0
Jun 2016 0
Jul 2016 0.5
Aug 2016 0
Sep 2016 0
Oct 2016 1
Nov 2016 0.5
Dec 2016 0
Jan 2017 0
Feb 2017 0
Mar 2017 0
Apr 2017 0
May 2017 0
Jun 2017 0
Jul 2017 0
Aug 2017 2
Sep 2017 0
Oct 2017 0
Nov 2017 0
Dec 2017 1
Jan 2018 0
Feb 2018 0
Mar 2018 0
Apr 2018 0.5
May 2018 0
Jun 2018 0.5
Jul 2018 0
Aug 2018 0
Sep 2018 0
Oct 2018 1
Nov 2018 0
Dec 2018 0
Jan 2019 0
Feb 2019 1
Mar 2019 0
Apr 2019 0
May 2019 0
Jun 2019 1
Jul 2019 0.5
Aug 2019 0
Sep 2019 0
Oct 2019 0.5
Nov 2019 0
Dec 2019 0.5
Jan 2020 0
Feb 2020 0
Mar 2020 0
Apr 2020 0
May 2020 0
Jun 2020 0
Jul 2020 0
Aug 2020 0
Sep 2020 0
Oct 2020 0
Nov 2020 0
Dec 2020 1
Jan 2021 0
Feb 2021 0
Mar 2021 0
Apr 2021 0
May 2021 0
Jun 2021 0
Jul 2021 0
Aug 2021 0
Sep 2021 0
Oct 2021 1
Nov 2021 1
Dec 2021 0.5
Jan 2022 6
Feb 2022 12
Mar 2022 19
Apr 2022 32
May 2022 51
Jun 2022 44
Jul 2022 46
Aug 2022 100
Sep 2022 92
Oct 2022 59
Nov 2022 70
Dec 2022 55
Jan 2023 45
Feb 2023 43

How does inflation affect incomes?

Real income measures the value of one’s income adjusted for inflation to reflect the purchasing power of an individual, since inflation decreases the value of money.

Real incomes in the UK have fallen since the start of the pandemic. The real income per capita in 2019 was £28,118. This level has not been equalled as of yet, with the real income per capita in 2022 estimated at £27,256.

Real income per capita in the UK
Year Real net national disposable income per capita
1997 £18,507
1998 £21,904
1999 £22,276
2000 £23,112
2001 £23,716
2002 £24,296
2003 £24,999
2004 £25,404
2005 £25,978
2006 £26,088
2007 £26,167
2008 £25,460
2009 £24,180
2010 £24,758
2011 £24,856
2012 £24,711
2013 £24,863
2014 £25,591
2015 £26,098
2016 £26,392
2017 £27,192
2018 £27,334
2019 £28,118
2020 £23,750
2021 £26,329
2022 £27,256

What caused the cost of living crisis?

The cost of living crisis was caused by the rise in prices in the main components of the CPI including owner-occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) such as gas, electricity and food.

Gas prices have been the main driver of the cost of living crisis, with annual inflation peaking at 129% in January 2023. Electricity had the second-highest annual inflation at 67% in the same period.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages also peaked in January 2023 with an annual inflation rate of 17%. Motor fuels have reached their inflation rate peak in June 2022 at 44%. In January 2023, the annual inflation rate for motor fuels fell to 8%.

Inflation in key areas causing the cost of living crisis
Date Gas annual CPIH rate Electricity annual CPIH rate Food and non-alcoholic beverages annual CPIH rate Motor fuels annual CPIH rate
Oct 2023 -1.00% -2.30% 3.40% 2.40%
Nov 2023 -0.10% -1.10% 3.90% 1.00%
Dec 2023 5.20% 3.90% 3.80% -0.20%
Jan 2023 5.20% 3.90% 4.20% -0.80%
Feb 2023 7.20% 6.40% 3.70% 0.80%
Mar 2023 7.60% 7.60% 3.70% 0.10%
Apr 2023 8.30% 7.60% 4.60% -3.70%
May 2023 8.30% 7.70% 4.20% -2.90%
Jun 2023 8.30% 7.70% 3.80% 1.00%
Jul 2023 8.30% 8.10% 3.90% 2.40%
Aug 2023 8.30% 8.10% 4.20% 1.30%
Sep 2023 8.30% 8.10% 4.30% -1.60%
Oct 2023 8.30% 8.60% 3.90% -4.20%
Nov 2023 6.30% 6.70% 2.80% -3.60%
Dec 2023 7.80% 8.10% 1.90% -1.40%
Jan 2023 6.70% 8.00% 2.00% -1.80%
Feb 2023 5.90% 6.90% 1.80% -5.10%
Mar 2023 5.60% 6.70% 1.70% -6.60%
Apr 2023 5.10% 6.00% 0.60% -5.00%
May 2023 5.10% 6.00% -0.60% -2.50%
Jun 2023 5.10% 6.00% 0.00% -3.00%
Jul 2023 5.10% 5.60% -0.40% -2.90%
Aug 2023 5.10% 5.60% -1.10% -5.70%
Sep 2023 5.10% 5.60% -1.40% -6.00%
Oct 2023 5.10% 5.60% -1.40% -4.80%
Nov 2023 5.10% 5.60% -1.70% -5.90%
Dec 2023 -1.60% -0.80% -1.70% -10.50%
Jan 2023 -1.00% -0.70% -2.50% -16.20%
Feb 2023 -1.90% -0.90% -3.30% -16.60%
Mar 2023 -4.20% -0.60% -3.00% -13.70%
Apr 2023 -3.80% -0.20% -2.90% -12.30%
May 2023 -4.40% -0.20% -1.80% -11.00%
Jun 2023 -4.40% -0.20% -2.20% -10.50%
Jul 2023 -4.40% -0.20% -2.70% -11.40%
Aug 2023 -4.40% -0.20% -2.40% -12.90%
Sep 2023 -6.40% -0.20% -2.20% -14.90%
Oct 2023 -6.40% -0.20% -2.70% -14.00%
Nov 2023 -6.40% -0.20% -2.40% -12.90%
Dec 2023 -6.40% -0.20% -2.90% -11.40%
Jan 2023 -6.00% -0.20% -2.60% -7.30%
Feb 2023 -6.00% -0.20% -2.20% -7.30%
Mar 2023 -6.00% -0.20% -2.80% -9.20%
Apr 2023 -7.30% -0.20% -2.50% -7.50%
May 2023 -6.70% -0.20% -2.80% -6.80%
Jun 2023 -6.70% -0.20% -3.00% -5.50%
Jul 2023 -6.60% -0.20% -2.60% -4.30%
Aug 2023 -6.60% -0.20% -2.20% -2.60%
Sep 2023 -4.60% -0.20% -2.30% 1.40%
Oct 2023 -4.60% -0.20% -2.40% 4.70%
Nov 2023 -4.60% -0.20% -2.10% 7.40%
Dec 2023 -4.60% -0.20% -1.10% 10.00%
Jan 2023 -5.10% -0.20% -0.50% 16.80%
Feb 2023 -4.40% -0.20% 0.20% 19.40%
Mar 2023 -1.80% 0.80% 1.30% 17.10%
Apr 2023 -1.00% 3.50% 1.60% 11.50%
May 2023 -0.50% 7.70% 2.10% 7.50%
Jun 2023 -0.50% 7.70% 2.40% 4.10%
Jul 2023 0.00% 9.00% 2.60% 2.00%
Aug 2023 0.00% 9.00% 2.20% 5.10%
Sep 2023 0.00% 9.00% 3.10% 6.10%
Oct 2023 0.00% 11.40% 4.10% 3.40%
Nov 2023 0.10% 11.40% 4.20% 3.50%
Dec 2023 0.10% 11.40% 4.10% 4.70%
Jan 2023 0.60% 11.40% 3.70% 2.10%
Feb 2023 0.60% 11.40% 3.00% 0.80%
Mar 2023 0.60% 10.40% 3.10% 0.30%
Apr 2023 1.60% 8.60% 2.70% 3.10%
May 2023 1.10% 4.50% 2.30% 8.00%
Jun 2023 3.70% 6.80% 2.00% 11.60%
Jul 2023 4.30% 7.40% 2.30% 12.40%
Aug 2023 4.30% 7.40% 2.40% 11.70%
Sep 2023 5.50% 9.30% 1.50% 10.80%
Oct 2023 7.60% 9.00% 0.90% 11.90%
Nov 2023 7.60% 9.00% 0.50% 8.90%
Dec 2023 7.60% 9.00% 0.70% 3.40%
Jan 2023 -1.70% 3.70% 0.90% 0.70%
Feb 2023 -1.60% 3.80% 1.20% 0.50%
Mar 2023 -1.60% 3.80% 0.80% 2.90%
Apr 2023 7.10% 14.10% 0.70% 4.30%
May 2023 7.10% 14.00% 1.10% 3.40%
Jun 2023 4.40% 11.50% 1.70% 0.70%
Jul 2023 3.30% 9.60% 1.50% 0.20%
Aug 2023 3.30% 9.60% 1.80% -0.10%
Sep 2023 2.10% 7.60% 1.70% -2.10%
Oct 2023 -8.70% 3.30% 1.40% -3.30%
Nov 2023 -8.70% 3.30% 2.10% -2.90%
Dec 2023 -8.70% 3.30% 1.70% 1.00%
Jan 2023 -0.20% 8.60% 1.40% 4.70%
Feb 2023 -0.30% 8.50% 1.30% 2.80%
Mar 2023 -0.30% 8.50% 1.30% -2.40%
Apr 2023 -12.00% -2.00% 1.40% -12.20%
May 2023 -12.00% -2.00% 1.90% -16.70%
Jun 2023 -12.00% -2.00% 1.20% -16.40%
Jul 2023 -12.00% -2.10% 0.80% -12.00%
Aug 2023 -12.00% -2.10% 0.40% -11.40%
Sep 2023 -12.00% -2.10% 0.00% -10.60%
Oct 2023 -15.40% -3.10% 0.60% -10.20%
Nov 2023 -15.40% -3.10% -0.50% -10.00%
Dec 2023 -15.40% -3.10% -1.40% -8.30%
Jan 2023 -15.40% -3.10% -0.70% -8.20%
Feb 2023 -15.40% -3.10% -0.60% -3.50%
Mar 2023 -15.40% -3.10% -1.40% 3.50%
Apr 2023 -4.10% 5.50% -0.50% 13.60%
May 2023 -4.10% 5.50% -1.30% 17.90%
Jun 2023 -4.10% 5.50% -0.60% 20.30%
Jul 2023 -4.00% 5.80% -0.60% 17.70%
Aug 2023 -4.00% 5.80% 0.30% 17.70%
Sep 2023 -4.00% 5.80% 0.80% 17.80%
Oct 2023 28.10% 18.80% 1.30% 21.50%
Nov 2023 28.10% 18.80% 2.50% 28.50%
Dec 2023 28.10% 18.80% 4.20% 26.80%
Jan 2023 28.30% 19.20% 4.40% 23.60%
Feb 2023 28.30% 19.20% 5.10% 22.30%
Mar 2023 28.30% 19.20% 5.90% 30.70%
Apr 2023 95.50% 53.50% 6.70% 31.40%
May 2023 95.50% 53.50% 8.70% 32.80%
Jun 2023 95.50% 53.50% 9.80% 42.30%
Jul 2023 95.70% 54.00% 12.70% 43.70%
Aug 2023 95.70% 54.00% 13.10% 32.10%
Sep 2023 95.70% 54.00% 14.60% 26.50%
Oct 2023 128.90% 65.70% 16.40% 22.20%
Nov 2023 128.90% 65.40% 16.50% 17.20%
Dec 2023 128.90% 65.40% 16.90% 11.50%
Jan 2023 129.40% 66.70% 16.80% 7.70%

Who is most affected by the cost of living crisis?

The rise in prices is not affecting everyone equally. Certain income groups experience the cost of living crisis more strongly than others. Low-income households spend around 27% of their total expenditure on gas and electricity, compared to only 20% spent by high-income households on the same category.

Low-income households also spend proportionally more on food and non-alcoholic beverages, with 16% of their expenditure dedicated to this category compared to only 9% for high-income households.

Since low-income households spend a higher portion of their total expenditure on the food and fuel categories, they experience a higher inflation rate than high-income households.

Inflation in key areas causing the cost of living crisis
Area % of total expenditure low-income households % of total expenditure high-income households
Education 0.40% 1.20%
Health 1.90% 2.10%
Communication 2.90% 2.20%
Furnishings, household equiptment and routine household maintenance 4.90% 5.30%
Clothing and footwear 5.10% 5.60%
Alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics 5.30% 3.50%
Restaurant and hotels 8.10% 12.20%
Transport 9.00% 15.00%
Miscellaneous goods and services 9.20% 10.80%
Recreation and culture 10.70% 13.30%
Food and non-alcoholic beverages 15.70% 9.20%
Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels 26.80% 19.60%

Methodology and sources used

  • Finder commissioned Censuswide on 27–29 July 2022 to carry out a nationally representative survey of adults aged 18+.
  • A total of 2,002 people were questioned throughout Great Britain, with representative quotas for gender, age and region.
  • Office for National Statistics

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matt.mckenna@finder.com@MichHutchison/in/matthewmckenna2

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