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Definition of concepts

Family consumption
Economic activity of families that consists of the utilisation of goods and services to satisfy their material needs.
Family expenditure
Monetary volume that a household and all of its members use to pay for what are considered consumer goods and services for use in the same household or to be transferred free of charge to other households or institutions.
Household
Set of people habitually living in the same dwelling. There are two types of households: one-person households, made up of one person, and multi-person households, made up of two or more people.
Consumer unit
A different accountable concept of members of a household which is obtained by applying adjustment factors to expenditure, which enables us to weight different levels of need between families of different sizes and composition.

Methodological aspects

The data on family expenditure was obtained from the Family budget survey (EPF) conducted by the INE. Family income is expressed in annual averages per household, person and consumption unit. The expenditure groups are grouped in accordance with the Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose COICOP-HBS of the European system of integrated economic accounts (ESA), nomenclature that was standardised by the Statistical Office of the European Union.

Household consumer expenditure represents the main economic activity of the population, and is an approach to the concept of private consumption as the most important component of a country's aggregate demand. The main aim of the statistics on household consumer expenditure is to produce information on the size, structure and distribution of this expense, as well as inter-annual variations of the aggregate consumption. The consumer expenditure recorded in the EPF refers to the monetary flow that household economies spend on the purchase of consumer products, as well as all non-monetary expenditure that is generated on the basis of supply, self-sufficiency, any salary in kind and imputed housing rent.

The expenditure can be calculated per person in the household and unit of consumption in the household. In order to obtain the units of consumption we use the so-called equivalence scales, which turn household members into units of consumption. These equivalence scales are applied because economies of scale are generated when a household shares certain goods and services, which means that the needs of a household with n persons are sometimes lower than the needs of a household with just one person.

In this case we use the modified OECD scale, which gives the following values to each member of the household:

  • Main provider: 1
  • Adult older than 13: 0.5
  • Child 13 and under: 0.3

The total expenditure of a household is divided by the number of units of consumption in the household and we thus obtain the equivalent expenditure per unit of consumption. Each member of a household is assigned the equivalent expenditure of his or her household.

The Family budget survey, Base 2006 (EPF) started in 2006 and substituted the Continuous Family Budget Survey, Base 1997 (ECPF) , which was used from 1997 to 2005. The EPF 2006 incorporates a variety of methodological and conceptual changes, which have improved the quality of the estimation of expenditure and its structure. Comparisons with data from the previous survey have to be made using statistical linking methods.

Expenditure is presented classified according to the Classification of the Functions of Individual Consumption (COICOP/HBS) until 2015. From 2016 onwards, the European Classification of the Functions of Individual Consumption (ECOICOP) is used. These two classifications are not entirely comparable.

Unavailable information is represented using the symbol ":". When the value is lower than that of the minimum unit to be able to estimate the statistical operation or if it effects statistical confidentiality, the symbol used is "..".