Lacking consumer durables

Graphs on this page:

Supporting information:

Key points

  • Over the last decade, the proportion of households in Northern Ireland lacking consumer durables has come down sharply.  For example, the proportion without a microwave oven has fallen from 21% to 9%; the proportion without a video recorder or DVD player from 20% to 10%; and the proportion without a freezer from 15% to 2%.
  • All the items shown are now possessed by the vast majority of households on average income.  The inference is that it is now ‘ordinary’ to do so.
  • The tiny proportion of the poorest fifth lacking colour televisions or freezers is little higher than that for households on average incomes.  By contrast, for the other items shown, the proportion of households in the poorest fifth lacking them is much higher than for those on average incomes.  So 21% lack video recorders or DVD players, 13% lack microwave ovens, and 10% lack washing machines.

Definitions and data sources

The first graph shows the proportion of households lacking selected consumer durables.

The second graph shows how the proportion of households lacking selected durables varies by level of household income.  To improve its statistical reliability, the data is the average for the latest three years.

The data source for both graphs is the Continuous Household Survey.  Note the the relevant questions were not asked in the 2009/10 survey.

Overall adequacy of the indicator: limited.  The choice of consumer durables in the analysis is largely driven by the data availability and is both somewhat arbitrary and rather limited.