Almost 50% of adults report their cost of living increased in a month

Almost 50% of adults report their cost of living increased in a month

Around half of adults (47%) have reported that their cost of living had increased compared with a month ago, according to the latest data from the Office of National Statistics.

The most reported reasons for this were the price of food shopping (92%), gas or electricity bills (69%), the price of fuel (54%) and rent or mortgage costs (16%).

In a Public Opinions and Social Trends report, the ONS found that during the period 15th to 26th November 2023, around nine in 10 adults in Britain see the cost of living as an important issue facing the UK.

As part of its wider report, ‘Impact of increased cost of living on adults across Great Britain: July to October 2023’, the ONS found that 5% of adults reported running out of food and not being able to afford more. This proportion was 8% among parents living with a dependent child and 13% among renters and increased to 21% among renters who were parents living with a dependent child (Opinions and Lifestyle Study).

Additionally, over one quarter (27%) of households reported that they did not have enough savings to cover a 25% fall in household employment income (Wealth and Assets Survey).


The reported experiences reflect inflation data, which shows that prices (Consumer Price Index) rose by 4.6% in the year to October, down from a peak of 11.1% in October 2022.

While there was an easing in the food and non-alcoholic beverage prices from a peak of 19.1% in the year to March 2023, food prices remained high at 10.1% in the year to October 2023.

Food price inflation continues to be at historically high levels and it was recently revealed that approximately three-quarters of branded suppliers have pushed up prices by more than their costs increased, subsequently contributing to higher food price inflation.

Around one in 20 adults reported that, in the past two weeks, they or their household had run out of food and could not afford to buy more.

When looking at the groups less likely to be financially resilient, the ONS found those more likely to report this included renters (13% compared with 2% of mortgage holders); disabled adults (8% compared with 3% of non-disabled adults); adults living in a household with one adult only and at least one dependent child (26% compared with 5% among adults living in a household with more than one adult and at least one dependent child and 4% among adults not living with a dependent child); and Black, African, Caribbean or Black British adults (10%) compared with White adults (5%).