Cost of Living in Victorian England

A study of Victorian England would not be complete without a discussion of the cost of living during the period. This information was found in an article "Life on a Guinea a Week" in The Nineteenth Century (1888). For ease of comparison, the British pounds were rounded off and amounts shown for the equivalent U.S. $ in 1888 and 2006 both annually and monthly.

Also note that since an average takes in those earning large sums as well as the smaller ones, that salaries for the lower middle class typically averaged 21-23 annually or approximately 1/2 of the 660 below.

Cost of Living 1888 Victorian England - Family of Two
           
  1888 U.S.  1888 U.S. 2006 U.S. 2006 U.S
  Annual. Annual. Monthly Annual. Monthly
           
Average Salary for 1888 660 2,751.42 229.29 57,691.38 4,807.62
           
Rent 105 511.35 42.61 9,897.96 824.83
Rates and taxes including gas 28 131.36 10.95 2,639.46 219.96
Coals (Fuel) 12 58.44 4387 1,131.20 94.27
Food: Butcher 46 43.83 3.65 4,336.25 361.35
Food: Baker 9 170.45 14.20 848.40 70.70
Food: Grocer 38 185.06 15.42 3,582.12 298.51
Food: Greengrover 10 48.70 4.06 942.66 78.56
Food: Poulterer 10 48.70 4.06 942.66 78.56
Clothing: Husband 20 97.40 8.12 1,885.33 157.11
Clothing: Wife 35 170.45 14.20 3,299.32 274.94
Laundry 35 170.45 14.20 3,299.32 274.94
Doctor/Chemist (Pharmacist) 33 160.71 13.39 3,110.79 259.23
Traveling/Tips 43 209.41 17.45 4,053.45 337.79
Local Travel (Work, shopping, etc.) 20 97.40 8.12 1,885.33 157.11
Entertainment 36 175.32 14.61 3,393.59 282.80
Liquor 15 73.05 6.09 1,413.99 117.83
House Repairs 27 131.49 10.96 2,545.19 212.10
Garden 5 24.35 2.03 471.33 39.28
Miscellaneous 50 243.50 20.29 4,713.31 392.78


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