Students' billion-pound bar bill

23 August 2004
UK students spend almost £1 billion on alcohol and just £330 million on books, according to new research.

The Royal Bank of Scotland surveyed more than 2,000 undergraduates to calculate the figures. If the responses are representative it means the UK's student population spends £940 million a year on alcoholic drinks - an amount second only to the £2.5 billion spent on rent.

The facts were compiled as part of the Student Living Index, an alternative league table for 21 university towns.

The cost of living is highest in Cambridge (£168.90 per week) and lowest in St Andrews in Scotland (£86.50). Predictably, housing costs peaked in London at £81.48 a week - in Liverpool the average student spends almost £30 less at £52.10.

Costs were highest comparatively in Durham because while the weekly expenditure was below the national average at £171.90 a week, the average student only earned £56.50 in part time work.

As well as the £2.5 billion spent on housing and the £940 million on alcohol, students were found to spend £670 million on food, £540 million on entertainment and £330 million on books and other course materials.
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