In 2012, Vanuatu households spent VT 54,700 on average per month. An examination of spending patterns across three broad categories (Box 1) shows that 76 per cent of total expenditure was dedicated to food (41%), housing (19%) and transport (16%), leaving one-quarter to cover all other household expenses. These included communication, education and transfers (around 5% each), with more modest allocations for health, clothing, culture and leisure, as illustrated in Figure 1. Rice and kava were the most popular items bought in the household food and drinks category. Together they accounted for one-third of total expenditure on food and drinks. Spending on housing was dominated by maintenance and construction costs (31% of the housing budget), and transport related expenditure was dominated by costs for transport services (58% of the total transport budget).
Outside of these three broad categories, school fees and cell phone topups represented the two largest single expenditure items for Vanuatu households, accounting for 40 per cent of all other expenditure (Table 4).