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Consumption and Lifestyle in Russia

P. 611-636.
Kozyreva P. M., Nizamova A. E., Smirnov A. I.

The purpose of this study was to investigate consumption patterns and their association with the lifestyle characteristics of Russian households. The research based on the data of Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey – HSE (RLMS–HSE) was collected between 1992 and 2008. Over this period total household expenditure on food increased by 40%, while total expenditure on durables more than tripled. Consequently, the share of food expenditure dropped from 72.6% to 45% whereas the non-food expenditure share grew up from 27.4% to 55%. By 2008 the gap in consumption standards between rich and poor households had widened since well off families completely dominated in volume of non-food expenditure, services and leisure expenditure and savings. Meanwhile we can state that consumption depended  heavily not only on a total household income but also on a household type and on the phase of its life circle, for example, the data clearly show that young families, single-parent families and pensioners saved up less than other families as their expenses constantly exceeded their incomes in 2008. Moreover, the level of durables consumption varied over the type of settlement. The factor analysis (the method of Principal components, Varimax rotation with Kaiser Normalization) let us define the groups of durables that differentiate the households by consumption patterns. These groups are likely to associate with highly “modernised” urban lifestyle, moderately “modernised” lifestyle, and rural lifestyle.