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The main objective of the Household Budget Survey is to obtain estimates of the annual consumption expenditure of private households, of how it is distributed among the different goods and services, as well as of the evolution of said expenditure with respect to the previous year. It also investigates consumption in physical quantities of food and energy sources (electricity, gas, liquid fuels, gasoline, etc.).
The variables researched are total expenditure and average expenditure per household, per person and per consumption unit according to different levels of disaggregation and different socio-demographic variables, both of the household (size of municipality of residence, composition, level of income, etc.) and of the main breadwinner of the household (sex and age, level of education, employment status, occupation, Spanish or foreign nationality, etc.).
In addition, these expenditure estimates are used as an instrument for obtaining private consumption in the National Accounts and for estimating the weighting structure based on the expenditure necessary for calculating the Consumer Price Index.
From time to time, modules relating to the living conditions of households (household domestic service, welfare, etc.) are carried out.
It includes the expenditure of all private households resident in Spain, whether it is carried out in Spain or abroad.
Households and persons belonging to said households.
Set of households and persons belonging to said households.
The geographical scope is the entire Spanish territory.
Results are published both for the national total and at the Autonomous Community level.
Since its implementation in 1958, different survey models have been alternating that tried to collect the information needs at different times.
Traditionally, two types of HBS have been carried out, structural or basic HBS every eight or ten years and short-term or quarterly surveys. The last methodological change took place in 2006, in which it has gone from a quarterly survey to an annual one.
The last methodological change took place in 2006, in which it has gone from a quarterly survey to an annual one.
In the results tables, total expenditure is published in thousands of euros, while average expenditure (per household, per person and per consumption unit) is published in euros.
As regards physical quantities, the total quantity is expressed in thousands of units and the average quantities (per household, per person and per consumption unit) in units (kg, litre, m3, kwh, etc.)
In this survey, the study period, or time interval to which the data refer, is the year.
However, due to both the fatigue and forgetfulness factors, the budget surveys have associated reference periods that mean that, in general, households are not asked about all of their expenditure during the entire study period, but rather for a shorter period, in such a way that, applying a temporal elevation factor, an estimate of household expenditure is obtained throughout the entire study period.
The reference period of each good or service means, therefore, the duration of time with which the observation of the expenditure on said good or service is matched.
Thus, each 5-digit ECOICOP code has been assigned one of the following reference periods:
Biweekly: goods of higher frequency or low value.
Monthly: goods of medium frequency or of moderate value.
Quarterly: goods of low frequency or high value to be considered biweekly or monthly.
Annual: goods of scarce frequency or of very high value.
Last receipt: allows to collect the goods and services paid on a regular basis, generally by means of periodic receipts (rent, community expenses, water, schools, etc.)
For more information see chapter 11 Reference periods and temporal elevation factors (pag. 56) of the methodology available in the link:
Data referred to the period: Anual A: 2020
The compilation and dissemination of the data are governed by the Statistical Law No. 12/1989 "Public Statistical Function" of May 9, 1989, and Law No. 4/1990 of June 29 on “National Budget of State for the year 1990" amended by Law No. 13/1996 "Fiscal, administrative and social measures" of December 30, 1996, makes compulsory all statistics included in the National Statistics Plan. The National Statistical Plan 2009-2012 was approved by the Royal Decree 1663/2008. It contains the statistics that must be developed in the four year period by the State General Administration's services or any other entity dependent on it. All statistics included in the National Statistics Plan are statistics for state purposes and are obligatory. The National Statistics Plan 2021-2024, approved by Royal Decree 1110/2020, of 15 December, is the Plan currently implemented. This statistical operation has governmental purposes, and it is included in the National Statistics Plan 2021-2024. (Statistics of the State Administration).
At the moment there is no European Regulation, but the information is transmitted to Eurostat every 5 years on the basis of a gentleman's agreement.
Since the beginning of the survey in 2006, the size of the sample initially selected in PaÃs Vasco has doubled in collaboration with the Statistics Institute of this Autonomous Community.
Also, by virtue of an agreement with the Institute of Statistics of Navarre, the sample increased in this Autonomous Community between 2007 and 2011.
An analysis of the variables included in the microdata files is carried out to ensure the confidentiality of the information, adding those categories that could represent a problem in this respect.
On the other hand, contact data are only accessible during collection.
The data are disseminated on an annual basis.
When there is a specific module, it is generally disseminated after the publication of the survey results.
All the results of the survey are disseminated on an annual basis through the INE website, both in the form of tables and through microdata files.
Furthermore, information on the survey and its modules is specifically published in the Yearbook "Spain in figures", and in other similar publications: INE figures, INDICE Magazine, etc.
INEbase is the system the INE uses to store statistical information on the Internet. It contains all the information the INE produces in electronic formats. The primary organisation of the information follows the theme-based classification of the Inventory of Statistical Operations of the State General Administration . The basic unit of INEbase is the statistical operation, defined as the set of activities that lead to obtaining statistical results on a determined sector or subject based on the individually collected data. Also included in the scope of this definition are synthesis preparation.
All the information related to the survey is available in the link:
The survey provides, free of charge, duly anonymised microdata files that are posted on the INE website, at the following link:
Customised requests are made of operations not included in the published detailed results. The requests are made through the Users Service Area.
These customised requests take into account both the confidentiality of the data and their robustness, so that requests that could infringe any of the above points are not dealt with.
The survey questionnaires for the year 2016 are available, together with the rest of the methodological information, in the link:
After each annual dissemination of results, an evaluation of the quality of the survey data is published, which is available on the survey website:
In addition, every five years information for the year in question (2015 is the last year sent) is sent to Eurostat for a joint dissemination of the survey with all EU countries, on which a new quality report is drawn up.
Fields 10.6 to 17 of this document are the user-oriented quality report for this operation.
Quality assurance framework for the INE statistics is based on the ESSCoP, the European Statistics Code of Practice made by EUROSTAT. The ESSCoP is made up of 16 principles, gathered in three areas: Institutional Environment, Processes and Products. Each principle is associated with some indicators which make possible to measure it. In order to evaluate quality, EUROSTAT provides different tools: the indicators mentioned above, Self-assessment based on the DESAP model, peer review, user satisfaction surveys and other proceedings for evaluation.
In all the processes of the survey (collection, recording, cleaning, imputation, etc.) there are mechanisms of detection and supervision of the work to guarantee the quality of the information.
In the collection phase, inspections are carried out by the person responsible for the survey in each provincial delegation, at the same time as repeated interviews are carried out in a sample of the households initially selected for the survey.
As regards the recording, it is intelligent and allows detecting and correcting range and flow errors and some elementary inconsistencies. These controls are performed again from the central services together with another series of much more specific controls that guarantee the quality of all the information collected at the household level (micro-cleaning). Subsequently, a contribution analysis is performed to review and/or correct those expenses that have the greatest contribution to the expenditure.
Partial non-response, which affects one or more questions for which the collaborating household has not provided the answer or has been detected as erroneous in the cleaning, is imputed only for quantitative variables, in particular the following imputations are made:
- imputation of missing values in the variables relative to expenditure records
- imputation of non-collected individual books of accounts
- imputation of household income
Total non-response occurs when the household does not provide any information, so that the effective sample is smaller than the theoretical sample and this results in greater variances and probably biases. This problem is addressed in the HBS by applying calibration techniques.
Quality evaluation related to coefficients of variation for the results of the national total and the Autonomous Communities, can be consulted at the following links:
Data since 2016:
Data years 2006-2015:
From other part, one can access the document on quality evaluation in the link:
Internal users include National and Regional Accounts, the Consumer Price Index, and Purchasing Power Parities.
With regard to external users, the survey microdata files are provided to the Statistical Institutes of all the Autonomous Communities. In addition, some of them request additional variables to those contained in the files, which are provided by virtue of Law 12/1989, of 9 May, on the Public Statistical Function.
Some Ministries, private companies and individuals also request customised information, relating to crosses of household variables with certain expenditure items, and some Universities that require the monitoring of the households in the sample in their two collaborations or other information related to the collection of the information.
The information that is not attended to due to questions of sample size and/or robustness of the data is in general relative to greater breakdowns both at a geographical level, as for example: estimates of expenditure at the provincial and even municipal level, or a greater breakdown of expenditure by categories.
The INE has carried out general user satisfaction surveys in 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2019 and it plans to continue doing so every three years. The purpose of these surveys is to find out what users think about the quality of the information of the INE statistics and the extent to which their needs of information are covered. In addition, additional surveys are carried out in order to acknowledge better other fields such as dissemination of the information, quality of some publications...
On the INE website, in its section Methods and Projects / Quality and Code of Practice / INE quality management / User surveys are available surveys conducted to date.(Click next link)
In the user satisfaction survey carried out in 2016, which can be consulted on the INE website in its Quality-->Quality management-->Quality evaluation and monitoring systems-->User surveys, it is possible to see the assessment of the sector “Socio-economic household surveys: Household Budgets, Living Conditions” in which this statistical operation is framed, which can guide the opinion of users on it.
When the 2006 methodological change was introduced, two working groups were created, one internal and other external, which met periodically so that the main users of the survey can participate in this revision and contribute their experiences and thus adapt the survey as far as possible to their requirements.
The rate of available mandatory statistical results R1= 100%, as the requirements for the survey are met at the national level. At the international level, although there are some variables that cannot be provided in the submission made every 5 years, at the moment there is no European regulation.
As of 2011, the survey collects all the variables included in the Eurostat Harmonisation Project for Social Statistics (Core Social Variables).
The HBS is a survey that, due to its sample size and design, robustly meets the objectives set for the national total and allows precise estimates to be obtained of both the expenditure level and evolution. Logically, the estimates lose precision as it goes further both geographically and at the level of expenditure disaggregation.
The coefficient of variation of total expenditure for the national total in 2020 is A1=1.0%. By groups, among those with the greatest weight with respect to total expenditure, those with the least sampling error are "Food and non-alcoholic beverages" and "Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels" (around 1.0% and 1.1% respectively). The expenditure group with the highest coefficient of variation is "Education" 4.1%).
For more information on the coefficients of variation for the results of the national total and the Autonomous Communities, consult the links:
Data since 2016:
Data years 2006-2015:
The outdated framework is basically due to empty dwellings, compared to those intended
to other purposes and unlocatable ones.
The non-response rate is A4= 37.6% of surveyable dwellings (considering only selected dwellings in first collaboration), its percentage being higher in the capitals than in the rest of the municipalities.
Of the three components of non-response, absences are those with the greatest weight, followed by refusals, with a similar weight, and being practically negligible compared to both dwellings unable to respond.
The percentage of refusals is much higher in the first than in the second collaboration. With regard to absences, the percentage is higher in the capitals than in the other municipalities, and is much higher in the first collaboration than in the second.
In order to analyse the non-response of the survey, a non-response evaluation questionnaire has been designed in order to obtain information on the basic characteristics of the units that have not collaborated in the survey.
Furthermore, non-response and the possible biases derived from it are corrected a posteriori through the application of calibration techniques.
In order to evaluate the distribution of non-response according to different characteristics of the household and its members, as well as to extend the previous information, one can access the document on quality evaluation in the link:
The results for 2020 were published on 29 June, so that TP2= 180 days.
Results from 2020 have been disseminated according to the scheduled date.
The same methodology is used for the entire national territory, including the sample collected in PaÃs Vasco by the Basque Institute of Statistics, so that the results by Autonomous Community are perfectly comparable.
With regard to concepts and definitions, in general all Eurostat recommendations regarding the survey are followed, including the inclusion of CORE variables as from 2011, so that the results are comparable with the rest of the European Union countries.
The last methodological change took place in 2006, therefore:
Number of comparable elements of the time series since its last break CC2= 15
Notwithstanding the above, in 2016 a new Expenditure Classification ECOICOP were incorporated which, together with other changes in the collection of information, caused that the data published for 2016 were not directly comparable with those of previous years. Data from 2006-2015 were revised and adapted to the new ECOICOP classification and there are homogeneous series of the 2006-2020 period.
The National Accounts also provide estimates of total household expenditure. The expenditure recorded in the NA and in the HBS differs:
- for the group that makes the expenditure: only private households are taken into account in the HBS while collective establishments are included in the NA,
- for the amounts to be considered in each of the functions: for example, in the NA the value of the service is recorded exclusively, however, in the HBS the total amount of the insurance policy is recorded because it is the expenditure actually incurred by the household,
- for the assessment criteria and for the time of registration: thus, the HBS collects the annual expenditure relating to the last twelve months prior to the collaboration of each household, so the annual period depends on the time at which each household collaborates in the sample.
In addition, the expenditure estimates obtained from the HBS are used as an instrument for obtaining private consumption in the National Accounts and for estimating the weighting structure from the expenditure necessary for the calculation of the Consumer Price Index.
On the other hand, the Ministry of Agriculture also carries out a Food Panel in which results are collected on household food expenditure which, in general, is in accordance with the results of the survey.
The estimates have complete internal consistency, as they are based on the same data set and are calculated using the same estimation methods at all levels.
It is one of the surveys that involves the greatest burden on respondents, since the household must collaborate for two weeks during which several interviews take place and in turn must register all the expenses during those 14 days. Notwithstanding the foregoing, once the objectives of the survey had been set, the simplest collaboration scheme was established in order to try to reduce, as far as possible, the burden on the reporting households.
Furthermore, in order to reduce this burden, households can provide purchase receipts without having to transcribe those purchases in the corresponding Notebooks.
The estimated budget appropriation necessary to finance this statistic foreseen in the 2021 Annual Program is 9596,25 thousand euros.
The INE of Spain has a policy which regulates the basic aspects of statistical data revision, seeking to ensure process transparency and product quality. This policy is laid out in the document approved by the INE board of directors on 13 March of 2015, which is available on the INE website, in the section "Methods and projects/Quality and Code of Practice/INE’s Quality management/INE’s Revision policy" (link).
This general policy sets the criteria that the different type of revisions should follow: routine revision- it is the case of statistics whose production process includes regular revisions-; more extensive revision- when methodological or basic reference source changes take place-; and exceptional revision- for instance, when an error appears in a published statistic-.
Final annual results are provided.
Notwithstanding the above, in the publication of the 2007 results, some improvements were incorporated in the information collection process, as well as methodological adjustments in the estimation of expenditure with information that was not available until that moment; this made it necessary to revise the results published for the year 2006.
Final results are published for each year.
In March 2013 the series was revised from 2006 to 2012 (which was initially based on populations from the 2001 Census), in order to have a series comparable to the subsequent years in which the estimates are based on populations derived from the 2011 Census.
Due to the new classification of goods and services (ECOICOP), some of the data published referring to the year 2016 were not strictly comparable with those of previous years, so the results for the period 2006-2015 were revised to obtain 2006-2018 homogeneous series, which incorporate the revision of the data of some expenditure items relative to years prior to 2016 and are fully adapted to the new ECOICOP classification.
The data are obtained from a sample survey.
A two-stage sampling with stratification of the first stage units is used, selecting an independent sample within each Autonomous Community. The first-stage units are the census tracts into which the national territory is divided at the time of the survey. The second-stage units are the main family dwellings, and no sub-sampling is carried out in them, investigating all households residing in them.
The framework used for the selection of the sample of first stage units, at the beginning of the survey, was a framework of areas formed by the census tracts existing with reference to 1 April 2005. In order to keep the sample updated, the selection is periodically reviewed, using the exploitation of the Municipal Register available on the closest date to this study.
A more detailed description of the sample design can be found in chapter 12 of the methodology, available at the link:
The information is collected by means of paper questionnaires, although in the not very long term it is planned to collect it through a portable computer.
The questionnaires that are collected through interviews have been designed with the objective of avoiding, as far as possible, the forgetfulness effect, for which the household is asked about all expenses in a structured manner. Also, in these questionnaires the codes are pre-printed, which avoids coding errors.
On the other hand, in order to prevent non-response different measures are applied, as for example:
- Delay in the collaboration period: the collaboration of a household, in spite of being established in a given two-week period, may be delayed by one week with the objective of achieving the collaboration of selected dwellings and avoiding substitutions.
- Partial collaboration: a household may not provide all the information requested, so that if it provides a minimum amount of information, it is considered a partial collaborator and the temporal factors are adjusted to compensate for the missing information.
Finally, in order to correct non-response and its possible biases, calibration techniques are applied.
The recording of the information is intelligent, so that range and flow errors are controlled. The questionnaires that present some irregularity (for example a questionnaire that does not collect any expenses) are "marked" for later revision. Furthermore, in the recording, the interviewer may note observations that help to understand particular circumstances (such as whether an expense is very high or very low, or whether a household has no expenses at all because it is an elderly person for whom a child who is not a member of the household is financially responsible).
Moreover, initial reports are made of the possible recording and cleaning errors detected as well as final reports of those that are maintained (i.e., that have been verified to be correct), in order to have a measure of the impact of the cleaning.
Inspections are carried out by the inspector of the survey in the delegations, allowing to verify the quality of the collection and to contrast what is declared by the household.
The cleaning of the information is comprehensive, since the users are provided with the microdata files of the survey (micro-cleaning).
On the other hand, an aggregate analysis of the information is carried out, detecting and reviewing the expenditure that has the greatest or the lowest contribution to the expenditure of each code (macro-cleaning).
Imputation of missing information is carried out in the following cases:
- Amount (or physical quantity, or both variables) of a missing or invalid record.
- Imputation of individual notebooks not collected: to avoid non-response, a household may be a collaborator although some of its members aged 14 or over do not collaborate in the survey, so that the information of their Individual Notebook must be imputed so as not to underestimate the household expenditure.
- Imputed rent: imputed rent is obtained from the subjective estimation declared by the household and from an objective estimation using the stratification method.
Calibration techniques are applied to correct non-response and its possible biases.