A History of the Ministry of Information, 1939-46


The average number of half-pints per adult as a residual amount after deduction of Priority Milk.

The figures given below are a theoretical residue for adults and are obtained for the various categories by deducting from the total actual milk purchased (a) all National Milk and (b) a full entitlement for all 5-18s of pints a week.

The figures arc theoretical in the sense that on the basis of the present enquiry it was not possible to differentiate Priority Milk bought for 5-18 s and thatpart of family milk supply consumed by 5-18 s .

A. Regional Consumption by Adults.

Scotland S. Wales N. Midland N.W. N. & N.E. Midland N.E. & London South S.W. East
½ pts. per adult 3.64 3.60 5.06 5.54 4.08 4.37 4.24 5.03 5.19 5.84
Adults per family 2.97 2.58 2.65 2.6 2.6 2.9 2.7 2.74 2.65 2.68
Mouths per family 3.8 3.65 3.9 3.47 3.5 3.67 3.37 3.8 3.6 3.77

It will be seen that regional differences far transcend variations in the composition of the family regionally.




5.15 3.48 5.57 2.12
Adults only Adults 5-18s Adults 0-5s Adults 0-5s 5-18s

Social Groups.

5.98 6.12 4.33 4.40
33 22.

B. Consumption by Adults in different Social Groups.

A. B. C. D.
½-pints per adult. 5.98 6.12 4.33 4.40
Adults per family 3.34 2.72 2.75 2.5
Mouths per family 3.9 3.26 3.54 3.74

It may be surmised that the larger average size of the A families in the sample reduces the A group consumption per adult below the B group figure.

C. Consumption by Adults in different types of families.

Adults only Adults & 5-18 Adults & 0-5 Adults, 5-18 & 0-5
½ pints per adults 5.15 3.48 5.57 2.12
Adults per family 2.8 2.6 2.4 2.45
Mouths per family 2.87 4.21 3.66 5.48

It will be seen that the evidence of this section lends weight to a point made in Section 1. In families with children consumption is lower per head and per adult than in other families. This difference is marked where there are younger children as well. The social group analysis above shows that consumption by adults is lowest in the lower income groups - this is because the calculations on which this section rests assume that priority groups consume the milk allocated to them. On this calculation it will be seen that adults in such families are getting much less than the basic ration at that time (2 pints).

Alternatively it may be argued that in such families the milk is shared and adults’ consumption is raised to the detriment of the 5-18s priority supply. Since this tendency is marked in lower income groups it may be said that from these figures it appears that the total purchase by such families is limited by economic circumstances, and any priority allocation to some members of such families necessarily involves a reduction in the amount consumed by other members of these families unless some alteration is made in the price paid for milk.

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