How will you toast Yorkshire Day?

As a Yorkshire-based company, we wanted to help celebrate Yorkshire Day, which takes place on 1st August. Naturally, we wanted to put a geographic spin on the celebration, so we took a look at drinking preferences within God’s own county.

To do this, we set our GIS, Prospex, to administrative geography, so we could limit the area to the strict boundaries of the formal county of Yorkshire – a lot more difficult to do if you try to define the area by postcodes. For those of you who are still upset about the 1974 consolidation, we’ve also marked on the original Yorkshire Ridings, so you can reminisce about the old days. In fact, one of the drivers for the growth of Yorkshire Day as a phenomenon was as a protest against bringing all of the Ridings into a single county.

We then took household and population figures from the last census and compared them to Living Costs and Foods Survey spend levels on tea and beer, before dividing them by the average cost of a pint or brew. The result gives us a broad outline of who prefers which beverage in an area. As the largest county in the UK, a county-wide map with any level of detail is difficult to take in at a glance, so we’ve pulled out a few highlights.

  • Those in the north of the county are more likely to indulge in a cuppa. However, the overall prize goes to one output area in Hull with an area average of 15 cups per week!
  • West Yorkshire's beer consumption is the highest average for the region, but areas of York, Sheffield and north Leeds are the areas with the highest per-head spend on beer. Even at its highest though, the weekly average is only a modest 5 pints per person.
  • This year’s formal celebrations take place in Whitby and, according to our analysis, residents there enjoy a balanced drinking diet, with average levels of tea and beer consumption against both the regional and national average.

Nothing like a lovely cup of tea

To see these habits in a national context, we switched to postcode geography – please forgive the approximate borders but it is easier for national comparison - and indexed Yorkshire’s drinking habits against the national average. We're proud to say that the resulting map showed what we all suspected; with a few cosmopolitan urban areas aside, Yorkshire is well above the national average for drinking tea! So this Yorkshire Day, most of us will be breaking out the fine china and tea pot, rather than heading down the local.

This is just a bit of fun, but hopefully it gives an idea of how we can use readily available data to drill-down into a single area of people’s lifestyle preferences to gain real insight into an area. Whatever you are drinking, on whatever side of the county boundary, we wish you a happy Yorkshire day!

Yorkshire tea index map

Cups of tea per person, per week

Above: Tea drinking hot spots of Yorkshire.

Below: Beer drinking hot spots - or should that be cool spots - in the county.

Pints of beer per person, per week.


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