Lifestyle: How it all figures out in Britain

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The Independent Online
The British are a nation of cat-loving, lottery-playing egg-devouring consumers, according to this year's official handbook of Britain. The 500-page book, published every year, details the minutiae of British life and is used in schools and embassies around the world.

Information ranges from the amount of eggs we consume - 9.48 billion in 1996 - to the number of journeys made on the London Underground last year - 772 million. It also reveals that Britons spent pounds 28,015m on alcohol - more than they did on clothing - in 1996.

Dogs are no longer man's best friend now there are 7.2 million pet cats, compared to 6.6 million dogs in Britain. And our love for consumer durables continues, with some 69 per cent of Britons owning a car, a similar number owning their own home - while nine out of ten have a washing machine, 82 per cent have at least one video recorder and 75 per cent have a microwave. By 2001 the National Lottery is expected to have generated at least pounds 10,000m - pounds 1,000m more than originally forecast - for good causes

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