How much of Your Income is Spent of Food?

25 Jun 2008

Here is an interesting table from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website, which compares food expenditures across different countries of the world.  Notice the wide disparity between the developed world and many developing countries.  I found it particularly noteworthy that Croatians spend fully 1/3 of their income on food.  I can say that I have first-hand evidence that this is true.  The reasons for this are complex (Croatia is not a poor country, at least compared to those countries with which it shares food expenditure characteristics) but have to do with small population size and small farm size, along with an overvalued (for political reasons) currency vis-a-vis countries from which Croatia imports a lot of foodstuffs.

Look at Pakistan!!  Wow!

Table 97
Percent of household final consumption expenditures spent on food, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco that were consumed at home, by selected countries, 20061
Country/Territory Share of household final consumption expenditures
Food2 Alcoholic beverages and tobacco Total household final consumption expenditures3 Expenditure per capita on food2
Percent U.S. dollars per person
United States
ERS estimate 5.8 NA NA 1,848
Euromonitor estimate 7.2 2.0 30,624 2,204
Singapore 8.1 2.3 12,000 975
Ireland 8.2 5.0 22,022 1,812
United Kingdom 8.7 3.6 24,205 2,097
Canada 9.3 3.8 21,526 1,994
United Arab Emirates 10.1 0.6 8,099 816
Netherlands 10.4 3.0 18,593 1,937
Switzerland 10.4 3.6 29,124 3,040
Denmark 10.9 3.6 24,175 2,629
Austria 11.1 2.6 20,666 2,289
Germany 11.2 3.5 19,811 2,226
Australia 11.2 4.1 19,991 2,247
Sweden 11.9 3.5 19,367 2,302
Kuwait 12.0 1.3 11,083 1,324
Finland 12.4 4.8 19,268 2,392
New Zealand 12.5 4.4 15,107 1,882
Norway 12.8 4.3 28,026 3,591
Hong Kong, China 13.0 0.8 15,199 1,979
Belgium 13.2 3.7 19,313 2,546
France 13.9 3.1 19,931 2,776
Japan 14.3 3.1 19,320 2,768
Spain 14.6 3.3 15,724 2,304
Italy 14.9 2.8 18,396 2,745
Malaysia 15.0 1.2 2,412 361
South Korea 15.1 2.6 9,668 1,464
Greece 15.6 5.0 14,469 2,259
Slovenia 15.9 4.4 9,836 1,568
Czech Republic 17.0 8.0 6,723 1,146
Hungary 17.8 8.2 7,239 1,291
Portugal 18.0 4.0 11,533 2,072
Israel 18.1 1.7 10,624 1,926
Estonia 18.4 8.6 6,206 1,141
Latvia 19.0 6.3 5,606 1,063
Slovakia 19.2 4.9 5,777 1,112
Argentina 20.1 3.3 3,325 667
Saudi Arabia 21.4 1.1 3,519 752
South Africa 21.4 4.6 3,146 674
Poland 22.1 7.4 4,968 1,099
Chile 23.7 0.8 4,332 1,025
Taiwan 23.9 2.1 9,961 2,377
Mexico 24.5 2.5 5,293 1,296
Brazil 24.7 1.9 2,915 721
Lithuania 24.9 6.4 5,752 1,432
Colombia 25.5 4.4 1,741 444
Thailand 25.8 5.6 1,809 467
Indonesia 26.7 2.0 979 262
Philippines 27.4 2.1 943 258
China 27.8 2.2 746 207
Ecuador 28.5 5.8 1,144 326
Turkey 28.7 5.1 3,626 1,040
Bolivia 29.1 2.2 715 208
Venezuela 29.4 3.1 2,413 709
Bulgaria 29.5 4.2 2,796 824
Peru 29.6 2.0 2,002 593
Russia 31.4 2.5 3,278 1,029
Turkmenistan 32.7 2.7 798 261
India 33.4 2.3 421 141
Croatia 33.9 4.1 5,281 1,791
Romania 34.6 5.0 4,285 1,481
Kazakhstan 36.6 3.5 2,267 829
Tunisia 36.7 1.0 1,875 688
Vietnam 39.7 2.9 426 169
Nigeria 40.7 2.5 412 168
Pakistan 41.5 2.5 44 18
Egypt 41.5 2.5 1,032 428
Ukraine 43.1 6.4 1,408 606
Jordan 43.6 5.1 1,648 718
Algeria 43.7 2.0 1,204 526
Morocco 44.8 1.5 1,156 517
Belarus 47.3 6.3 1,835 868
Azerbaijan 51.6 2.4 912 471
NA=Not available.
1The data are computed by Birgit Meade (202-694-5159, bmeade@ers.usda.gov), ERS/USDA, EUROMONITOR data, March 2006.
2Includes nonalcoholic beverages.
3Household expenditures for goods and services.
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