World Facts

Countries With The Highest Expenses On Food, Relative To Household Expenses

The percentage of consumer expenses used to buy food is often highest where food security is lowest.

Eurostat is a Luxembourg-based Directorate-General of the European Commission that provides statistical figures and information for European Union member countries and European Free Trade Association countries as well. Eurostat also publishes information about how each countries' respective spending on food is reflective of each countries' household expenses. It seems that the richer countries spend proportionately less on food, regardless of other household expenses. This does not include expenses on eating out at restaurants. This could be attributed to the higher cost of healthcare and other living expenses in these countries. The United Nations and United States' Department of Agriculture also publish similar statistics for other countries that have allowed us to compare these variables across countries from around the globe. The figures that follow are for selected countries spending the largest percentages of their consumer expenses on food, none of which could be said to be affluent, industrialized nations. Many of the countries' citizenries making the list have little money to spend on the household level, and therefore a high percent of their money must be spent on basic needs, especially food.

10. Morocco 40%

Morocco is a country in North Africa. In addition to Arabic and North African ones, Morocco has both French and Spanish influences as well. Its economy depends on tourism, telecommunications, agriculture, and textile production. Moroccan citizens spend about 40% of their household expenses on food and restaurants. The country's food mainstays are mainly breads and couscous, accompanied by chicken, pigeon, sweets, pies, stews, soups, fish, vegetables, beef, and lamb.

9. Jordan 41%

Jordan is a country in the Middle East. One of the safest countries in that region, it is a popular tourist destination. Its economy depends on its banking sector, mineral resources, tourism, and overseas remittances. Jordanian citizens spend about 41% of their household expenses on food and restaurants. The country's food mainstays are mainly breads and rice, accompanied by meats, poultry, vegetables, hummus, falafel, and fruits.

8. Georgia 42%

Georgia is a country in the Caucasus region. It once was a part of the Soviet Union, but seceded after the 1991 dissolution of that union. Its economy depends on its agricultural products, mining, metals, machinery, and migrant workers. Georgian citizens spend about 42% of their household expenses on food and restaurants. The country's food staples are mainly a variety of wheat-based breads, accompanied meat dishes, vegetables, cheeses, soups, stews, poultry, and sweets.

7. Ukraine 42%

The Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. Its economy is dependent on its grain exports and heavy industrial sector. It was once a part of the Soviet Union, but seceded after the 1991 dissolution of the union. Ukrainian citizens spend about 42% of their household expenses on food and restaurant. The country's food mainstays are mainly wheat-based breads, dumplings, and noodles, rice, and potatoes, accompanied by stews and soups, salads, sweet and savory pies, chicken, and cakes.

6. Indonesia 44%

Indonesia is an island country in Asia with about 14,000 islands. Its economy depends on its industrial, services, and agricultural sectors. It is a Muslim dominated country. Indonesian citizens spend about 44% of their household expenses on food and restaurants. The country's food menu mainstays are rice and rice-based noodles, accompanied by chicken, duck, fish, vegetables, meat, and soup.

5. Algeria 44%

Algeria is a country in the Mediterranean coast of Africa. Its natural gas exports acts as its main economic foundation besides its oil reserves. Algerian citizens spend about 44% of their household expenses on food, and that includes restaurant expenses. The country's food menu mainstays are wheat couscous, accompanied by lamb stews, chicken, cakes, sausages, fruits, and vegetables.

4. Belarus 44%

Belarus is a country in Eastern Europe. It has a manufacturing- and service industry-based economy. Once a part of the Soviet Union, it seceded before the 1991 dissolution of the union. Belarusian citizens spend about 44% of their household expenses on food, and that includes expenses on eating away from home. Most of the country's food dishes consist of potato, and breads, dumplings, hot cereals, and noodles based on rye, oats, buckwheat, barley, and wheat alike, accompanied by pork, sausages, vegetables, and soups.

3. Pakistan 45%

Pakistan is a country in Asia with an agricultural economy. It is also a semi-industrialized Muslim nation. Pakistani citizens spend about 45% of their household expenses on food, including restaurant expenses. The country's food menu is mainly dominated by flatbreads and seasoned rice, augmented with fish, chicken, lamb, and beef, and greens.

2. Kenya 45%

Kenya is a country in Africa and its capital city is Nairobi. It is an agricultural country with tea, coffee, and flowers as its main exports. Kenyan citizens spend about 45% on food expenses and that includes restaurant expenses. Most of the country's food menu consists of thick porridges based on corn (maize) and other grains, accompanied by lesser amounts of meat, dairy, and vegetables. Rice and some root crops are also featured in Kenyans'' daily sustenance, and they prefer to drink tea, usually flavored with sugar and milk.

1. Azerbaijan 49%

Azerbaijan is a country in the Caucasus region, known for its cultural wealth of theaters, operas, and universities. Once a part of the Soviet Union, it seceded just before the union collapsed in 1991. Azerbaijani citizens spend about 49% on food at home and eating out relative to their total household expenses. Most of the country's food menus are heavy on grains (especially tandoor bread), accompanied by fish and greens, and lesser amounts of other meats, dairy, fruits, and desserts.

More in World Facts