Big Mac Index

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For some years a cost of living index has been used in many countries, to compare an identical single food product, the Big Mac.


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This index is shown at www.oanda.com a website that I often check for historical currency values.

I just came across the figures that I found at that site in June 2000, and have compared them to the figures today, 8th October 2011, some 11 years later.

The percentage increases in price, for the countries that had a value in both those years, are, in descending order:

  • 700.0% Argentina
  • 222.0% Brazil
  • 154.2% Hungary
  • 126.2% South Africa
  • 123.9% Russia
  • 101.7% Sweden
  • 72.1% Australia
  • 67.5% United States
  • 60.8% Mexico
  • 59.3% Malaysia
  • 58.2% Canada
  • 56.9% Poland
  • 55.4% Indonesia
  • 50.0% New Zealand
  • 48.5% China
  • 48.0% Hong Kong
  • 37.8% Singapore
  • 36.5% Euro area
  • 34.6% Thailand
  • 25.8% Britain
  • 23.3% South Korea
  • 15.2% Denmark
  • 14.4% Israel
  • 10.2% Switzerland
  • 8.8% Japan
  • 7.1% Taiwan

This does need to also take into account the relationship to increased wages in those countries, between the two years.

I have some information on this already and the comparisons are:


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  • Australia: Wages up 67% : Big Mac up 72.1%

How many Big Macs for the average wage ?

Using each countries average wage, and the cost per Big Mac, we can work out how many Big Macs can be bought in each country; to see the real cost per country.

Number of Big Mac’s that could be bought each week with the Median Adult Full Time Wage for each country:

  • 281 Australia: Wage= $1,282 pw – Big Mac = $4.56
  • 209 UK: Wage= £499 pw – Big Mac = £2.39
  • 202 USA: Wage = $824 pw – Big Mac = $4.07

 

Sources


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