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Thought for food

12 Mar

How much people in different countries spend on food

THE discovery by European food shoppers that some of them have been eating horse in place of beef is, some argue, a result of a trend in the rich world. Spending on food as a share of total income has declined markedly, but at the expense, some say, of quality. This is a nice kind of problem to have: people in poor countries are forced to devote a far higher share of income to buying food. As the chart shows, that correlation between poverty and spending on food is not watertight: Indians, for example, spend less of their household budget on food than Russians do. In general, though, as countries develop people spend proportionally less on food. South Koreans spent one-third of their income on food in 1975; now the figure is just 12%. That leaves more money for the more enjoyable things in life. Hungarians lead the way in these matters: they devote around 10% of their household spending to alcohol and tobacco.

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