The Countries That Spend the Most on Food

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It may not seem like it, but food costs as a percentage of the average U.S. household budget has gone down, from about 30% in 1950 to about 10% today, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In the U.S., the annual per capita spending on food is $2,678, according to NationMaster, a statistics database. Of that, Americans spend nearly 6% on nonalcoholic beverages (not including milk) such as coffee, tea, bottled water, fruit drinks, etc., according to Value Penguin, which also says that fresh fruits and other canned and prepared foods make up the next two largest categories in the typical American household budget.

From December 2019 to December 2020, food prices in the U.S. increased 3.9%, BLS data shows. Meats, poultry, fish and eggs were the foods that rose the most, increasing about 4.6%. The packing plant disruptions that closed meat processing facilities during the pandemic are mainly to blame, Barron’s reports.

Of the countries that spend the most on food, Norway leads the ranking at $3,673 per capita in 2019, followed by Switzerland, Israel and New Zealand. The country with the lowest per capita expenditure, of 85 countries, is India, which came in at just over $16 in 2018, followed by Venezuela ($258 in 2016) Vietnam ($342) and Uzbekistan ($395.)

Based on the data from NationMaster, these are the countries that spent the most on food in 2019.