Everyone complains about McDonalds food, but does anyone appreciate its value as an economic indicator?
Believe it or not, the price of a Big Mac tops the list of economic indicators at an international statistics website, which makes perfect sense to us because at some point, we all have to rely on a Big MacAttack to raise our blood sugar levels when overseas and surrounded by local cuisine aka unidentifiable food.
NationMaster.com reports that in Canada a Big Mac costs $3.01 while in Switzerland it costs $4.93. I don’t want to cast aspersions on NationMaster.com, but hamburgers here cost more than that. Dave estimates we pay $6 (Cdn) for a Big Mac, or $12.50 if we decide to live it up and order the Big Mac Meal. To be fair, NationMaster sources this particular piece of data back to 2006.
Nonetheless, Canadians will be thrilled to know that according to IMB International, while the Swiss are renowned for their fidelity to modelling to the world how to stay on-time and fiscally sound, Canada still ranks higher for business efficiency at 5th place. Switzerland was 8th. This data is seven years old, but it makes my homeland look good so I’m not going to search for more recent figures.
Our GDP per capita is six per cent higher, too. That’s another figure I’m not going to update. And our gross national income is a whopping 146% higher – take that Switzerland! Canada rules.
On a more personal financial note: Dave’s Swiss salary is on par with his Canadian salary, but our cost-of-living is significantly higher here. I should emphasize significantly (the triple-threat of emphasis – bolded, italicized and underlined!), all the more so because we are living a very green, pared-back lifestyle here compared to our lives in Canada.
In Canada, we have a 2400-square-foot four-bedroom house; here we have a 400-square-foot single room bachelor suite. There, we have two cars in our garage. Here, we walk everywhere we go and rely on trains for out-of-town trips. There, we eat restaurant food probably once a week, more when we were both working. Here, we dine out about once every three months (this excludes sandwich and hamburger joints where we fill up while touring). By all counts, we should be spending less money here, but we actually spend more. A lot more.
And now for less painful statistics …
This week on Hobonotes stats page:
- Top three countries: Canada, U.S. and Switzerland. Oddly for some reason, Canada pounds out everyone else with over 200 hits while the U.S. logged only 60. I know Americans will not take this sitting down.
- Bottom three countries: Greece, Denmark and Austria
- Readers from Japan: Two.
- Oddest search term: “Loads of people riding elephants in India.” As this blog covers neither crowd issues, pachyderms or India, I am at a loss to explain how Google brought this reader to this site.
- Blogoddity: This week is the first when the topic of Paris food did not make it to the top ten of most read posts. I know the French will not take this sitting down.
Your stats are incorrect – Canadian sandwich only price is about $4.65 (Ontario) – there are plenty of reports about Big Mac prices in Switzerland where they have prices in the $14 dollar area – before the currency devaluation last summer their prices were about $18!
Wow. $18. That’s stunning. Thanks for the correction. Jo