Connect with us


Nigerians Spend 56.4% of Household income on Food – Report



usda-food-study1Latest figures by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has revealed that Nigerians spends 56.4% of their household income on food – the highest in the world.

A look at the report also revealed that from a general point of view, the more developed a country is, the smaller the percentage of household income it spends on food.

Countries that spend the least

There are only eight countries in the world that spend less than 10% of their household income on food. Four of these are in Europe: the UK is third at 8.2%, followed by Switzerland at 8.7%; Ireland spends 9.6% and Austria 9.9%.

The remaining four countries are spread across the globe. The US spends the least at 6.4%, Singapore spends the second lowest amount at 6.7%. Canada spends 9.1% on food, while Australia spends 9.8%.


Countries that spend the most

Nigeria spends over half of household income on food, and there are nine other countries that spend over 40% on food.

Four of them are in Africa: Nigeria 56.4%; Kenya 46.7%; Cameroon 45.6%; and Algeria 42.5%. Four are in Asia: Kazakhstan 43.0%; Philippines 41.9%; Pakistan 40.9%; and Azerbaijan 40.1%. Guatemala is the only South American country to appear in the list and spends 40.6% of its household income on food.


“The figures do not mean that food is more expensive in Nigeria than in the US. In fact, quite the reverse. The average American spends $2,392 per year on food, the average Nigerian half that: $1,132. The average Kenyan spends just $543 a year on food.

However, there can be wide disparities within a country.

Over the past 25 years, the poorest 20% of households in the US spent between 28.8% and 42.6% on food, compared with 6.5% to 9.2% spent by the wealthiest 20% of households,” the report added.


  1. EC

    December 8, 2016 at 11:51 am

    How accurate is it that America spends the least on food. Then how are they consuming the most in the world? With the fattest population?

    • Amaka

      December 8, 2016 at 3:45 pm

      Can they also recalculate based on money being spent on organic food . That should be on a different level. Most Americans spend more now because they don’t want to consume chemicals anymore.

    • Manny

      December 8, 2016 at 7:05 pm

      The amount spent as a percentage of income is what they are talking about not kilocaloric consumption.

  2. Toluwalope

    December 8, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    Just wondering if we’re poor because of how much we spend on food or we spend so much on food because we are poor.

    • Seriously

      December 8, 2016 at 3:50 pm

      Good question. Bottom line, Nigerians love food and enjoy eating. During my last visit, food was the main thing used to entertain in poor and rich households. It’s not much sight seeing or going out to do. You stay home eat and eat until you are tired when you go visit someone else you are bombarded with more food. What helps is most of the foods are fresh, has great nutrients compared to the hormones, chemical preservatives in U.S foods. Weight problem among Nigerians is the big portion, more than two rounds and the different times they consume these foods. All that heavy starch, meat is seated and slept on.
      Food and music are two common things that goes across the board in Nigeria.

    • jiro

      December 8, 2016 at 6:47 pm

      Very good question!

  3. Oppy

    December 8, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    This is just as a result of the fact that Nigeria is suffering from poverty. The household income is very low and people need to eat, hence, we tend to spend a higher percentage of our income on food.
    The state of our economy is so worrisome.

    • Weezy

      December 8, 2016 at 10:15 pm

      Precisely. It has nothing to do with how much we like to eat (really?). Every person on earth likes to eat. Nigerians spend so much of their income on food because wages are so low.

      Americans spend a lower percentage because wages in America are exponentially higher.

  4. Engoz

    December 8, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    Probably due to the average household size. I will speculate it’s quite high in Nigeria compared to the others. Many Nigerian families have greater than 2-3 kids, then add extended family members paying a visit that can last up to 10 years. We can also factor in our owambe parties we throw every week.

  5. Fleur

    December 8, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Bella, welcome to the world of creating real enlightenment for human development through news. Thank you so very much for this kind of post. Please post some more. What this means is that when the average Nigerian receives their paycheck, a little over half goes to food only. Food is a necessity or “essential commodity.” Transportation is another one ….”transportation to economic opportunity.” Housing is another essential commodity. If food is accounting for more than half, imagine what is left when you transport your self to work and kids to school and then you have to pay rent. Do we see why kidnapping and vile crimes are now the norm? Dan Buhari – please take action Bro. we need you now. Inbox me, Mr President if you are short of ideas. Oxygen can be a scarce commodity up there in Aso Rock and that will prevent the brain from working well. You need bursts of new ideas. We should not wait for USDA to track and report this s**t for us. We should be doing comparisons like median income to cost of living. we should use this information to ascertain what the living wage should be for low income Nigerians. We should use these types of data to argue for programs to support the socially and economically disadvantaged.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Tangerine Africa

Star Features