The Burger Inequality Index

A woman looks at a creation by Tom Friedman named 'Big Big Mac' during the unveiling of the Arts & Food exhibition at the Triennale, as part of Expo 2015, in downtown Milan April 8, 2015. Stefano Rellandini / Reuters

The world's most expensive Big Mac is in Switzerland, where it costs $6.82. That's ten times more than the world's cheapest one in Venezuela, at 67 cents. But when you take into account how much that amount of money can buy locally, the Swiss can still eat more burgers than the Venezuelans. Switzerland recently contemplated passing a minimum wage of $25 per hour last year (roughly 90 percent of its population makes more than that). It would take a Venezuelan two months of laboring at minimum wage to make that amount. Burgernomics, based on The Economist's tongue-in-cheek Big Mac Index, is, as it says, a "more digestible" take on purchasing power parity. In this infographic, we expand on the idea, examining how a week's worth of minimum wages stack up globally, based on how many Big Macs it can buy today, during a boom year like 1999, and during the 2008 recession. In the United States, the minimum wage can buy 59 burgers a week. That might seem like a lot, but that's nine less than in 2008 and down 19 from 1999. So even though wages are rising, they aren't increasing as fast as the price of basic goods. The good news is that for those who live in China, even though the Big Mac might still be considered a luxury there, the minimum wage today can buy five more burgers than in 2008 and ten more than in 1999.

Studio Metric

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.