10 Countries That Spend the Most on Food, Alcohol and Tobacco

Spoiler alert: the United States isn't on the list

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Americans have the largest disposable incomes in the world, but that doesn’t mean they’re dropping the most cash on food, alcohol and tobacco. Analyzing data from the USDA and EuroMonitor International, the folks over at the Huffington Post noted that as a whole, Americans spend a smaller portion of their incomes on food than their peers in other developed nations. In a more comprehensive ranking, which factors in all money spent on food eaten at home, dining out, alcohol and tobacco, the U.S. places just nineteenth.

Of course, this doesn’t mean Americans just don’t like eating, drinking and smoking as much as everyone else. Obviously Americans hold these activities very dear. However, higher taxes and shipping costs, among other factors, mean that the same items just happen to cost more in other countries. Or, maybe Americans just like to eat, drink and smoke cheap things.

Either way, here are the top 10 nations that spent the most on these items last year:

  1. Switzerland — $8,024 per person
  2. Norway — $7,624 per person
  3. Australia — $7277 per person
  4. Japan — $6,556 per person
  5. Sweden — $5,666 per person
  6. New Zealand — $5,656 per person
  7. Finland — $5,351 per person
  8. Austria — $5,239 per person
  9. Spain — $5,160 per person
  10. Hong Kong — $5,128 per person

MORE: Which Cities Spend the Most on Snack Foods?

11 comments
scottbuttlar
scottbuttlar

I was guessing that UK is the country who spend more on this particular items. But it's quite shocking to see that Switzerland is happiest in the world. But, It's fact that in America smoking regular cigarettes or E-cigarettes ratio is high.

hijk
hijk

Switzerland is  supposed to be the happiest country in the world. Could its bounteous spending on food, alcohol and tobacco have anything to do with this?

glennra3
glennra3

Spending more does not mean buying more.

james.deavoll
james.deavoll

Does the ranking take into account the enormous subsidies given to the food industry to keep prices artificially low?

cuni34
cuni34

Jejejej ironically  If you notice this list of the countries That Spend the Most on Food, Alcohol and Tobacco are quite similar to the happy country list made by The second annual World Happiness Report

octi1026
octi1026

This list would make sense if local prices where somehow factored in. Just take a look at the Big Mac index and you'll know why Norway for example is on the second place...

Rhurazz12
Rhurazz12

I'm really amazed that Germany didn't make the list or even Russia for the matter, but Switzerland?? Interesting...

Gamincurieux
Gamincurieux

Australia only scores high because it's EXPENSIVE to eat & drink out, and certainly expensive to smoke.

rihannk
rihannk

The US eat and drink cheap.


sandertimmer
sandertimmer

If you don't normalise for average living costs etc this kind of data says nothing. Obvious rich countries score better and a broken country like the US scores worse. What is new? 

lehtovitra
lehtovitra

Among the top 7: three Scandinavian wellfare states ^^ Wu Huu!