Half of expenses of an Azerbaijani family go to food
Almost half of all monthly expenses of an average family in Azerbaijan are spent on food, state statistics show.
This is several times more compared to expenditures on food in European countries.
What is the reason for such a big difference? JAMnews tried to figure out the situation.
Half of costs go to food
46.9 percent of all expenses for the average family in the country are spent on food. Another 6.3 percent is accounted for by beverages and tobacco products. The purchase of clothing and footwear accounts for 16.5 percent of all expenses.
Interestingly, there are no utility bills in the list of expenses. At the same time, “other” accounts for 16.7 percent of all monthly family expenses.
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Now the minimum monthly wage in Azerbaijan is 250 manats [about 124 euros], and the average monthly wage in the country as of December 2020 was 703.5 manats [about 348 euros].
What about Germany?
According to statistics for 2019, the monthly income after deducting all taxes for an average German family is 5,861 euros. And those who do not have income from renting an apartment or other property, and live on one salary, receive an average of 3,580 euros per month.
Utilities in this country account for the largest part (34.6 percent) of all monthly family expenses. So, an ordinary family in Germany pays for water, gas and electricity on average 890 euros per month.
And the cost of food, drinks and tobacco products account for 13.8 percent of all expenses of residents of Germany, in other words, 356 euros are spent on this area.
Education expenses in Germany represent the smallest part of all family expenses. In this country, with rare exceptions, secondary and higher education is completely free, and the average German family spends 21 euros per month on education.
“Not only to live, but to live a good life”
The amount spent on food in the family’s budget is directly an indicator of the standard of living, says economic expert Ali Akhmedov.
“With the rise in living standards and people’s earnings, food costs in the sum of all expenses are decreasing. All over the world, people are primarily trying to satisfy their physiological needs. Only after that is the remaining money spent on other areas.
If we pay attention, the content of the minimum consumer basket in Azerbaijan and European countries is also different. In developed countries, this basket includes recreation, tourism, theater, cinema, etc. In other words, we are talking not only about life, but also about the quality of life,” Akhmedov said in an interview with JAMnews.
The expert said that one should also take into account the large difference in the income of Azerbaijani citizens living in the capital and regions. So, according to the latest data, the average monthly salary in Baku is 960 manats [about 473 euros], while in the regions the same figure is only 460 manats [about 227 euros].
“As far as I remember, never before in Azerbaijan has the percentage of spending on food dropped below 45 percent. Even in the years of high oil, when the population spent money on the purchase of apartments and cars, this figure was approximately at the same level,” the expert emphasized.
“Consumer habits are changing”
“In recent years, one can observe a change in consumer habits in Azerbaijan. If earlier the consumer basket of the average Azerbaijani consumer consisted of 80 percent of food products, then over the years this figure has decreased to 60 percent and even to 50 percent, said Ulviya Ismayilova, an expert and head of the CapitalNews economic portal, in an interview with JAMnews.
In her opinion, this tendency is explained by a more literate attitude of the Azerbaijani consumer to the distribution of costs.
“The start of large food supermarkets in Azerbaijan was the beginning of the formation of financial and food literacy. The Azerbaijani consumer has learned to distribute food expenses,” she added.