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New WorldRemit data shows families around the world spend 156% of monthly income on Christmas

New WorldRemit data shows families around the world spend 156% of monthly income on Christmas

Families around the world can expect to spend up to 156% of their monthly income on Christmas this year, according to the latest results from the WorldRemit Cost of Christmas study

With unique traditions, gift giving ideas, and seasonal meals in every region, the global landscape sees a wide diversity of costs associated with the holiday season. In its second year, the findings are part of WorldRemit’s 2022 Cost of Christmas Study, which observes how the changing macroeconomic environment affects the cost of standard Christmas elements, including the main holiday meal, average gift spending and decor, across 23 countries globally. In addition to the 14 countries from the initial study, the brand added 9 new countries this year to further observe the ways different cultures celebrate, and budget for, the global holiday. The study compares the average cost of food, gifts, and decor to average household incomes to determine the season’s financial impact on families around the world.

Year-over-year findings

Of the 14 countries examined for the second season, five are considered developed economies: United Kingdom, United States, Canada, France and Australia. The 2022 findings reveal the average seasonal increase across these five countries was 33%, with the UK seeing the greatest change, as prices rose more than 60% year over year for the Brits. This anticipated high cost is brought on by the drastic and sudden increase in inflation, which has forecasters predicting more extreme costs this season. 

Of the remaining nine countries indexed (Cameroon, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Philippines, and Mexico), the average cost of Christmas increased by 9%, and the cost changes varied widely. While India (-2%), Kenya (-17%), and the Philippines (-38%) saw a reduction in costs this year, Cameroon (+56%) and Uganda (+34%) will see substantial increases. 

Across the 14 countries observed in both 2021 and 2022 studies, the increase in the Cost of Christmas was, in part, attributed to a rise in the amount of money allocated towards food over the holidays. This consistent increase in the price of food, which saw the highest increase (50%) year over year, compared to 13% and 21% increases across the other categories, means families globally will likely need to shift their budget planning to accommodate for the increased costs of holiday meals. These findings reflect similar conclusions drawn in WorldRemit’s recent Cost of School and Cost of Living studies.

  • In the United States, the cost of gift and decor accounted for the majority of the total year-over-year increase, rising by +37% and +131% respectively
  • The United Kingdom saw the greatest increase in the cost of Christmas at 65% higher than 2021
  • Cameroon, Lebanon, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, and the Philippines are likely to spend more than 100% of their monthly household income on Christmas


2022 study: findings of the nine additional countries observed 

WorldRemit added nine new countries to the annual index, including Germany, the Netherlands, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Fiji, Spain, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Guatemala. Results show that Zimbabwe will be most impacted by this year’s costs compared to the nation’s average monthly household income, as most families can expect to pay more than 2.6 times their income on the holiday. Zimbabwe is a nation that is heavily impacted by remittances - in 2020, the inflow of remittances accounted for more than 10% of the nation’s GDP. Other countries, including Fiji and Morocco spend close to 100% of their monthly income on Christmas. Zimbabwe spends $208.70 on Christmas, which accounts for 266% of the average monthly household income. South Africa lands in the bottom quartile of countries analysed, spending $172.28 on Christmas.



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