All Big Macs may be created equal, but that doesn't mean their prices are as equal.
Every year since 1986, The Economist has created a fun guide that uses the price of a Big Mac in different countries to measure the power of their currency. It's been widely used since then in textbooks and by business professionals to analyze currency misalignment, or how far off one country's currency is from another.
The interactive map is also a fun way to see which countries have the most expensive Big Macs and what it would cost in terms of US dollars (or whichever other currency you want to compare to). While not every country is featured on this map, it still is a good global measure and fun tool to compare the cost of food in different countries.
As a base of reference, the average price of a Big Mac in the United States is $5.06 this month. The cheapest Big Mac in the world this month can be found in Egypt, at the equivalent cost of $1.46 per burger. Talk about your price differences.
The world's most expensive Big Mac? Currently, that can be found in Switzerland, where Big Macs can be purchased for $6.35 a pop (or 6.5 Swiss Francs).
That definitely seems a little surprising, especially considering food shortages (and high inflation) in other areas of the world like Venezuela (whose Big Mac is the equivalent of $5.25, or 3550 Bolivar). However, Switzerland also pays quite a bit more for its food (and general cost of living), and the average consumer's budget there allocates around 30% of available money to food spending — compared to less than 10% in the United States.
Even if you're not an economist or studying business, the map is pretty easy to understand and fun to compare prices in. Give it a try, and see how the price of a Big Mac changes depending on where you are in the world.