Bargain reports and analytics

Petrol Index: how many litres of petrol can you buy for the average salary in the Philippines and around the world?

PicodiJuly 27, 2020

This is an archived report. The latest ranking is available here. team examined the change in petrol prices in several dozen countries and calculated how many litres of petrol an average Filipino can afford in 2020.

Cheaper petrol

Due to the volatility of prices in the petrol market, just like last year, we gathered data about petrol prices in the first half of the year. In 11 out of 16 considered APAC countries, petrol prices in the first half of the year 2020 were lower than in 2019. The largest decrease was noted in Malaysia (−19%), Vietnam (−18.4%), Thailand (−17.7%), and the Philippines (−14.4%).

A lower drop was noted in Japan (−5.5%), New Zealand (−4.9%), and Singapore (−4.5%). Interestingly, in countries like South Korea, India, Pakistan or Hong Kong, the prices of petrol noted a moderate increase (0.4 to 1.8%), and in Sri Lanka petrol went up by as much as 3.4%.

Petrol Index 2020: who can fill up the biggest amount of petrol in the APAC region?

Malaysians can enjoy the cheapest petrol in the APAC region — the average petrol price in this country, converted from ringgit to American dollars is 38 cents. Hongkongers pay the highest price — $2.22.

We contrasted the average prices of petrol in the first half of the year 2020 with the latest data on average salaries. For the second year in a row, Australians can boast the best petrol price to an average salary ratio in the APAC countries. Malaysia placed second — the average pay in this country allows its citizens to buy 2,135 litres of petrol. New Zealand completes the podium with 2,082 litres.

In the Philippines, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the average salary amounts to ₱15,209. It means that an average Filipino can buy 333 litres of petrol with their pay (13th place). Filipinos were outrun by Indians (434 litres) and Pakistanis (351 litres).

Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia took the last three places. The average salary in these countries is worth 314, 300, and 250 litres respectively.

World petrol ranking

In the world ranking, top positions are taken by Persian Gulf countries. In Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait, you could buy from 5,112 to 8,210 litres of petrol for the average pay. It is worth noting that Kuwaitis can afford 139 litres less than last year. On the other hand, in 2020 Saudis and Qataris can buy around 4,933 and 1,605 litres more.

The worst situation was noted in Cuba where the average salary is equal to the price of only 28 litres (an increase of 2 litres). Despite the fact that Tajikistan and Zambia accompany Cuba in the lower part of the ranking, their citizens can afford even seven times more petrol than Cubans (151 and 219 litres respectively).

It turns out that being an oil tycoon does not always mean easier access to petrol for the citizens. Nigeria, for example, produces the biggest amounts of petrol in Africa. Despite the lowest price of petrol in the whole world ($0.34), the relatively low average salary ($182) does not allow Nigerians to buy many litres of petrol — just 539. It is similar to the European oil heaven, Russia. In a country which is the second biggest oil producer in the world, for the average salary you can afford only 919 litres.

Another interesting fact is the situation in Venezuela. In this South American country, there are limits which allow buying only 120 litres of petrol per capita in a month for the price amounting to around 0.025 dollars per litre. Once the limit is exceeded, petrol can be bought only at the “market” price which is 0.5 dollar per litre, and only in 200 petrol stations in the country. Our calculations show that the average salary in Venezuela is enough for just 148 litres of petrol (120 litres subsidised and 28 litres fully paid), which is a drastic difference compared to theoretical 14 billion litres from the last year.


This report uses the average net wages according to the latest available data provided by offices for national statistics or relevant ministries. The average prices for the first half of 2020 in over 100 countries are based on data from and other local sources. In order to obtain the number of litres, we divided the average wage by the average price of 1 litre of petrol. For currency conversion, we used the average exchange rate for the last 90 days.

Public Use

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