Bargain reports and analytics

Petrol Index: how many litres of petrol can you buy for the average salary in Saudi Arabia 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 Saudi 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 9 out of 13 considered Middle East and North African countries, petrol prices in the first half of the year 2020 were lower than in 2019. The largest decrease was noted in Saudi Arabia (−39.4%), Qatar (−15.8%), and Israel (−10.5%). A slightly lower drop was noted in Turkey (−7.6%), Jordan (−5.7%) or the UAE (−5.6%).

Interestingly, in Tunisia and Algeria, the prices of petrol noted a moderate increase (1.2% and 1.7%), and in Egypt and Iran petrol went up by 11.5% and 22.8% respectively.

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

Saudis and Algerians can enjoy the cheapest petrol in the Middle East and North Africa — the average petrol price in these countries, converted into American dollars is 33 cents. Israelis pay the highest price — $1.63.

We contrasted the average prices of petrol in the first half of the year 2020 with the latest data on average salaries. Saudis and Qataris can boast the best petrol price to an average salary ratio in the MENA region. In Saudi Arabia, according to the General Authority for Statistics latest data, the average salary amounts to SAR 10,256. It means that an average Saudi can buy 8,210 litres of petrol with their pay.
The average pay in Qatar allows its citizens to buy 8,081 litres of petrol. The UAE completes the podium with 5,439 litres.

Lower in the ranking were countries like Kuwait (5,112 litres), Oman (3,178 litres), or Israel (976 litres).

Turkey, Tunisia, and Egypt took the last three places. The average salary in these countries is worth 484, 411, and 403 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 one of 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.

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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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