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

kasia.kobylkajuli 27, 2020

Picodi.com team examined the change in petrol prices in several dozen countries and calculated how many litres of petrol an average Swede 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 39 out of 42 considered European countries, petrol prices in the first half of the year 2020 were lower than in 2019. The largest decrease was noted in Bosnia and Herzegovina (−17.8%), Ukraine (−15,4%), and Romania (−14%).

In Sweden, the decrease in petrol prices amounted to 10.2% (10th place). A slightly higher drop was noted in Denmark (−10.4%), Belgium (−10.5%), and Croatia (−10.7%).

Interestingly, in Russia, the prices of petrol noted a moderate increase (0.8%), and in Belarus petrol went up by 12.4%.

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

(click the arrows to see data from the remaining 41 countries)

Russians can enjoy the cheapest petrol in Europe — the average petrol price in their country, converted from rubles is 58 euro cents. The Dutch pay the highest price — €1.58.

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, Switzerland and Luxembourg can boast the best petrol price to an average salary ratio in Europe. The average pay in those countries allows their citizens to buy 3795 and 3320 litres of petrol respectively. Denmark completes the podium with 2484 litres.

In Sweden, according to Statistics Sweden latest data, the average salary amounts to 27,499 kr. It means that an average Swede can buy 1,949 litres of petrol with their pay (6th place). Lower in the ranking were countries like Germany (1,938 litres), Andorra (1,834 litres), or Iceland (1,832 litres).

Moldavia, Ukraine, and Albania took the last three places. The average salary in these countries is worth 352, 345, and 239 litres respectively.

World petrol ranking

(Hover over the country to see the information)

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 (€0.31), the relatively low average salary (€165) 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 globalpetrolprices.com 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.

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