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last updated 23/03/2023


The Big Mac Index – where does NZ stand?

last updated 23/03/2023


24 March 2023 – How has inflation affected countries around the world? The Big Mac Index is a much-used guide to buying power. Here’s the latest guide

No matter where you are in the world, when you see those golden arches and ask for a Big Mac or a Happy Meal, you know what you’re going to get. What you might not expect is the price. Even within the US, you could pay nearly two dollars more for a Big Mac from one state to another.

Rising inflation has led to sharp increases in prices on consumer goods across the nation and fast food chains are no different, with the iconic McDonald’s burger skyrocketing 125 percent since 1996.

Using McDonald's global menu prices, CashNetUSA mapped out the countries and US states where the Big Mac and the Happy Meal are the most and least affordable in 2023. All prices quoted are in US dollars.

Key findings

New Zealand has the 20th most expensive Big Mac in the world (US$5.35), on a par with the USA.

We also have the 18th most expensive Happy Meals in the world, at $US$5.23. 

Liechtenstein and Switzerland share the world’s most expensive Big Mac ($7.75) and Happy Meal ($8.17).

The United States has the 19th most expensive Big Mac in the world ($5.35).

Hawaii is the U.S. state where McDonald’s is the most expensive, and Mississippi is the cheapest.

The world’s most expensive McDonald’s item is the Triple Cheddar & Double Beef in France ($15.70).

Here are the global results. Click the map to enlarge, then scroll right to see the whole world (including New Zealand).

Big Mac Index 2023
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Happy Meal Index 2023
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How was this study conducted?

Researchers at CashNetUSA first compiled a list of countries where McDonald’s operates. With this list in hand, they then accessed the official McDonald’s website for each country to find the price of a Big Mac and a Happy Meal in the capital city, as well as every US. state.

In cases where the information wasn’t available on the official website, researchers used other sources, including fastfoodmenuprices.com and delivery apps such as Glovo, Uber Eats and Grubhub.

If no Happy Meals were on the menu, researchers added up the price of a small fries, cheeseburger and drink. All the prices were recorded in the local currency and then converted to U.S. dollars using xe.com.

See the full results here.

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