Which Countries Spend The Most On Christmas gifts? Top Spending Nations Revealed!

Written by: Lara
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Christmas gifts with a sign that says "it's beginning to cost a lot like Christmas"

Ever pondered which countries spend the most on Christmas gifts? Or what is the average cost of Christmas gifts is around the world? Or are you curious to know if your country is among the top spenders or savers?

We’ve got you covered!

We’ve analyzed data from 24 different countries and discovered some intriguing insights about worldwide holiday gift spending habits. Ready for some surprising stats? Let’s dive right in!

Key takeaways

  • High-income countries spend an average of $664.55 on Christmas gifts. Lower-income countries typically spend an average of just $115.07 on Christmas gifts.
  • Germany ($1102), Canada ($946), and the USA ($826) bag the top spots for Christmas gift spending. In contrast, Uganda ($15), the Dominican Republic ($20), and Nepal ($23) spend the least.
  • The UK (70%), the USA (69%), and France (66%) allocate most of their total Christmas budget to gifts. Dominican Republic (10%), Cameroon (15%), and Nigeria (17%), on the other hand, allot the smallest portion of their budget to presents.
  • Rwanda (102%), Zimbabwe (90%), and Cameroon (60%) dedicate the largest percentage of their household income to gifts. The Dominican Republic (3%), the Netherlands (6%), and Australia (10%) spend the smallest proportion of their income on presents.
  • High-income countries, with more financial resources, naturally spend more on gifts in total. However, lower-income countries typically dedicate a larger share of their household income to Christmas gifts than their wealthier counterparts.

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Ranking the countries: which country spends the most on gifts?

Data gathering method

The data for this article was sourced from World Remit, which predicted Christmas spending for 24 different countries over three consecutive years. Their research was conducted in October and November of each year. 

If you’re a data enthusiast, you can delve into their full methodology here.

In a nutshell, they analyzed everything from traditional meals to typical gifts and decorations and their costs in each country. These are predictions, but they’re based on local studies and data, making them quite fascinating.

But to answer the big question: Which countries spend the most on Christmas gifts? We’ve considered Christmas spending as a percentage of the total Christmas spending and monthly household income. 

Our calculations used The World Bank’s Data on adjusted net national income per capita. We multiplied by 1.5 to derive the household income. As 2023 data is not yet available, we used 2020 data for income.

The countries we studied include:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • USA
  • France
  • Mexico
  • UK
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Netherlands
  • Cameroon
  • Philippines
  • Guatemala
  • Fiji
  • Zimbabwe
  • Rwanda
  • Nigeria
  • Kenya
  • Dominican Republic
  • Colombia
  • South Africa
  • India
  • Nepal
  • Uganda
Map of the world

What is the average cost of Christmas gifts?

From a global perspective, the average cost of Christmas gifts comes out to a surprising $321.13. Now, before you start tweeting that everyone spends around $321 on Christmas gifts, let’s delve a bit deeper.

This average is skewed due to the high spending of certain countries like Germany and Canada, where the expenditure on gifts soars to around $1000 each. This pushes the average up, so it’s not entirely representative of the global norm.

The More Accurate Median

This is where the concept of ‘median’ comes in handy. The median is the number that sits right in the middle of our data set. It’s a more accurate representation of the average spend, particularly when there are significant variations in the data, like in our case.

The median Christmas gift cost across the countries we studied is $162.2. A bit more manageable, wouldn’t you say?

High vs Low-Income Countries

But we can break it down even further. Comparing high-income countries to mid and lower-income countries, we see that households in high-income countries spend an average of $664.55 on Christmas gifts.

In contrast, households in lower-income countries typically spend an average of just $115.07 on Christmas gifts.

Average Christmas gift spending

Christmas gift spending by country

Diving into the numbers for each country specifically, we see some fascinating trends in the world of gift-giving. Let’s take a journey around the globe and find out which countries spend the most on Christmas gifts.

Which countries spend the most on Christmas gifts?

Christmas gift spending overall

It’s not shocking that high-income countries, such as Germany (1102$), Canada (946$), and the USA (826$), top the list when it comes to spending on gifts in US dollars. 

But what does this number tell us? 

Essentially, it underscores the fact that higher income allows for more spending – pretty straightforward, right?

But don’t let this simplistic view fool you. There are more layers to the gift-giving puzzle, which we will discuss below.

Christmas gift spending table by country in USD

RankCountryAverage household spend
on Christmas gift in USD $
1.Germany1102
2.Canada946
3.USA826
4.France749
5.UK728
6.Mexico544
7.Australia524
8.Italy430
9.Spain349
10.Netherlands327
11.Guatemala209
12.Philippines205
13. Kenya120
14.Zimbabwe105
15.Cameroon96
16.Colombia82
17.Rwanda81
18.Fiji79
19.South Africa63
20.India48
21.Nigeria36
22.Nepal23
23.Dominican Republic20
24.Uganda15

Christmas gifts versus total Christmas spending

Christmas gift spending by total spending

When we shift our focus to the percentage of total Christmas spending that goes towards gifts, we again find high-income countries, namely the UK (70%), the USA (69%), and France (66%) leading the pack. This suggests that the more money a country has, the more they can, and do, lavish on gifts.

But there’s a surprise here – Kenya, a lower-income country, ranks relatively high with 56% of their Christmas spending on gifts.

Why?

 Often, their gifts serve a practical purpose, like new clothes for Christmas mass or school books. These are substantial expenses that would have been made anyway but are cleverly saved up for the festive season.

Christmas gift spending by country as a percentage of total Christmas spending

RankCountryGift spending as a % of
total Christmas spending
1.UK70
2.USA69
3.France66
4.Germany64
5.Kenya56
6.Canada55
7.Mexico52
8.Italy51
9.Netherlands50
10.Spain47
11.Australia44
12.Zimbabwe41
13.Colombia41
14.South Africa38
15.Rwanda34
16.Philippines33
17.India33
18.Fiji28
19.Nepal26
20.Guatemala25
21.Uganda23
22.Nigeria17
23.Cameroon15
24. Dominican
Republic
10

Christmas gift spending versus household income

Christmas gift spending by household income

The picture changes dramatically when we consider how much countries spend on gifts as a percentage of their monthly household income. Here, lower-income countries like  Rwanda (102%), Zimbabwe (90%), and Cameroon (60%) take the lead, signifying that despite lesser income, their spirit of generosity remains high.

In fact, data shows that Rwanda spends a full month’s income on gifts!

But every rule has an exception, and in this case, it’s the Dominican Republic (3%). Here, Christmas gifts are typically given only to children, and the gift exchange generally consists of smaller presents and one large gift. This limits the overall spending, despite being a lower-income country.

The Dutch conundrum

Another interesting case is the Netherlands, which, among higher-income countries, appears to spend the least on gifts.

Is this an accurate reflection of their generosity? 

As a Dutchie myself, I may be biased, but it’s essential to note that Dutch families celebrate Sinterklaas on December 5th. This is the primary gift-giving event for kids in December. And for friends, co-workers, and families, the 5th of December is the typical night to host a “Secret Santa” type of event. So for Christmas, Dutch people typically only give a small gift to children and no gift to friends and colleagues. This tradition may skew the numbers, making the Dutch seem less generous than they are.

Christmas gift spending as a percentage of household monthly income

RankCountry
Gift spending as a % of

household monthly income
 1.Rwanda101,6
 2.Zimbabwe89,9
 3.Cameroon60,4
 4.Kenya60,2
 5.Philippines52,4
 6.Guatemala42,3
 7.Mexico29,5
 8.India23,1
 9.Germany22,9
 10.Canada21,6
 11.France18,9
 12.Nepal17,1
 13.Nigeria16,8
 14.Uganda16,7
 15.UK16,1
 16.Fiji16,0
 17.Colombia14,7
 18.Italy13,2
 19.USA12,4
 20.Spain12,4
 21.South Africa10,9
 22.Australia10,4
 23.Netherlands6,2
24.Dominican Republic2,5

The Takeaway

What does this all mean in the grand scheme of things? Well, it shows that generosity is not solely dictated by the size of one’s wallet. Lower-income countries, despite their economic challenges, often prioritize gift-giving, highlighting the true spirit of Christmas. At the end of the day, it’s not about the price tag; it’s about the thought and care that goes into choosing the perfect gift.

Got any gift-giving traditions or insights from your country?

Feel free to share in the comments!

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AUTHOR

Hi, I’m Lara, a 30-year-old travel-lover (but who’s not these days?). I love reading, puzzling, world-heritage sites, researching, and making lists, which comes in quite handy when you’re making lists of travel gift ideas!