Recreation Spending

Recreation Spending Recreation Spending

The results of a 2014 survey on household income and expenditure, released by the Central Bank of Iran, indicate that among the 31 provinces in Iran, people in four provinces (South Khorasan, Semnan, Ilam, and Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad) spend a higher percentage of their income on recreation and cultural activities compared to other provinces.

In contrast, people in Sistan-Baluchestan, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Kurdistan and Alborz provinces spend the least, Alef News Agency reported.

Surprisingly, Tehran, Isfahan and Fars which one would expect to be among the top three spenders, due to the existence of a large number of recreational and cultural facilities, ranked 25th , 14th and 23rd, respectively.

Although living costs in Tehran are much higher than in any other part of the country, the average annual income of the residents is also higher; Tehranis’ annual earnings are twice that of South Khorasan residents.

On the other hand, in provinces like South Khorasan, Ilam, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad which are considered “deprived provinces,” the survey found that people spend a higher percentage of their earnings on outdoor and indoor recreation.

For instance, on average, each household in South Khorasan and Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad annually spends $640 and $610 respectively, on recreation and eating out.

Another interesting point is that while Sistan-Baluchestan, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari and Kurdistan provinces are also said to be disadvantaged regions, they are at the bottom of the ranking table in recreational fields.

People in Sistan-Baluchestan, Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiari and Kurdistan on average spend $140, $243 and $153 respectively for outdoor leisure activities.

The survey includes an analysis of people’s expenditure on audiovisual and photography equipment, musical instruments, indulging in sports like ping pong, having a pet, hobbies such as growing indoor plants, spending on books, magazines and newspapers, travel (staying in hotels), going to restaurants, use of cultural and recreational services (like buying tickets for tournaments, going to the swimming pool and gym, learning to play a musical instrument, seeing films and visiting museums).

 Sample Size

The survey had a sample size (an important feature of any empirical study in which the goal is to make inferences and achieve authentic statistical results) of 120,000 respondents.

According to the CBI ranking, South Khorasan (8.3%), Semnan (7.6%), Ilam (7.1%), Kohgiluyeh and Boyer- Ahmad (7.1%), Kerman (6.8%), Hamedan (6.6%), North Khorasan (6.3%), Markazi (6.3%), Yazd (6.2%), and Zanjan (6.1%) are the top 10 provinces in the field of recreation, and Alborz (2.2%), Kurdistan (2.3%), Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiari (2.8%), Sistan-Baluchestan (2.9%), East Azarbaijan (3.5%), Gilan (3.6%), Tehran (3.7%), Lorestan (4%), Fars (4.1%) and Ardebil (4.3%), are in the bottom rung.

While many have doubts about the low ranking of Tehran, the reason could be the limited categories that were considered for recreation spending.

For example, while shopping is a recreational and fun activity in Tehran for some people, it is not categorized as leisure in the survey. Window shopping should also be considered as leisure, as it is a favorite pastime of many people, not just in Iran but the world over.