Spending on Leisure, Recreation Meager

Iran spends the smallest share of GDP on leisure and recreation when compared with Canada, Germany, England, Turkey, and Indonesia.Iran spends the smallest share of GDP on leisure and recreation when compared with Canada, Germany, England, Turkey, and Indonesia.

In the past calendar year that ended in March, households spent less on leisure activities compared with the previous year, and more on basic infrastructure and utilities, says the annual report on household income and expenses data published by the Central Bank of Iran.

Iranian families spent 10.2% less on leisure and cultural activities compared to the previous year.

The report, which surveyed 12,700 families among the nearly 25 million households in the country, also says that 35% of household income in urban areas was used for housing, water, electricity and energy expenses during the year, a 12.4% growth over the year before.

Urbanites experienced a 12.3% growth in their average gross annual income in the same period, according to the CBI, while family expenses grew by 7.3% on average, reported.

They spent 25% of annual income on food and a meager 5.8% on healthcare and physical wellbeing. Share of restaurant and hotel, as well as healthcare categories in expenses posted 13% and 8% growth respectively.

According to the bank’s data, 65% of families in cities own their own homes, whereas 25.2% live in rented houses. About 9% of families were living in free housing units as of last year.

Families in urban areas had 3.38 members on average, fewer than the previous years, the report stressed. Four-member families accounted for 29% of the total. (In 2009, the number of households was 15.3 million with 4.8 persons per household).

An earlier data analysis by the Statistical Center of Iran had compared household expenditures in Iran and five other countries, namely Canada, Germany, England, Turkey, and Indonesia.

According to the results, in Indonesia (just like in the rural parts of Iran), over 41% of a household’s GDP is spent on food. The share is less than 20% in countries like Canada and Germany. However, the share is around 27% for urban areas of Iran similar to neighboring Turkey.

In terms of expenditure on housing, Iran is on par with Germany where nearly 34% of household GDP is spent on mortgage or rent.

Compared with all the five countries, Iran spends the least amount (or share of GDP) on leisure and recreation.

The report notes that in countries like Canada and Germany, where the share of food in GDP is small as opposed to the share of non-food items, households enjoy a better economic status.

In the current Iranian year that ends in March 2017, 46% of families in Iran did not go on vacation during the travel summer season, the semi-official news agency ISNA reported.

Among the remaining 54%, the average number of travels made was one per family, which is a notably small compared to the numbers travelling in other  countries.

The annual report on household income and expenses for the current Iranian year will be published by the CBI in mid-2017.


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