The New York Times has a cool visualization chart on its site Wednesday showing how the world population spends its discretionary income.
It highlights per capita spending on clothing and footwear, electronics, alcohol and tobacco, household goods, and recreation. At Crave, we obviously zeroed in on electronics spending, and the results seemed predictable at first: the U.S. spends an ungodly amount of money on electronics: $162 billion a year. "Electronics, " by the way, are defined here as PCs, TVs, stereos, and camera equipment. Cell phones, notably, are not included.
The U.K., France, Germany, and Russia also spend a lot on gadgets, between $24 billion and $44 billion each. But the data gets interesting when you compare what countries spend relative to another category. Australia, for instance, spends $12.2 billion a year on electronics, which is a drop in the bucket compared with what the U.S. spends. But it also spends $16.6 billion on the more mainstream category of clothing/footwear, only 1.4 times more than it puts down for electronics.
The U.S., for comparison's sake, spends $429 billion on clothing, or 2.6 times more on clothing than gadgets.
Even more fascinating is Japan, where they spend 4.2 times more on new jeans or shoes than new TVs or computers: the country spends $75 billion per year on clothing, and $17.7 billion on electronics.
Check out the electronics section of the chart below, or head over to the NYT to see the whole thing.