The Cost of Beer: Mapped

The darker colour indicates a more expensive average beer price

(CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL CAPABILITIES)

My previous post showed off a bit of data analysis done by Quartz. The looked at how long it would take to earn a beer (defined as a 0.5L draught at a bar or restaurant) whilst working minimum wage.

The data on beer prices was taken from Numbeo. A platform which contains a database of numerical data submitted by users. Its data covers crime, cost of living and health care among others.

The nature of the site means that it is updated regularly by its users and contains interesting collections that one might not find on ‘official’ websites. The trade off being that a lot of the data is not going stand up against data collected from reputable organization. Although the website is starting to gain media recognition, with quotes found  in Forbes, The Economist and TIME.

Using Tableau Public, I mapped the beer price data. It was simply a case of copy and pasting the data from Numbeo into MS Excel and then exporting the data into Tableau. Luckily, Tableau is clever enough to automatically geo-code by country so it was simply a case of tweaking the visuals and data labels into something easily digestible.

The obvious patterns are the higher prices in the developed world. Namely Europe, North America and Australia where higher wages and taxation have lead to pricier beer.

Norway sits right at the top and even in the context of Europe shows up as significantly darker on our map. Not being part of the EU, Norway does not operate with the same trade regulations and have significantly higher taxes across the board. This coupled with a national emphasis on buying local (regardless of price) makes it top dog in expensive beer.

Scandinavia and France, with their higher taxation, show up considerably darker.

Scandinavia and France, with their higher taxation, show up considerably darker.

Africa also has an outlier. Even with a significant proportion of its countries without data. Libya stands out with an average price of $9.28, $5 more than its nearest African rival. This is, no doubt, down to the fact that alcohol is illegal but still remains available on the black market. So punters must pay a premium for their illegal beverage.

Libya illegal beer has pushed its cost head and shoulders above the rest of Africa

Libya illegal beer has pushed its cost head and shoulders above the rest of Africa

Of course, these are average prices by country and those who have done any sort of travelling will know that prices can range from town to town as well as across borders.

Langkawi, a small island in Malaysia operates without taxes on any of its goods. Therfore alcohol and cigarettes are dirt cheap (a 330ml can of beer is less than 1 dollar!) when compared to the mainland ($3).

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