How many litres of petrol can you buy with an average salary in Europe and around the world?

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Petrol price is dependent on many different factors such as crude oil prices on the international markets, taxes or margins established by gas stations’ owners. The value of 1 litre of petrol at the retail point of sale may change overnight, in some countries even by the hour.

Bearing in mind the instability of the fuel market, Picodi Analysis Team decided to analyse how many litres of petrol you can buy with the average wage in Romania and other European countries. For this purpose, we researched the average fuel prices in the first half of 2019 and cross-referenced them with the latest average wages in selected countries. As the study shows, possessing a rich supply of natural resources does not always mean that petrol will be more accessible for an average consumer.

In search of cheaper petrol

In our region, the cheapest petrol can be found in resource-rich Russia — on average, for one litre of petrol you would have to pay 63 euro cents (converted from rubles). In contrast, filling the tank is the most expensive in Norway where the average price for one litre is €1.70.

The best ratio of petrol price to the average salary in our part of the world can be observed in Switzerland and Luxembourg, countries where oil is not extracted. The average wages there are enough to buy 3388 and 2827 litres of liquid gold respectively. Norway, with 1989 litres, takes the third place among the 42 researched countries.

Romania (31th place) is a country where you can get 559 litres of petrol with the average salary. An average Romanian person places lower than an average Hungarian (29th place with 618 litres) but higher than an average Moldavian (40th place with 295 litres) or Bulgaria (34th place with 454 litres).

Lower in the ranking are countries like Moldova, Ukraine or Albania. In these places, it is possible to purchase no more than 300 litres of petrol with one salary, which is just one-tenth of the amount that can be purchased in the top-ranking European country.

World’s petrol tycoons

In search of the highest indicator illustrating the amount of purchased petrol, we analysed prices and wages in over 100 countries on 6 continents. The first place in the ranking goes to Venezuela where 1 litre of petrol costs €0.000000002. With the average salary amounting to around €26 you could buy… over 14 billions of litres. But do the citizens of a country haunted by crisis and inflation have reasons to triumph?

Actually, the Persian Gulf countries take the lead here. In Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, the price of 1 litre is around €0.4 – 0.6 and with the average salary you can buy from 4900 to 6500 litres of petrol.

The high positions of countries like the United States and Canada can be explained not only by high salaries but also the amount of extracted oil. Switzerland and Luxembourg stand out with high incomes only.

The lowest amount of petrol can be bought in Madagascar (42 litres), Tajikistan (131 litres) and Zambia (137 litres).

Nigeria is an interesting example as well. Although it is a country that both extracts and exports considerable amounts of oil and has one of the cheapest gasoline prices per litre (€0.36), the really low average wage amounting to €179 is not enough to buy a considerable amount of petrol (only 501 litres).


This report uses the average net wages according to the latest available data provided by offices for national statistics or relevant ministries. The average prices for the first half of 2019 in over 100 countries are based on data from In order to obtain the number of litres, we divided the average wage by the average price of 1 litre of petrol. For currency conversion, we used the average exchange rate for the last 90 days.

Source: Pretul benzinei in Romania si in lume

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