WorldRemit study finds multiple countries pay more than 50% of monthly income on school supplies

Scott Eddington, Managing Director Asia Pacific at WorldRemit

With students heading back to school in countries around the world, families are preparing their children with the proper requirements to facilitate a successful school year.

WorldRemit conducted a study in ten countries to help in determining the cost of educational needs across a number of markets, gathering data to compare average costs of school supplies with average annual incomes and average number of children per household.

WorldRemit’s study on school supplies’ cost

WorldRemit compared four developed economies in the study, USA, UK, Australia and Canada.

Educational costs like stationery, school wear, and extras like a lunch bag and backpack, are the highest in Canada ($281), followed by UK ($249), Australia ($236) and the US ($230).

However, when looking at average school supply costs per household, the UK ($464) is the highest, followed by Canada ($441), US ($423), and then Australia ($410), with costs equating to 9% of the total monthly income for nearly half of the surveyed Australian residents.

The WorldRemit study further compared educational costs in some of the key remittance recipient countries from Australia, including India, the Philippines, Nigeria and Uganda.

The WorldRemit study found that the situation in Nigeria and Uganda, the costs of basic school supplies are more than 100% of the average monthly salary for households.

Alternatively, for Filipinos, they can expect to pay 78% of their monthly salary to cover school expenses this season, whereas those in India can expect to pay 68% of their monthly salary

Scott Eddington, MD APAC at WorldRemit said, “More than 244 million people are classified as immigrants around the world and immigrants account for 30% of the population in Australia.”

“Immigrants and overseas foreign workers are often working to support themselves whilst also supporting their families and communities back home and we know that funding education is one of the main reasons that overseas foreign workers send money back home.”

“Planning for children’s return to school usually takes months of financial planning for individuals who are working overseas to support their families in their home country.”

“With school starting soon in India, the Philippines, Nigeria and Uganda, those sending money to families have a reliable and secure option to ensure funds are safely received on time.”

According to the 2021 Q2 Consumer Expectations Survey published by the Central Bank of the Philippines, 52.2% of remittances from April to June 2021 received were for education. 

WorldRemit’s global study methodology

WorldRemit researched national basic school supplies in United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Philippines, Mexico, Uganda, Tanzania, India and Nigeria.

The primary school items were selected based on the most common back to school items.

The price of items was searched online and the lowest price item was selected from one of the most popular online retailers in that country. The prices were researched in July 2021.

The exchange rate from the every included local currency was calculated on 26/07/2021 at 10:00 BST. The country’s fertility rate and income was gathered from the CIA world factbook.

The study was conducted by WorldRemit, a leading payments company across the whole world, along with Sendwave, part of Zepz, a group powering two worldwide payment brands.

These companies have disrupted an industry that was previously dominated by offline legacy players. T international money transfers online making them safer, faster and lower-cost.

We currently send from 50 countries to recipients in 130 countries, operate in more than 5,000 money transfer corridors worldwide and employ over 1,200 people globally.

WorldRemit is 100% digital (cashless), increasing convenience and enhancing security.

For WorldRemit customers receiving money, the company offers a wide portfolio of options including bank deposit, cash collection, mobile airtime top-up and mobile money.

Backed by Accel, TCV and Leapfrog, WorldRemit’s headquarters are in London, UK.

Branches are in USA, Poland, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Belgium.