How Much Money Do Tourists Spend in Each Country?
There’s so much to see in this world.
From the Grand Canyon to the Ancient Pyramids of Giza, there is at least one mind-blowing attraction to discover anywhere you go. And the countries that have these great tourist attractions? They are happy to see you bring your tourist dollars into their borders.
The question is: just how many dollars are spent, and where?
Today’s map comes to us from HowMuch.net, a cost information site, and it shows the countries that rake in the most tourist dollars each year.
Here’s the top five countries:
- The United States brings in $220.1 billion each year from tourists. The country is large and diverse – it offers the bustle of big cities like New York and San Francisco, but it’s also home to cities known for their history or culture, like New Orleans or Washington, DC. Tourists can experience the beaches of SoCal, the madness of Vegas, the serenity of Oregon, the wilderness of Alaska, or the music of Nashville.
- France is a distant second place at $66.8 billion per year. The biggest destinations include Paris, the famous wine regions of Champagne or Bordeaux, the Renaissance city of Lyon, the quayside of Marseilles, or the French Riviera capital of Nice.
- Spain isn’t far behind France, receiving $65.1 billion of tourism expenditures each year. The biggest country on the Iberian Peninsula has more to offer than trips to Ibiza and tapas in Seville. The architecture of Barcelona is magnificent, Madrid is bustling, and there are many hidden cultural gems to be found, such as Moorish monuments and castles throughout the south.
- The United Kingdom has a diverse array of treasures, and that’s why it rakes in $62.8 billion from tourism per year. Tourists can explore the scotch and Highlands of Scotland, or succumb to London calling. The countryside of Wales, the Roman-built pools of Bath, or the fried night foods of Edinburgh all have appeal. This was the home of the Beatles and Shakespeare, after all.
- China tops out Germany by $1 billion to be the fifth-most visited country in terms of tourist dollars spent, with expenditures of $56.9 billion. This is perhaps the biggest surprise on the list – people know China is emerging as the world’s biggest population center and economy, but many do not know it is also a tourist mecca. China gets millions of visitors each year from surrounding Asian countries like South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Mongolia. The country also receives significant traffic from Americans and Russians. The Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, the Three Gorges Dam, and many other sites are high on the list of things to see.
Assembling the World Country-by-Country, Based on Economy Size
How does the world map change if it gets assembled based on the size of economies, in ascending order of GDP or GDP per capita?
If you had to sketch a world map, you’d probably start with a place that is familiar.
Perhaps you would begin by drawing your own continent, or maybe you’d focus on the specific borders of the country you live in. Then, you’d likely move to drawing the outlines of neighboring countries, eventually working your way to far and distant lands.
This would be a logical way for anyone to think about such a task, and it gives some insight as to how humans think about the world.
We start with what’s familiar, and build it out until it’s a complete picture.
Assembling the World by Economy Size
What if we assembled a world map in a completely different order?
Today’s two animations come to us from Engaging-Data, and they approach the world map from an alternate angle: assembling countries on the map in the order of their economic footprints.
The first map, shown below, uses nominal GDP to assemble countries in ascending order:
This version of the map shows the smallest economies first, with the larger economies at the end.
For this reason, the first economies appearing on the map tend to be developing nations, or nations with smaller geographical or demographic footprints.
For example, even though the Falkland Islands are wealthy on a per capita basis, the British Overseas Territory has fewer than 4,000 people, which gives it a minor footprint on a global stage.
GDP per Capita (Nominal)
Now, let’s take a look at the same map, constructed in order of GDP per capita:
This animation is more cohesive, given that it is not dependent on population size. Instead the order here is based on economic output (in nominal terms) of the average person in each country or jurisdiction.
In this case, developing nations appear first – and at the end, more developed regions (like Europe and North America) tend to fill out.
Note: All rankings here are in nominal terms, which use market rates to calculate comparable values in U.S. dollars, while omitting the cost of living as a factor. GDP rankings change significantly when using PPP rates.
Other Ways to Assemble the World
While assembling nations based on GDP provides an interesting way to look at the world, this same approach can be tried by applying other statistics as well.
We recommend checking out this page, which allows you to “assemble the world” based on measures like population density, life expectancy, or population.
Mapped: The Salary Needed to Buy a Home in 50 U.S. Metro Areas
The annual salary needed to buy a home in the U.S. ranges from $38k to $255k, depending on the metropolitan area you are looking in.
The Salary Needed to Buy a Home in 50 U.S. Metro Areas
Over the last year, home prices have risen in 49 of the biggest 50 metro areas in the United States.
At the same time, mortgage rates have hit seven-year highs, making things more expensive for any prospective home buyer.
With this context in mind, today’s map comes from HowMuch.net, and it shows the salary needed to buy a home in the 50 largest U.S. metro areas.
The Least and Most Expensive Metro Areas
As a reference point, the median home in the United States costs about $257,600, according to the National Association of Realtors.
|Median Home Price||Montly Payment (PITI)||Salary Needed|
With a 20% down payment and a 4.90% mortgage rate, and taking into account what’s needed to pay principal, interest, taxes, and insurance (PITI) on the home, it would mean a prospective buyer would need to have $61,453.51 in salary to afford such a purchase.
However, based on your frame of reference, this national estimate may seem extremely low or quite high. That’s because the salary required to buy in different major cities in the U.S. can fall anywhere between $37,659 to $254,835.
The 10 Cheapest Metro Areas
Here are the cheapest metro areas in the U.S., based on data and calculations from HSH.com:
|Rank||Metro Area||Median Home Price||Monthly Payment (PITI)||Salary Needed|
After the dust settles, Pittsburgh ranks as the cheapest metro area in the U.S. to buy a home. According to these calculations, buying a median home in Pittsburgh – which includes the surrounding metro area – requires an annual income of less than $40,000 to buy.
Just missing the list was Detroit, where a salary of $48,002.89 is needed.
The 10 Most Expensive Metro Areas
Now, here are the priciest markets in the country, also based on data from HSH.com:
|Rank||Metro Area||Median Home Price||Monthly Payment (PITI)||Salary Needed|
|#6||New York City||$403,900||$2,465.97||$105,684.33|
Topping the list of the most expensive metro areas are San Jose and San Francisco, which are both cities fueled by the economic boom in Silicon Valley. Meanwhile, two other major metro areas in California, Los Angeles and San Diego, are not far behind.
New York City only ranks in sixth here, though it is worth noting that the NYC metro area extends well beyond the five boroughs. It includes Newark, Jersey City, and many nearby counties as well.
As a final point, it’s worth mentioning that all cities here (with the exception of Denver) are in coastal states.
Notes on Calculations
Data on median home prices comes from the National Association of Realtors and is based on 2018 Q4 information, while national mortgage rate data is derived from weekly surveys by Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association of America for 30-year fixed rate mortgages.
Calculations include tax and homeowners insurance costs to determine the annual salary it takes to afford the base cost of owning a home (principal, interest, property tax and homeowner’s insurance, or PITI) in the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas.
Standard 28% “front-end” debt ratios and a 20% down payments subtracted from the median-home-price data are used to arrive at these figures.
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