Many countries pay over 50% income on school supplies: WorldRemit

By Our Reporter
Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

Australian basic educational needs average AUD $236 per child and AUD $410 per household

With students heading back to school in countries around the world, families are readying their children with the proper gear for a successful school year.

In keeping with the spirit of this exciting time, WorldRemit conducted a 10-country study[1] to determine the cost of educational needs across a number of markets, mining data to compare average costs of school supplies with average annual incomes and average number of children per household.

WorldRemit compared four developed economies in the study—the USA, UK, Australia and Canada—and found educational costs, including stationery, school and PE wear, and extras, such as a lunch bag and backpack, are the highest in Canada (AUD $281), followed by UK (AUD $249), Australia (AUD $236) and the US (AUD $230). However, when looking at average school supply costs per household, the UK (AUD $464) is the highest, followed by Canada (AUD $441), US (AUD $423), and then Australia (AUD $410), with costs equating to 9% of the total average monthly income for Australians.

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

In Nigeria and Uganda, costs of basic school supplies are more than 100% of the average monthly salary for households. Alternatively, for Filipinos, those back home 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, Managing Director, Asia-Pacific 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 a child’s return to school can take months of financial planning for those working overseas to support family in their home country. With school starting soon in India, the Philippines, Nigeria and Uganda, for those sending money to families, it’s important to have a reliable, safe option to ensure funds are received on time.”

According to the 2021 Q2 Consumer Expectations Survey published by the Central Bank of the Philippines, over half (52.2%) of remittances from April to June 2021 received in the Philippines were put towards education.

[1] WorldRemit back to school cost overview. (2021).

To learn more about the study and see full results, visit

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