Chapter 4 Updates to the Cost and Affordability of a Healthy Diet

Key messages
  • In 2021, 25.7 million people in the ECA region could not afford a healthy diet. This indicator has declined by 2.7 million people since 2020. The largest reduction (1.4 million) in the number of people unable to afford a healthy diet was in the EU-27 and the United Kingdom.
  • In the ECA region, the average cost of a healthy diet in 2021 was 3.20 purchasing power parity (PPP) dollars per person per day, which is higher (by 1.6 percent) than in 2020. This is consistent with increased food prices in 2021. On average, a healthy diet costs less in the ECA region than in the world as a whole, with the global average being 3.66 PPP dollars per person per day.
  • In 2021, roughly 3.1 percent of people in the ECA region were unable to afford a healthy diet, compared to 3.4 percent in 2020. This is much lower than the global estimate of 42.2 percent. By subregion, Central Asia had the highest prevalence of unaffordability (24.4 percent) in 2021, whereas the EFTA countries and the EU-27 and the United Kingdom had the lowest estimates (0.1 percent and 1.0 percent, respectively).