Here Are The States Where A McDonald’s Big Mac Is The Most And Least Expensive
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Inflation causes prices to soar practically everywhere: the gas pump, the grocery store, and household bills. Despite having a reputation as the most affordable restaurant category, fast food certainly isn’t immune to price hikes. Food prices are soaring, which eats into corporations’ margins and hurts consumers in the wallet.
According to the online tool McCheapist.com, which tracks McDonald’s prices, there are currently restaurants in Arizona serving Big Macs for over $7.50.
To economists, Big Macs are more than just two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun.
These prices are important – not just for understanding how much inflation has hit communities, but also for price disparities around the world.
The Big Mac Index is an unusual yet useful tool in the field of economics. It measures purchasing power parity between countries by comparing the cost of a Big Mac in various locations worldwide.
Despite its playful name, the index has significant real-world implications for businesses and investors. Since there are 40,000 McDonald’s around the world and Big Macs being served in 79 countries, the Big Mac Index helps economists and businesses understand the value of currencies and set global pricing strategies. For example, if a Big Mac costs $5 in the US and $6 in Canada, it may suggest the Canadian dollar is overvalued against the US dollar. Businesses can then use this index to set competitive and fair prices in different countries.
The website CashNet just published a comprehensive review of current Big Mac prices. Believe it or not, the United States only has the 19th most expensive Big Mac in the world, according to their finding, with an average price of $5.35. Liechtenstein and Switzerland currently are home to world’s most expensive Big Mac at $7.75.
The states where a McDonald’s Big Mac is the most expensive
When Big Macs first debuted in Pennsylvania in 1967, they only cost 45¢. Now there are many parts of the country where prices are almost 12x that price for the burger alone. Make it a meal with fries and drink and it’s over $9 in many parts of the country.
Here are the states where they’re the most expensive, with the average price:
- Hawaii – $5.31
- New York – $5.23
- California – $5.11
- New Jersey – $5.19
- Maryland – $5.03
- Connecticut – $4.95
- Massachusetts – $4.87
- Alaska – $4.87
- New Hampshire – $4.83
- Washington – $4.67
- Delaware – $4.63
CashNet reports it compiled this data using the McDonald’s website for each country, in addition to fastfoodmenuprices.com and popular delivery apps such as Glovo, Uber Eats and Grubhub. There are probably some discrepancies in the data if you break it down on a location-to-location basis, as well as change the timeframe.
For example, as of this writing, the price of a Big Mac alone on DoorDash where I live in Southern California right is $6.19 for the burger and $9.19 for a meal.
The states where a McDonald’s big Mac is the least expensive
CashNet averaged the prices in all 50 states. They also found some prices where a Big Mac is still a bargain under the $4 mark.
As of this writing, the cheapest Big Mac in the United States via McCheapist.com can be found in Stigler, Oklahoma for $3.49.
Here are the least expensive average Big Mac prices broken down by state via CashNet:
- Mississippi – $3.91
- Arkansas – $3.95
- Alabama – $3.99
- South Dakota – $3.99
- Missouri – $3.99
- Ohio – $4.03
- Kentucky – $4.03
- Iowa – $4.07
- Oklahoma – $4.07
- Kansas – $4.07
- Nebraska – $4.07
- Tennessee – $4.11
- North Dakota – $4.11
- Indiana – $4.11
- South Carolina – $4.11
- Lousiana – $4.15
- Georgia – $4.15
- North Carolina – $4.15
- Wisconsin – $4.19
- Idaho $4.23
- Michigan – $4.27
Even within the United States, the price of a Big Mac can vary significantly depending on the location. As Warren Buffett – formerly a massive McDonald’s shareholder – once said, “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”
Given the swings in pricing around the United States for an item that’s consistently the same no matter where you get it, that certainly applies to Big Macs too.
See the full list and map on CashNet.