A Big Mac may taste the same at McDonald’s locations across the country, but the iconic burger is cheapest in Mississippi, and priciest in the District of Columbia, a new study found.
A Big Mac costs 11% less than average in Mississippi, yet is also the least affordable, due to the relatively low disposable income of residents in the state, according to a rundown by Veronica Fletcher, data analyst and founder of Pantry & Larder, a food-focused website. Conversely, a Big Mac costs 22% more than average in D.C., where it’s also the most affordable, Fletcher found.
“States like Mississippi with a low disposable income are going to struggle to afford even the cheapest Big Mac. And areas with high disposable incomes (like D.C.) won’t have any trouble paying over $6,” noted Fletcher, who cited her own research and fastfoodmenuprices.com in creating a price index.
A 550-calorie Big Mac without the fries and soft drink runs $3.91 in Mississippi, and $5.35 in D.C., according to fastfoodmenuprices.com.
U.S. disposable income statistics were factored in to determine where the the Big Mac — on the menu since 1968 — is most and least affordable. And, while the price of a Big Mac varies, it’s a difference of a few bucks at most, versus the more than $50,000 gap between highest and lowest disposable incomes, Fletcher stated.
Exceptions include Hawaii, which has the second most expensive Big Mac but not the disposable income to match, with the Big Mac 3.3% less affordable on the island than the U.S. average.
Nationwide, Big Mac prices are up nearly 8% from a year ago, Fletcher found, in line with broader inflation trends.
Menu prices climbed 7.6% from July 2021 to July 2022, withrising 8.5% over that period, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.