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Kenyan households spend more than 10 times monthly income on school supplies – WorldRemit study

·         WorldRemit releases its third year of data, observing the rising costs of educational supplies across 20 countries globally

·         40% of countries to pay more than their monthly income on school supplies this year

·         Study shows total cost per child in Kenya at Ksh68,701.0

Today, WorldRemit, a digital remittances brand within Zepz, releases its third year of global data and findings, to understand how the cost of school supplies impact families around the world. As inflation persists and supply chain issues continue to arise across multiple sectors, it comes as no surprise that on average, countries observed can expect costs to rise.


Findings for Kenya show the total cost per child is Ksh68,701. Given the average household size in Kenya of 3.23, the total cost per household is estimated at Ksh 221,904.23.This is higher than average incomes for most households in the country, with the survey showing the cost of education for most households is 1054.31% or approximately 10 times their average monthly household income.


Across countries where people have higher monthly incomes, Canada, the UK and Australia saw nominal decreases in the percentage of income they can expect to allocate, while France and Spain saw notable increases. In France, families can expect to allocate 5% of their monthly budget this year, while in Spain, they can expect to allocate 7% more than last year on basic school supplies.


In other parts of the world, cost changes were far more drastic, where yearly changes averaged an increase of 78%. 1 in 9 people1 worldwide rely on money sent from friends and relatives who have migrated abroad for work. For families whose incomes simply cannot accommodate the cost of these fundamental supplies, remittances make a world of difference in their ability to afford these supplies, as well as steep costs like tuition, transportation and childcare.


2023 Cost of School Overview


  Country Cost Changes YoY % of Monthly Household Income Highest Item increase
Industrialised Nations Canada -0.4% 9% Gym shoes
United States +28% 9% Colouring pencils
United Kingdom +2% 9% Pencils
France +41% 19% Colouring pencils
Spain +53% 20% Pencils
Australia +19% 9% Pencils
Americas Mexico +56% 84% Polo shirts
Guatemala +75% 334% Polo shirts
Colombia +81% 153% Notebooks
Dominican Republic +56% 72% Polo shirts
EMEA Cameroon +97% 789% Ruler
Morocco +118% 262% Polo shirts
Nigeria +162% 632% Sharpener
Tanzania +62% 861% Socks
Zimbabwe +6% 427% Pencil case
APAC Philippines +16% 51% Pencils
India +129% 197% Notebooks


While practically every country in the study had increased costs, certain items have drastically increased. For example, in Australia a case of 12 pencils has increased more than 4x the cost of the previous year and the cost of notebooks in India is almost 6x as expensive as in 2022.


3.6% or 281 million2 of the global population identify as migrants, a number that has steadily increased over the last 30 years. Similarly, remittances have increased from US $126B in 2000 to more than $700B in 2020, with the US, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland and Germany operating as the top 5 sending countries as of 2020.


While rising costs of living have forced migrants to be more conscious about how they allocate funds for remittances, as of July 2022, WorldRemit data indicates education is one of the top 3 reasons people send money.


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




Notes to Editors:

If you are to use this data in an article, would you please credit the research via this link:



12019:, Remittances matter: 8 facts you don’t know about the money migrants send back home

2022: IOM UN Migration, World Migration Report 2022



In the study, WorldRemit looked at the following countries and researched basic school supplies:

  • United States of America
  • United Kingdom
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • Philippines
  • Mexico
  • Uganda
  • Tanzania
  • India
  • Nigeria
  • Guatemala
  • Colombia
  • Dominican Republic
  • Morocco
  • Zimbabwe
  • Lebanon
  • Cameroon
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • France
  • Spain


For 2023:


Using the 2022 items list dataset provided, we identified the 2023 prices for 21 counties for the back to school items. Using the data provided from last year we searched for more up to date and cheaper options if available. Using the quantity of items needed shown in column B, we multiplied the cost of the items (when required) to match the quantity e.g. 6 polo shirts, the price identified for one shirt was multiplied by six.The data was gathered between the 21st and 27th of June 2023. All prices were converted into GBP and US dollars using Google on 29th June 2023.


Once all item prices had been gathered, using the CIA world factbook we updated the fertility rate for 2023 estimates and multiplied the cost of the total school items by fertility rate to showcase an overall cost of going back to school for a family.


We also used the World Bank data (as used in the 2022 dataset) to pull the average Net National Income per capita in US dollars and divided this by 12 to showcase a potential monthly salary. The UK had 2018 data from the World Bank, so instead we used OECD data to get the Net National Income for the UK.


For 2022:


The primary school items were selected based on the most common back to school items. The price of each item was searched for online and the lowest price item was selected from one of the most popular online retailers in that country. The prices were researched in July 2022. The exchange rate from the local currency was calculated on 06/08/2022 at 9:00 BST. The fertility rate and income was gathered from the CIA world factbook.

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