El Salvador’s Basic Food Basket Cost in 2024 is $256.74 in Urban Areas

The Basic Food Basket in Rural Areas is $185.12

By Eddie Galdamez  | Updated on Feb 21st, 2024
El Salvador’s basic food basket costSan Salvador. Image by Prensa Alcaldia SS

El Salvador’s basic food basket cost per family is $256.74 for the urban sector and $185.12 for rural areas. The Salvadoran essential food basket cost in urban areas is about 27.9% more expensive than in the rural sector.

One of the principal worries Salvadorans have entering 2024 is the high cost of living, which includes El Salvador’s basic food basket cost.

This essential food cost is set using a family of 3.73 members for urban and 4.26 for rural areas; it includes essential items such as bread, tortillas, rice, meats, eggs, milk, beans, fruits, and vegetables.

Salvadoran Basic Food Basket Cost in Urban Areas

The Salvadoran basic food basket in urban areas has increased from $245.02 in January 2023 to $256.74 in January 2024, an increment of $11.72 or 4.78% in one year.

Year-to-date, the basic food basket in urban areas is down by $0.32 or 0.12%; it has gone from $257.06 at the end of December 2023 to $256.74 at the end of January 2024.

El Salvador’s food basket cost per family “Urban”
2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 Change from
previous month
January 200.96 200.41 199.24 213.43 245.02 256.74 -0.32 (-0.12%)
February 200.58 199.24 200.41 215.45 249.70
March 200.19 198.90 201.31 220.95 249.09
April 200.53 201.26 200.13 223.86 247.79
May 199.84 209.83 201.04 227.39 247.87
June 202.37 211.44 203.72 235.47 250.77
July 200.68 209.33 202.70 238.71 255.36
August 199.49 203.72 204.75 238.95 255.19
September 198.54 200.65 205.43 237.89 257.61
October 198.14 197.69 212.55 239.87 257.81
November 199.63 200.54 214.14 240.64 255.60
December 199.30 198.14 211.81 240.37 257.06

The food basket cost in the urban sector has increased by 26.87% since the Bukele administration began; it went from $202.37 in June 2019 to $256.74 in January 2024, an increment of $54.37.

Salvadoran Basic Food Basket Cost in Rural Areas

The rural sector is not immune to the increasingly high cost of living; however, its increase is not as high as the urban sector. The rural cost of the basic food basket has decreased from $185.26 in January 2023 to $185.12 in January 2024, a decrease of 0.08% or $0.15 in one year.

Year-to-date, the basic food basket in rural regions is down $0.96 or 0.52%; it has gone from $186.08 at the end of December 2023 to $185.12 at the end of January 2024.

El Salvador’s food basket cost per family “Rural”
2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 Change from
previous month
January 144.91 145.40 141.68 157.13 185.26 185.12 -0.96 (-0.52%)
February 143.40 145.86 143.67 156.50 187.08
March 145.57 145.90 144.71 158.33 188.73
April 144.04 141.96 143.77 163.93 190.10
May 145.78 146.96 145.09 163.36 188.84
June 144.43 151.81 146.31 173.74 188.89
July 144.14 146.62 145.34 178.07 193.98
August 145.35 145.04 148.09 179.47 189.02
September 144.90 142.82 147.12 173.97 192.27
October 145.96 138.76 153.55 183.36 193.48
November 144.07 146.65 153.20 183.47 189.39
December 141.23 141.63 151.88 181.54 186.08

In rural areas, the food basket cost has increased by 28.17% since the Bukele administration started; it went from $144.43 in June 2019 to $185.12 in January 2024, an increment of $40.69.

With record lows in violence and homicides, Salvadorans are primarily worried about the country’s economy. Inflation is high, and essential food items are getting more expensive.

Add to the mix the low wages, and you will see why this is the primary concern for most Salvadorans, especially those living in poverty. Living in El Salvador is more expensive than before the COVID-19 pandemic.