List of countries by average wage

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The average wage is a measure for the financial well-being of a country's inhabitants. A similar measure is GDP per capita. However, GDP (on the income side) = compensation of employees + gross operating surplus/mixed income + taxes on production - subsidies. This way, various components increase the GDP that are not directly contributing to the well-being of citizens. In particular, the gross operating surplus consists of corporate profits, which is money that companies save, reinvest, or pay to their shareholders in the form of dividends (who may be located outside the country). Even in the case of reinvestment, much of the money moves offshore, especially with larger multi-national companies. In order to measure the part of the income generated by the domestic economy that is actually earned by the employees, it is better to break down the GDP to its components and consider only wages and salaries.


The data presented represents full-time average annual gross wages and salaries in the entire economy of selected Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries. The figure is derived by taking the national accounts aggregate of wages and salaries, dividing them by the national accounts aggregate for average wage and salary employment, and multiplying it by the ratio of average weekly working hours per full-time employee to average weekly working hours for all employees. The resulting estimates correspond to average annual wages per full-time equivalent dependent employee.[1] The calculations were made using the latest data from the OECD.[2] Wages and salaries are a component of GDP on the income side.

Since PPP conversion is a widely accepted way to compare income (including wages), the data listed are in PPPs (for private consumption).[3]

According to Murphy, the figures here may not match that of other sources for a variety of reasons; National Accounts (NA) wages include both full-time and part-time workers at a full-time equivalent rate. This is likely to reduce the level of NA wages (as compared to average earnings from only full-time jobs) since average wages for part-time workers, even at a full-time equivalent rate, are lower than average earnings from full-time jobs; The lower level of NA wages for certain countries such as Germany, as compared to average earnings reported from some well-known surveys, probably reflects the inclusion of employees in mini (part-time) jobs and apprenticeships. Low-paid apprentices are counted as employees in national accounts and labour force surveys, but are omitted from structure of earnings surveys; Some alternative estimates, for instance those based on labour cost surveys, are limited to establishments with ten or more employees. These surveys tend to overstate average wages, relative to the more comprehensive coverage of NA wages.[1]

RankCountryDisposable USD
Disposable USD
Gross USD
1 United States42,050242 Increase22.8%54,450
2 Ireland41,170531 Increase18.9%50,764
3 Luxembourg37,997-1,477 Decrease28.1%52,847
4  Switzerland35,471-57 Decrease29.4%50,242
5 Australia34,952835 Increase22.3%44,983
6 United Kingdom33,513-1,272 Decrease25.1%44,743
7 Canada32,662-648 Decrease22.7%42,253
8 Norway32,620913 Increase29.3%46,153
9 South Korea31,0511,341 Increase12.3%35,406
10 Netherlands29,269-544 Decrease37.8%47,056
11 Austria29,008-177 Decrease33.4%43,555
12 Sweden28,301480 Increase25.0%37,734
13 Denmark27,974-335 Decrease38.6%45,560
14 Japan27,763724 Increase21.0%35,143
15 France27,45293 Increase28.0%38,128
16 Spain26,856-466 Decrease21.9%34,387
17 Finland25,747146 Increase29.8%36,676
18 Belgium25,64225 Increase42.2%44,364
19 Israel24,225147 Increase18.9%28,804
20 Germany24,174379 Increase39.9%40,223
21 Italy23,194-562 Decrease30.8%33,517
22 Greece21,352-2,039 Decrease18.8%26,295
23 Portugal17,170-2,044 Decrease24.5%22,742
24 Czech Republic15,115-191 Decrease23.0%19,630
25 Slovakia14,701-328 Decrease22.9%19,068
26 Poland14,390116 Increase28.3%20,069
27 Estonia13,737-444 Decrease20.7%17,323
28 Hungary12,84352 Increase35.0%19,437

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^ The Canberra group Expert Group on Household Income Statistics: Final Report and Recommendations, 2001, ISBN 0-9688524-0-8.
  4. ^ Gross wage - Compulsory deduction.
  5. ^ Disposable income in 2011 - Disposable income in 2010.
  6. ^ OECD Tax Database - Table S.2 - Average net personal compulsory payment rate (single, no children, 100% AW)
  7. ^ Figure for Greece was not available in 2011, hence the figure for 2010 has been used instead.
  8. ^ OECD Statistics -> Data by theme -> Labour -> Earnings -> Average annual wages

External links[edit]