Saturday, April 13, 2024

Top 10 Countries With The Highest Salaries – 2024 List

Why do wages vary between countries? There are several factors including labor laws, union activity, and cost of living, among other things. The local economy also plays a role as it determines how much an employer will be able to pay. There’s also the job market to consider.

For example, wages will be lower if the country has a high unemployment rate (there will be a greater supply of workers). The opposite is also true; wages will go up if the worker pool is small with more competing companies.

Which countries have the highest average salaries in the world? What makes them different from other nations? Want to know? Because that’s what we’ll be going over below. Keep reading to learn more!

Top 10 Countries With The Highest Salaries In 2024

Without further ado, here are the top ten countries with the highest salaries (ranked in terms of average wage in USD).

10. Norway – Average Salary: $54,000

norway

Norway is a country in Northern Europe that’s rich in various natural resources including oil, minerals, hydroelectric power, and natural gas. While they have a high tax rate (personal income is taxed at a flat rate of 22 percent), they offer universal health coverage that includes mental health, ambulatory, primary, and hospital care, as well as prescription drugs.

According to the World Bank, they have one of the highest per capita incomes worldwide, with an annual salary of $54,000. They also have a high labor force participation rate, which explains their low unemployment rate (approximately 3 percent in 2023).

The country also has no official minimum wage. Instead, wages are agreed upon between employers and trade unions. As of 2024, the average monthly salary is 48,700 kroner (before tax), which is approximately $4,585 USD.

Approximately three-tenths of the workforce is employed in areas such as education and health in the public sector. There’s also a demand for the medicine, nursing, oil and gas, construction, engineering, tourism, IT, and communication sectors.

9. Australia – Average Salary: $54,400

According to one study, more than 2.2 million millionaires live in Australia. That’s not all, half of the population also has over $400,000 in wealth. Given that, it’s not surprising to know that they have one of the largest economies in the world based on per capita GDP.

The average salary in Australia is 7,600 Australian dollars per month, which translates to a little over $5,000 USD. Unemployment rates are also low at 3.4 percent. In fact, it was at a 48-year low back in June 2022, which reflects an increasingly tight labor market. The country also has a relatively high minimum wage of $21.38 before tax.

As of 2024, nearly 80 percent of the country’s workforce is employed in the services industry, with more than 60 percent holding tertiary certification.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the education, construction, retail, and healthcare sectors employ the most people across the country (more than 40 percent of their total workforce). Approximately 15 percent of Australians work in the social assistance and healthcare industry, which includes jobs such as aged and disability care workers.

8. Belgium – Average Salary: $55,600

belgium

Belgium is a country located in northwestern Europe. Despite its small size, it’s densely populated and has a well-developed free market economy—one that’s based on the service and industrial sectors.

The average monthly salary in Belgium is 3,832 EUR, which is approximately $4,226 USD. The median wage is at 3,550 EUR, meaning that half of the employees earn up to 3,550 EUR, while the other half take home an even higher salary. The gap between women and men has also been completely eliminated (from 4.1 percent in 2019 to 0.4 percent in 2020). In fact, women earn more than men in some areas of Belgium such as Walloon.

Currently, the petrochemical sector is the best paid, while the food service industry wages are the lowest. Certification, however, does play a role. For example, those holding a master’s degree earn nearly 50 percent more than the average in Belgium.

Aside from the petrochemical sector, steel, textiles, food, paper, and glass processing are also dominant industries. In fact, Belgium is one of the biggest exporters of copper, radium, lead, zinc, and cobalt in the world.

The minimum wage in Belgium has also increased from 1,842 EUR in 2022 to 1,955 EUR in 2023.

7. Germany – Average Income: $56,000

Germany has had the biggest economy in Europe for more than four decades. Currently, they have a GDP of more than 3.57 trillion Euros, which makes it one of the richest countries in the world. In fact, their economy accounts for nearly one-fourth of Europe’s gross domestic product.

The gross average salary in Germany is 47,700 EUR a year or 3,975 EUR a month. Unlike Belgium, however, there is a prominent gender gap, with women earning approximately 18 percent less than men (men make an average of 24.36 EUR while women earn an average of 20.05 EUR per hour). The unemployment rate, however, is fairly low at 3.0 percent.

There are four main sectors in Germany including the mechanical engineering, automotive, electrical, and chemical industries. Some of the biggest employers include BMW, Volkswagen, Daimler, and BASF, all of which are in the automotive sector.

The highest-paid professions, however, belong to the financial, medical, and engineering sectors. Take physicians, for example, they typically bring home 8,960 EUR a month, which is about $9,885 USD.

6. The Netherlands – Average Income: $56,500

netherlands

The Netherlands has the fifth largest economy in Europe—one that is supported by exports of petroleum, electrical machinery, and petroleum. In fiscal year 2022, they had a GDP per capita of $68,500, which made it one of the highest-earning countries in the world.

According to the Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, the median gross income is 38,500 EUR gross per year. A holiday allowance equal to 8 percent of a worker’s annual earnings (approximately one month’s salary) is also given in May to cover their summer holiday expenses. Depending on the employer, there may also be performance-based bonuses, which are paid out every month or year.

The standard working week is 38 hours, with some going up to 40 hours a week. By law, employers also cannot require their workers to work more than 12 hours a day or 60 hours a week.

As of 2024, the biggest sectors in the Netherlands include food processing, oil refining, agriculture, metallurgy, chemical, tourism, and energy industries. Not only that but there has been tremendous gross within the technology industry.

5. Denmark – Average Income: $57,100

Denmark is known for its stable and prosperous economy, which supports a high standard of living. In fact, its per capita gross national product is one of the highest in the world at $68,000 per capita.

According to Statistics Denmark, the average income is 45,481 DKK before taxes, which is equivalent to approximately $6726 USD. The average Dane is also relatively wealthy with a median net worth of 749,519 DKK or $110,800 USD. Unemployment rates are also down from 4.80 percent in 2021 to 2.3 percent in 2023. Not only that but Danish employees are among the happiest in the world with high job satisfaction scores.

While they have some of the world’s lowest income inequality, however, men still earn 13 percent more than women.

As it is, their economy is dominated by the service sector, which employs 80 percent of the population. The manufacturing sector, on the other hand, provides 11 percent of all jobs. In addition to that, they also have significant agriculture, tourism, transportation, and energy industries.

4. United States – Average Income: $65,800

united states

The United States, with a population of 327 million people, has a GDP per capita of $70,248, making it one of the richest in the world. In 2021 alone, the country’s gross domestic product was more than $23.3 trillion.

Some key sectors in the U.S. include professional, financial, and business services. Not only that but they also have significant medical, banking, food, and automotive sectors. Take the healthcare sector, for example, it employs more than 20 million employees with over $1 trillion in annual payroll, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s County Business Patterns. The food and beverage manufacturing sector is also significant, with more than 1.7 million people employed in 2021.

Like several other countries on the list, the country’s unemployment rate has also decreased to 3.4 percent, the lowest since 1969. The gender gap in income has also remained relatively stable over the past two decades.

As of 2024, the median income in the U.S. is $65,800. Some of the highest-paid occupations include chief executives, nurse anesthetists, surgeons, psychiatrists, and orthodontists.

3. Switzerland – Average Income: $66.500

Switzerland has a per capita GDP of $86,850, which puts it at number two in the world. The GDP is also projected to grow over the next two years- by 0.6 percent in 2023 and 1.4 percent in 2024.

While Switzerland doesn’t have a national minimum wage, the Swiss are among the highest-paid workers worldwide. According to a report by OECD, the average resident took home 60,000 CHF in 2020, which is approximately $67,109 USD. If anything, the average wage has remained steady over the past decade.

Not only that but all workers in Switzerland are entitled to four weeks or more of vacation per year. Not only that but full and part-time employed mothers receive 14 weeks of paid maternity leave; the same for employed fathers.

Currently, some of the biggest sectors in Switzerland include construction, food service, administration, arts, entertainment, health and social work, financial and insurance, and manufacturing. Take product managers, for example, they earn an average annual salary of $105,000.

2. Iceland – Average Income: $68,000

iceland

Iceland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world with a GDP per capita of $68,727. It also has a high standard of living and one of the lowest poverty rates (approximately 5 percent as of 2021).

Currently, the average monthly wage in Iceland is 770000 ISK per month, which is approximately $5675 USD. According to a recent report, it’s also projected to go up to 780000 ISK by 2024 and 799143 ISK in 2025. That’s not all, the median household income has also increased by 2.1 percent over the past year.

Some of the major industries in Iceland include the manufacturing, finance, tourism, and fishery sectors. Not only that but they are also the largest green energy producer in the world per capita, with more than 55,000 kWh per person per year.

Unemployment rates have also dropped from 5.40 percent in 2021, a 16-month high, to 3.1 percent in 2023. However, the gender pay gap remains unadjusted at 10.2 percent, which is a slight decrease from 11.9 percent in 2020.

1. Luxembourg – Average Income: $60,400

Luxembourg is by far the smallest country on this list, both in size and population. The economy in Luxembourg is largely based on banking and investment, as you could probably predict. In fact, they are second only to the United States as an investment fund center. Many big internet-based companies have made Luxembourg their country of residence, including Amazon and Skype.

In years past, Luxembourg was one of the world’s great steel producers. They’re not Europe’s primary steel manufacturer anymore, but they still do a fair amount of manufacturing. Many chemicals, different kinds of rubber, and industrial machinery are made in Luxembourg.

They have income tax rates in line with those of countries like Norway and Denmark. This means that while their average salary is the highest in the world, the average take-home pay isn’t as high as in some other countries, by comparison.

Tyler Carlson
Tyler Carlson
When I'm not writing I'm probably gaming or quoting cheesy movie quotes to the annoyance of everyone else around me.
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2 COMMENTS

  1. The
    average would be the wrong statistic for comparison because it is
    sensitive to outliers. For example, if you average the income of a room
    of twenty people, nineteen of them make less than 10k per year and one
    of them is Bill Gates, you don’t get an
    accurate measure of central tendency. The proper statistic to use is the
    median income because it is less sensitive to outliers like Bill Gates.
    Using the median, the proper statistic for comparing central tendency
    of national incomes, Denmark outperforms the U.S.

    • You would also factor things like purchasing power and how much you can obtain for your money. With the whopping 25% sales tax on every common item in Denmark i’d say America wins. A lot of things such as gasoline (petrol) cant even get away with a car in Denmark without a whopping car tax..Only so much of it is really disposable. And of course comparing a land of 320 million people to a small country compared to the entirety of the EU for example is a pretty big difference.

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