Salaries differ massively across the globe and highlight how much or little people live on to get by. Several different factors affect salaries including work opportunities available in a country, a country’s level of wealth, the minimum wage (if one exists at all), and the income tax rate.
The crowd-sourced global database Numbeo has computed the average monthly net (after-tax) salary in some 109 countries around the world. 24/7 Wall St. drew on their data to reveal the 25 nations with the highest take-home pay.
It may surprise no one to learn that the most prosperous country on the list, by a good measure, is Switzerland. Perhaps more unexpectedly, economically thriving South Korea, which boasts the fourth-largest GDP in Asia, takes the bottom place, followed by two generally affluent Western European countries, Austria and Belgium — both among the richest countries in the world.
To identify the countries where people make the most money after taxes on average, 24/7 Wall St. relied on data obtained on August 23, 2021 from Numbeo, a crowd-sourced online database covering metrics related to cost of living, property prices, and quality of life in cities and countries worldwide. Numbeo shows the average monthly net salary, after taxes, for 109 countries with sufficient numbers of contributors.
Population and employment figures came from the World Bank and are for 2019, the latest year for which data was available.
Numbeo aggregates data for countries in real time. Data may be subject to change over relatively shorter periods of time compared to government data sets.
A country’s average salary can illuminate some aspects of its economy but it doesn’t tell us anything about wealth distribution, of course. The United States has the fifth-highest average after-tax salary on this list, at $3,560 a month. But a full-time employee working a job for the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour brings in only $1,160 a month — just over $1,000 a month for a worker in New York State, for instance, about on a par with the average take-home pay in Slovakia or Lebanon.
Meanwhile, according to Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Report, in 2020 there were 20.27 millionaires in America — and the U.S. isn’t even one of the countries with the widest gaps between rich and poor.
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