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Visualizing Annual Working Hours in OECD Countries

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Average annual working hours OECD

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Visualizing Annual Working Hours in OECD Countries

Comparing the number of hours people work in different countries can provide insight into cultural work norms, economic productivity, and even labor laws.

With this in mind, we’ve ranked OECD countries (plus a few others) based on their average annual hours worked. Note that this data includes both full-time and part-time workers.

Data and Highlights

The data we sourced from OECD is listed in the table below. All figures are as of 2021 (latest available), with the exception of Colombia, Russia, and Türkiye which are as of 2020.

CountryAverage annual
hours worked
🇲🇽 Mexico2,128
🇨🇷 Costa Rica2,073
🇨🇴 Colombia1,964
🇨🇱 Chile1,916
🇰🇷 South Korea1,910
🇲🇹 Malta*1,882
🇷🇺 Russia*1,874
🇬🇷 Greece1,872
🇷🇴 Romania*1,838
🇭🇷 Croatia*1,835
🇵🇱 Poland1,830
🇺🇸 United States1,791
🇮🇪 Ireland1,775
🇪🇪 Estonia1,767
🇨🇿 Czech Republic1,753
🇮🇱 Israel1,753
🇨🇾 Cyprus*1,745
🇳🇿 New Zealand1,730
🌐 OECD average1,716
🇭🇺 Hungary1,697
🇦🇺 Australia1,694
🇨🇦 Canada1,685
🇮🇹 Italy1,669
🇵🇹 Portugal1,649
🇪🇸 Spain1,641
🇱🇹 Lithuania1,620
🇧🇬 Bulgaria*1,619
🇯🇵 Japan1,607
🇱🇻 Latvia1,601
🇸🇮 Slovenia1,596
🇸🇰 Slovakia1,583
🇹🇷 Türkiye1,572
🇨🇭 Switzerland1,533
🇫🇮 Finland1,518
🇬🇧 United Kingdom1,497
🇧🇪 Belgium1,493
🇫🇷 France1,490
🇸🇪 Sweden1,444
🇦🇹 Austria1,442
🇮🇸 Iceland1,433
🇳🇴 Norway1,427
🇳🇱 Netherlands1,417
🇱🇺 Luxembourg1,382
🇩🇰 Denmark1,363
🇩🇪 Germany1,349

*Non-OECD country

At the top is Mexico, where the average worker clocks over 2,000 hours per year. This reflects the country’s labor dynamics, which typically involves a six-day workweek. For context, 2,128 hours is equal to 266 eight-hour workdays.

The only other country to surpass 2,000 annual hours worked per worker is Costa Rica, which frequently tops the World Economic Forum’s Happy Planet Index (HPI). The HPI is a measure of wellbeing, life expectancy, and ecological footprint.

Looking at the other end of the list, the two countries that work the fewest hours are Germany and Denmark. This is reflective of the strong labor laws in these countries as well as their emphasis on work-life balance.

For example, the German Working Hours Act (Arbeitszeitgesetz) states that daily hours of work may not exceed eight hours. Days can be extended to 10 hours, but only if it averages out to eight hours per working day over a six-month period.

Working fewer hours doesn’t mean that a country is becoming less productive, though. Germany is known for its high value industries like automotive and pharmaceuticals, where robotics and other technologies can greatly enhance productivity.

This is supported by GDP per capita, in which Germany has grown substantially since 2000.

Limitations of this Data

A limitation of this dataset is that it aggregates both full-time and part-time workers. This means that in a country like Japan, where almost 40% of the workforce is non-regular (part-time, contract, etc.), the average figure could be skewed downwards.

Japan is known for its grueling office culture, and it’s likely that many workers are logging significantly more hours than the 1,607 figure reported.

If you enjoy comparisons like these, consider taking a look at our ranking of cities with the best work-life balance.

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Retail

Ranked: The 20 Top Retailers Worldwide, by Revenue

The global retail landscape is constantly evolving amid shifting consumer behaviors. We show the top retailers worldwide in 2024.

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The Top Retailers Worldwide, by Revenue

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

The global retail landscape is constantly evolving, driven by shifting consumer habits and the growing dominance of online sales.

Despite the rise of e-commerce, many of the top retailers worldwide generate the bulk of their sales in physical stores. However, as customers prioritize convenience and a wider selection of goods, e-commerce giants are capturing an increasing share of the retail market.

This graphic shows the world’s leading retailers by revenue, based on data from the National Retail Federation.

The Methodology

To be included in the rankings, companies must engage in a goods-for-consumer resale business accessible to the public. Additionally, they must and have direct selling operations in a minimum of three companies. The rankings include both public and private companies, based on the most recent 52-week period ending between January and March 2024. All revenue figures were converted to U.S. dollars.

Ranked: The Top 20 Global Retailers

Below, we show the world’s leading retail giants by revenue:

RankingRetailerTotal RevenuesShare of Domestic Retail RevenueHeadquarters
1Walmart$628.6B84.7%🇺🇸 U.S.
2Amazon.com$355.1B70.4%🇺🇸 U.S.
3Costco$234.0B75.0%🇺🇸 U.S.
4Schwarz Group$176.4B32.0%🇩🇪 Germany
5The Home Depot$151.6B93.7%🇺🇸 U.S.
6Aldi$145.4B25.8%🇩🇪 Germany
7Walgreens Boots Alliance$117.8B89.3%🇺🇸 U.S.
8Ahold Delhaize$97.0B21.8%🇳🇱 Netherlands
9Alibaba$94.1B97.3%🇨🇳 China
10Carrefour$89.7B34.3%🇫🇷 France
11Seven & I$85.0B62.1%🇯🇵 Japan
12Apple$81.6B86.9%🇺🇸 U.S.
13Rewe$73.5B75.5%🇩🇪 Germany
14Aeon$68.9B93.3%🇯🇵 Japan
15Tesco$61.9B85.1%🇬🇧 UK
16TJX$50.4B78.9%🇺🇸 U.S.
17Leclerc$50.4B95.0%🇫🇷 France
18IKEA$45.6B3.4%🇸🇪 Sweden
19Best Buy$44.6B92.8%🇺🇸 U.S.
20Woolworths Limited (Aus)$43.5B88.2%🇦🇺 Australia

As the largest retailer by sales globally, Walmart raked in $628.6 billion dollars in revenue, with 84.7% of its revenue being domestic.

Today, about 90% of Americans are located within 10 miles of a Walmart store, attracting 200 million visitors each month. To gain a greater edge in the market, Walmart is expanding its advertising business, launching a premium product line, and growing its digital sales channels.

Additionally, it is opening 150 stores in the U.S over the next five years, its largest expansion in almost a decade.

With $355.1 billion in sales, e-commerce titan Amazon ranks in second. In 2024, the company is projected to account for 40.4% of U.S. e-commerce sales. Along with this, Amazon operates physical stores through its Whole Foods subsidiary, Amazon Go, and Amazon Fresh storefronts, yet these make up a fraction of its total retail sales.

As Asia’s largest retailer, Alibaba, falls in ninth place, driven by its Taobao and Tmall online marketplace platforms. While domestic sales comprise the majority of its retail revenues, the company is increasingly focusing on its overseas business given sluggish domestic consumption in China. Notably, retail sales jumped 44% year-over-year across its international retail operations as of the quarter ending in December 2023.

Despite regulatory crackdowns in recent years, it is the seventh-largest company by market cap in the country as of March 2024 across publicly-traded firms.

Retailers With the Highest International Revenues

Across the top 20 retailers by revenue, Germany’s Schwarz Group generated the most sales from international revenues, at $119.9 billion.

As Europe’s largest retailer, Schwarz Group operates in 30 countries worldwide, with overseas operations accounting for 68% of all revenues. Overall, the family-owned multinational serves 7.2 billion customers annually across 14,112 stores.

Swedish furniture giant, IKEA, generates 96.6% of its retail revenues from international stores, the highest share overall. Given that Sweden is known for its steep corporate tax rates, the company strategically expanded its operations worldwide, while retaining the core essence of its brand.

In recent years, the company has experimented with creating more compact stores in urban centers, unlike its traditional suburban warehouses. Through this strategy, its aiming to drive revenues from higher traffic volume in malls as opposed to customers who travel to stores less frequently, but buy more products.

Beyond these retail giants, a number of European chains generate more than half of their revenues from international operations, including Germany’s discount grocery company, Aldi, and France’s Carrefour.

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