Connect with us


Charted: Hours Worked vs. Salaries in OECD Countries



A chart with the average number of working hours per week, with a typical weekly wage in 35 OECD countries.

Comparing Weekly Work Hours and Salaries in OECD Countries

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is generally regarded as a collection of highly developed, high income countries. However with 38 member states from across the globe, economic prosperity can still vary widely between these nations.

To illustrate this, Truman Du from Genuine Impact charts the average weekly work hours and salaries across the OECD in 2022.

For wages, the OECD divided a countryโ€™s total wage bill by the average number of employees, accounting for inflation by using USD constant prices with a 2016 base year. Importantly, they also adjust using purchasing power parity (PPP) for private consumption of the same year.

Ranked: OECD Countries By Working Hours & Average Pay

Hereโ€™s a list of 35 OECD countries ranked by their weekly wage in 2022.

Iceland has the highest weekly wage at $1,528 in the OECD block much higher than all four of its Nordic neighbors. This results in Icelandic workers, on average, earning nearly $55/hour.

RankCountryAvg. Weekly Wage (USD)Avg. Weekly Work (Hours)Avg. Hourly Rate (USD)
1๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ Iceland$1,528.3327.87$54.84
2๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡บ Luxembourg$1,505.9628.33$53.15
3๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United States$1,489.6834.83$42.78
4๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ Switzerland$1,403.7129.40$47.75
5๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช Belgium$1,247.0729.35$42.50
6๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Denmark$1,233.2026.38$46.75
7๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡น Austria$1,226.9527.76$44.19
8๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Netherlands$1,215.8727.44$44.31
9๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia$1,142.4632.83$34.80
10๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada$1,135.5832.42$35.02
11๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany$1,133.4725.79$43.96
12๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United Kingdom$1,038.1729.46$35.24
13๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด Norway$1,033.7727.40$37.73
14๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท France$1,014.6829.07$34.91
15๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช Ireland$1,004.6731.87$31.52
16๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Finland$996.8428.81$34.60
17๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ New Zealand$975.4333.62$29.02
18๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช Sweden$969.3627.70$34.99
19๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท South Korea$940.8136.56$25.73
20๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Slovenia$907.7631.13$29.16
21๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Italy$863.3332.59$26.49
22๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Israel$849.1536.38$23.34
23๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡น Lithuania$843.7431.23$27.01
24๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain$824.2231.61$26.08
25๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต Japan$798.2530.90$25.83
26๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ Poland$709.5534.90$20.33
27๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช Estonia$667.4034.05$19.60
28๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ป Latvia$656.4629.87$21.98
29๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Czech Republic$643.7633.73$19.08
30๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Chile$635.4237.75$16.83
31๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น Portugal$613.8831.44$19.52
32๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡บ Hungary$547.5932.68$16.75
33๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Slovak Republic$505.0531.19$16.19
34๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท Greece$499.6036.27$13.77
35๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ Mexico$320.8742.81$7.49

Note: 2022 data for OECD members Colombia, Costa Rica, and Tรผrkiye is missing from the source and has not been included.

Luxembourg, ranked second place, is the only other country with an average weekly wage that comes in above $1,500.

The U.S. ($1,490), Switzerland ($1,404), and Belgium ($1,247) round out the top five countries with the highest weekly pay in the OECD.

On the other hand, Mexican workers make around $321 a week, the lowest in this dataset.

Hourly Wages & Cost of Living

Despite the wage data using PPP-adjusted metrics, it still doesnโ€™t fully account for discrepancies in local prices, which are influenced by complex factors like tariffs and fuel costs for imported goods, the impact of monopolies and cartels, the price of non-traded goods (energy, housing costs) and government taxes.

And while the difference in salaries seem massive, paying workers enough to meet their costs of living also plays a factor. Countries with higher weekly wages also correlate with a much higher cost of living and vice versa.

Switzerland, Denmark, and Iceland for example are in the top 10 countries with the highest cost of living compared to Mexico, which is far more affordable.

So, while it seems that an average Icelandic worker makes almost 7x what an average Mexican worker makes, the reality of how much of that wage is spent in supporting an average lifestyle in both countries is less direct.

green check mark icon

This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

Click for Comments


Ranked: Share of Global Arms Exports in 2022

The U.S. is the biggest weapons exporter in the world, but which other countries take up a significant share of global arms exports in 2022? And how has that share changed over time?



A cropped chart showing the biggest weapons exporters by share of global arms exports in 2022.

Ranked: Share of Global Arms Exports 2018โ€“2022

In 2022, global military budgets hit $2.2 trillion, an eighth consecutive year of increase.

Part of those budgets were used for the procurement of arms, but which countries are major weapons suppliers, and how do they influence the global arms trade?

We chart out the top 10 countries with the biggest share of global arms exports using data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Which Country Exports the Most Weapons?

The U.S. is the biggest weapons exporter, accounting for 40% of the total volume of international arms transfers between 2018โ€“2022. Nearly one-fifth of these exports headed to Saudi Arabia, and other significant amounts went to Japan (8.6%) and Australia (8.4%).

Below we rank the biggest weapons exporters by share of total volume traded in 2018โ€“2022, as well as their growth or decline from trends recorded in 2013โ€“2017.

RankCountry% share of global arms exports
% change between
2013-17 & 2018-22
1๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S.40%+14%
2๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ Russia16%-31%
3๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท France11%+44%
4๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ China5%-23%
5๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany4%-35%
6๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Italy4%+45%
7๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง UK3%-35%
8๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain3%-4%
9๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท South Korea2%+74%
10๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Israel2%-15%
N/A๐ŸŒ Rest of World9%N/A

Russia (16%) and France (11%) rank close together, followed by China (5%) and Germany (4%) to round out the top five major arms exporters.

However France’s export volumes grown considerably (+44%) from the previous five-year period, thanks to big sales to India, which included 62 combat aircraft and four submarines, one-third of all French weapons trade. This has resulted in France leapfrogging the U.S. as India’s second-largest weapons supplier after Russia.

On the other hand, Russia’s exports by volume has decreased (-31%) even before sanctions kicked in after the invasion of Ukraine. Its biggest trade partners, India and China, have prioritized developing their own weapons industries.

South Korea’s Surging Weapons Exports

Another country whose arms sales are skyrocketing is South Korea, which ranks 9th in the overall share of global arms exports, but has seen a 74% increase in its export volumes. Key recipients include the Philippines, India, and Thailand.

South Korean president Yoon Suk Yeol has pledged to grow his country into the worldโ€™s fourth largest arms exporter by 2027.

Interestingly, South Korea is one of three countries which is both a top-10 arms exporter and importer (along with China and the U.S.) as it has many takers for domestically produced military equipment, while simultaneously being reliant on American-produced long-range missiles and advanced combat aircraft.

Continue Reading
MSCI Direct Indexing