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Charted: Hours Worked vs. Salaries in OECD Countries

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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 country’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

Here’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)
1🇮🇸 Iceland$1,528.3327.87$54.84
2🇱🇺 Luxembourg$1,505.9628.33$53.15
3🇺🇸 United States$1,489.6834.83$42.78
4🇨🇭 Switzerland$1,403.7129.40$47.75
5🇧🇪 Belgium$1,247.0729.35$42.50
6🇩🇰 Denmark$1,233.2026.38$46.75
7🇦🇹 Austria$1,226.9527.76$44.19
8🇳🇱 Netherlands$1,215.8727.44$44.31
9🇦🇺 Australia$1,142.4632.83$34.80
10🇨🇦 Canada$1,135.5832.42$35.02
11🇩🇪 Germany$1,133.4725.79$43.96
12🇬🇧 United Kingdom$1,038.1729.46$35.24
13🇳🇴 Norway$1,033.7727.40$37.73
14🇫🇷 France$1,014.6829.07$34.91
15🇮🇪 Ireland$1,004.6731.87$31.52
16🇫🇮 Finland$996.8428.81$34.60
17🇳🇿 New Zealand$975.4333.62$29.02
18🇸🇪 Sweden$969.3627.70$34.99
19🇰🇷 South Korea$940.8136.56$25.73
20🇸🇮 Slovenia$907.7631.13$29.16
21🇮🇹 Italy$863.3332.59$26.49
22🇮🇱 Israel$849.1536.38$23.34
23🇱🇹 Lithuania$843.7431.23$27.01
24🇪🇸 Spain$824.2231.61$26.08
25🇯🇵 Japan$798.2530.90$25.83
26🇵🇱 Poland$709.5534.90$20.33
27🇪🇪 Estonia$667.4034.05$19.60
28🇱🇻 Latvia$656.4629.87$21.98
29🇨🇿 Czech Republic$643.7633.73$19.08
30🇨🇱 Chile$635.4237.75$16.83
31🇵🇹 Portugal$613.8831.44$19.52
32🇭🇺 Hungary$547.5932.68$16.75
33🇸🇰 Slovak Republic$505.0531.19$16.19
34🇬🇷 Greece$499.6036.27$13.77
35🇲🇽 Mexico$320.8742.81$7.49

Note: 2022 data for OECD members Colombia, Costa Rica, and Türkiye 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 doesn’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.

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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.

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Countries

Mapped: The Population of China and India in Perspective

We compare the populations of India and China to other top countries and regions for a unique perspective on the world’s demographics.

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The Population of China and India in Perspective

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.

China and India, the world’s two most populous countries, each boast populations exceeding 1.4 billion people.

To put this into perspective, we visualized populations of China and India beside other leading countries and regions. All figures are for 2023, and were accessed via Worldometer.

Data and Key Takeaways

All of the data we used to create this graphic is listed in the table below.

Country / RegionPopulation (2023)
🌍 Africa1,460,481,772
🇮🇳 India1,428,627,663
🇨🇳 China1,425,671,352
🌎 Latin America & the Caribbean664,997,121
🇪🇺🇬🇧 EU plus UK516,659,018
🇺🇸 U.S.339,996,563
🇮🇩 Indonesia277,534,122

From these figures, we can see that the entire population of Africa (currently the fastest growing region in the world) barely surpasses that of China and India.

The populations of China and India are each more than double the size of Latin America and the Caribbean, and nearly triple that of the European Union (including the UK).

Fast Facts on Global Population

Here are some important figures to know regarding the world’s population:

  • China accounts for 17.7% of the world’s population, while India represents a slightly larger 17.8% share.
  • Africa is the fastest growing region in the world, with annual growth of about 2.4%.
  • Europe is the only region in the world that is shrinking, at about -0.17% annually.

Learn More About Demographics from Visual Capitalist

If you enjoy graphics like these, be sure to check out Population Projections: The World’s 6 Largest Countries in 2075.

It reveals a startling contrast between the trajectories of China and India, with the latter peaking at 1.7 billion in the mid-2060s.

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Visualizing Asia's Water Dilemma

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