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Charted: Retirement Age by Country

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charting the world's retirement age by country

Charted: Retirement Age by Country

The retirement landscape can look completely different depending on what country you’re in. And charting the retirement age by country reveals a lot of differences in the the makeup of a labor force, both for economic and cultural reasons.

This graphic delves into the current and effective retirement ages across 45 nations in 2020, based on comprehensive data from the OECD 2021 report.

Defining Retirement Ages

Before we dive into the numbers, let’s clarify the measurements used by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD):

  • The current retirement age is the age at which individuals can retire without penalty to pension after completing a full career starting from age 22.
  • The effective retirement age refers to the average age of exit from the labor force for workers aged 40 years or more.

Many countries have seen workers effectively retire earlier or later than the current retirement age. This variance can arise due to a multitude in factors including differences in career start ages, some industries offering earlier retirements or benefits for later commitments, or countries facilitating different workforce exits due to market demands and policies.

Some people also choose to retire early due to personal reasons or a lack of available work, receiving a smaller pension or in some cases forgoing it entirely. Likewise, some people choose to stay employed if they are able to find work.

Retirement Age by Country in 2020

Here’s a snapshot of the current and effective retirement ages by country in 2020:

CountryRetirement age
(Current)
Retirement age
(Effective)
Retirement age
(Women, Effective)
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡น Austria656261
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช Belgium656160
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada656463
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Chile656561
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ด Colombia626760
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ท Costa Rica626762
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Czech Republic646362
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Denmark6664N/A
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช Estonia646465
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Finland656364
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท France656061
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany6663N/A
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท Greece626158
๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡บ Hungary656260
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ Iceland676664
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช Ireland6664N/A
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Israel6765N/A
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Italy626261
๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต Japan656867
๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท Korea, Republic of626665
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ป Latvia646665
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡น Lithuania6463N/A
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡บ Luxembourg625960
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ Mexico656663
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Netherlands666463
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ New Zealand656866
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด Norway676563
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ Poland656260
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น Portugal656563
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Slovakia6360N/A
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Slovenia626261
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain656160
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช Sweden656665
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ Switzerland656564
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท Tรผrkiye526159
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United Kingdom666463
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United States6665N/A
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ European Union (Average)6463N/A
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ท Argentina656263
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท Brazil626259
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ China (People's Republic of)606661
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ India5867N/A
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฉ Indonesia5769N/A
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ Russia626260
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Saudi Arabia4759N/A
๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ South Africa606056

Three countries had the highest current retirement age at 67 years, Iceland, Israel, and Norway, but all had slightly lower effective retirement ages on average. On the flip side, Saudi Arabia had the lowest current retirement age at only 47 years with full pension benefits. Only Tรผrkiye at 52 years was close, and notably both had much higher effective retirement ages on average.

Discrepancies between different regions are clear across the board. Many Asian countries including China, India, and South Korea have official minimum retirement ages in the early 60s and late 50s, but see workers stay in the workforce well into their late 60s. Meanwhile, most European countries as well as the U.S. and Canada have more workers retire earlier than minimum retirement ages on average.

Almost all of the countries with measured effective retirement ages for women also saw them exit the workforce earlier than men. This can be the result of cultural gender norms, labor force participation rates, and even the setup of pension systems in different countries.

The five exceptions in the dataset where women retired later than men? Argentina, Estonia, Finland, France, and Luxembourg.

Looking to the Future

In 2023, France sparked controversy by raising its early retirement age by two years. This decision triggered widespread strikes and riots and ignited debates about the balance between economic sustainability and individual well-being.

Given aging demographics in many developed countries and a continued need for labor, this isn’t expected to be the only country to reassess retirement. The OECD projects a two-year increase in the average effective retirement age by the mid-2060s.

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Personal Finance

Mapped: The Income a Family Needs to Live Comfortably in Every U.S. State

Families in expensive states require over $270,000 annually to live comfortably.

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A map showing the income that two working adults with two children need to live comfortably in each U.S. state.

The Income a Family Needs to Live Comfortably in Every U.S. State

This was originally posted on ourย Voronoi app. Download the app for free onย iOSย orย Androidย and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Families in the top five most expensive U.S. states require an annual income exceeding $270,000 to live comfortably.

This visualization illustrates the income necessary for two working adults with two children to maintain a comfortable lifestyle in each state.

“Comfortable” is defined as the income needed to cover a 50/30/20 budget, with 50% allocated to necessities like housing and utilities, 30% to discretionary spending, and 20% to savings or investments.

The calculations for family income needed in each state were done by SmartAsset, using the cost of necessities sourced from the MIT Living Wage Calculator, last updated on Feb. 14, 2024.

Massachusetts Tops the List

Massachusetts is the most expensive state to live comfortably in, requiring a total family income of about $301,184. Hawaii ($294,611) comes in second, followed by Connecticut ($279,885).

Housing is one main reason Massachusetts is an expensive state to live in, particularly in the Boston area. In addition, the state also has a high cost of living, including expenses such as healthcare and utilities.

RankStateIncome for 2 working adults raising 2 children
1Massachusetts$301,184
2Hawaii$294,611
3Connecticut$279,885
4New York$278,970
5California$276,723
6Colorado$264,992
7Washington$257,421
8Oregon$257,338
9New Jersey$251,181
10Rhode Island$249,267
11Vermont$248,352
12Minnesota$244,774
13New Hampshire$244,109
14Alaska$242,611
15Maryland$239,450
16Nevada$237,286
17Virginia$235,206
18Illinois$231,962
19Arizona$230,630
20Pennsylvania$230,464
21Maine$229,549
22Delaware$228,966
23Wisconsin$225,056
24Utah$218,483
25Michigan$214,490
26Nebraska$213,075
27Georgia$212,826
28Montana$211,411
28Iowa$211,411
30Idaho$211,245
31North Carolina$209,331
31Ohio$209,331
33Florida$209,082
34Indiana$206,003
35New Mexico$203,923
36Wyoming$203,424
37Missouri$202,259
38North Dakota$202,176
39Texas$201,344
40South Carolina$200,762
41Kansas$196,768
42Tennessee$195,770
43Oklahoma$194,106
44Alabama$193,606
45South Dakota$192,608
46Kentucky$190,112
47Louisiana$189,613
48West Virginia$189,363
49Arkansas$180,794
50Mississippi$177,798

Meanwhile, Mississippi is the least expensive state for a family to live comfortably, requiring $177,798 per year. Arkansas ($180,794) comes in second, followed by West Virginia ($189,363). In common, all these states share low prices of housing.

Learn More About Cost of Living From Visual Capitalist

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check outย this graphic, which ranks the median down payment for a house by U.S. state.

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