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The Largest Gender Pay Gaps in OECD Countries



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Chart showing top 10 largest gender pay gaps among OECD countries

The Largest Gender Pay Gaps in OECD Countries

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While the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) includes 38 member countries who all share a commitment to democracy and economic development, many of them still have significant gender pay gaps between men and women.

In this graphic we’ve ranked the OECD countries with the 10 largest gender pay gaps, using the latest data from the OECD for 2022.

The gender pay gap is calculated as the difference between median full-time earnings for men and women divided by the median full-time earnings of men.

Which Countries Have the Worst Gender Pay Gaps? 

South Korea’s gender pay gap is the highest among OECD members at 31.2%—almost triple the OECD average of 11.6%. 

RankCountryPercentage Difference in Men's & Women's Full-time Earnings
1🇰🇷 South Korea31.2%
2🇮🇱 Israel25.4%
3🇱🇻 Latvia24.9%
4🇯🇵 Japan21.3%
5🇨🇾 Cyprus20.8%
6🇪🇪 Estonia20.5%
7🇲🇹 Malta17.9%
8🇨🇦 Canada17.1%
9🇺🇸 United States17.0%
10🇲🇽 Mexico16.7%
OECD Average11.6%

Additionally, the three largest countries in North America—Canada, the U.S., and Mexico—also all made it on the list. Canada’s gap is the worst among the group (17.1%), closely followed by the U.S. (17.0%), and Mexico (16.7%). 

What’s With South Korea’s Large Gap?

Not only is South Korea’s gender pay gap the highest among OECD members, but its top spot is secured by a wide margin. The country in second place is Israel, with a gender pay gap of 25.4%. While still elevated, this is almost a 6 percentage point difference from South Korea’s.

South Korea’s longstanding workplace seniority system is largely responsible for its wide gap. This system, which rewards years of service, disproportionately penalizes women as they are more likely to temporarily leave the workforce for child rearing. 

See More Graphics about Demographics and Money

If you found this interesting, check out this visualization that looks at wealth expectations for 2024 by generation and gender. 

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