A ranking of OECD countries with the highest minimum wage, measured by hourly and annual wage, using the latest available data from the OECD.
A minimum wage is the lowest salary or payment in exchange for work (labour) that employers can legally remunerate their workers – the price floor below which workers may not sell their labour.
Most countries had introduced minimum wage legislation by the end of the 20th century. However, global minimum wage rates are notoriously hard to compare as some countries may have excessively complicated minimum wage systems in place. Minimum wages can be dictated by a number of social metrics.
“Real hourly and annual minimum wages are statutory minimum wages converted into a common hourly and annual pay period for the 30 OECD countries and two non-member countries for which they are available. The resulting estimates are deflated by national Consumer Price Indices (CPI). The data are then converted into a common currency unit using either US $ current exchange rates or US $ Purchasing Power Parities (PPPs) for private consumption expenditures.”– OECD
Founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade, the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an intergovernmental economic organisation and forum for governments to share experiences and seek solutions to common economic and social problems.
To date, approximately 50 industrialised and emerging-economy countries have joined the OECD as members or adherents.
Generally, OECD member states are considered to be high-income economies with a very high Human Development Index (HDI) and are considered to ‘very high’ or ‘high’ standard of human development.
“Real hourly and annual minimum wages are calculated first by deflating the series using the consumer price index taking 2021 as the base year. The series are then converted into a common currency unit (USD) using Purchasing Power Parities (PPPs) for private consumption expenditures in 2021.”– OECD
Almost all workers in OECD member states are entitled to be paid at least a national minimum wage – sometimes called a national living wage.
As such, it is fair to make the assumption that the countries with the highest minimum wages in the world are likely to be OECD members.
Countries with the highest minimum wage – ranked
The map and table rank the OECD member countries by the highest hourly minimum wage in place in 2021 – the latest available data from the OECD.
For the sake of comparison, wages have been provided in international dollars, a hypothetical unit of currency calculated based on the purchasing power parity (PPP) of household final consumption expenditure.
Some countries have been omitted due to a lack of available data.