Countries with the highest minimum wage

with No Comments

A ranking of OECD countries with the highest minimum wage, measured by hourly and annual wage, using the latest available data from the OECD.

map of the countries with the highest minimum wage
Countries with the highest minimum wage (Datawrapper)

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.

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.

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 table below ranks the OECD member states countries by the highest hourly minimum wage in place in 2019.

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.

The following countries have been omitted due to a lack of available data: Austria, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.

RankCountryHourlyAnnual
1Luxembourg$13.40$28,073.07
2Australia$13.35$26,388.47
3France$12.06$21,948.96
4Germany$11.81$24,015.58
5New Zealand$11.46$23,329.98
6Netherlands$11.02$24,826.49
7Ireland$10.97$22,819.37
8Belgium$10.97$21,410.76
9UK$10.47$21,764.44
10Canada$10.23$21,280.47
11Korea$8.61$21,586.09
12Spain$8.58$17,891.70
13Israel$8.00$17,842.48
14Japan*$7.98$16,607.60
15Slovenia$7.95$16,578.57
16USA$7.25$15,080.00
17Poland$6.89$14,363.78
18Turkey$6.74$14,060.17
19Lithuania$6.69$13,143.53
20Portugal$6.29$13,114.47
21Czech Rep.$5.80$11,609.00
22Greece$5.71$14,307.44
23Hungary$5.53$11,544.54
24Estonia$5.17$10,443.54
25Latvia$4.32$9,011.70
26Costa Rica$3.46$9,379.64
27Slovakia$3.18$10,553.32
28Chile$3.12$7,330.74
29Colombia$2.69$7,860.91
30Russia$2.41$5,026.02
31Brazil$2.12$4,967.02
32Mexico$1.21$2,510.34

* 2018 data

Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)