Highest Minimum Wage

Top-10 Countries with the Highest Minimum Wage

The minimum wage within a country may be a good indicator of many things like the life standards or cost of living in that particular country. The UK Government website, Gov.uk, defines minimum wage as “the minimum pay per hour almost all workers are entitled to by law” [1].

The necessity of a government-set minimum wage is, of course, arguable, but it is also a fact that it prevents many employers from paying their employees “immoraly”, as stated in the German law, although that particular law doesn’t actually say how low is “immoral” [2].

On the other hand, although a government-set minimum wage may look cute from where you’re standing, it may well be used to legalize the aforementioned “immoral payment”, which is not quite uncommon, really.

It is for you to decide the actual function of the “phenomenon”, so let’s take a look at the countries with the highest minimum wage [3]. Do have a look at our list of “countries with the lowest minimum wage” too, once you finish reading this one.

10. France

Etretat, France

Etretat, France

France seems to be the 10th country in the world that gives its employees the highest minimum wage. A worker on the minimum wage can earn $22.237 a year, working 35 hours per week, which means anyone who works in France can make $1853 a month.

9. Ireland

Donegal, Ireland

Donegal, Ireland

In the Republic of Ireland, the annual earnings of a worker is $22.490 minimum for working a maximum of 39 hours a week, which makes a monthly salary of $1874.

8. Germany


Neuschwanstein Castle

Germany, which did not have a minimum wage like the Scandinavian countries until 2015, is now among the top 10 countries with the highest minimum wage with an hourly minimum wage of 8.50 Euros. In the country where a work week lasts 40.5 hours, it is possible to make $22,950 a year, which equals to $1913 per month.

7. Netherlands

Vrijthof, Maastricht, Holland

Vrijthof, Maastricht, Holland

The Dutch have to work 40 hours per week for $23,003 a year, which means every full-time employee can make at least $1917 a month in The Netherlands.

6. Belgium

Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, Belgium

Although your length of service has a direct impact on the social benefits you could get, a new employee makes a minimum of $23.104 for working 38 hours a week in Belgium. This makes $1925 every month.

5. New Zealand

Ross, South Island, New Zealand

Ross, South Island, New Zealand

In order to make $24.098 a year in New Zealand, all you need to do is to work 40 hours per week. This way, you can take $2008 home every month.

4. San Marino

Fortress of Guaita, San Marino

Fortress of Guaita, San Marino

A microstate near Italy, San Marino is the 4th country that pays the highest minimum wage with an annual payment of $24.347. A normal working week in the country takes 37.5 hours and the minimum monthly earning of a worker is $2029.

3. Monaco

Casino Monte Carlo, Monaco

Casino Monte Carlo, Monaco

The Principality of Monaco is an interesting one. The minimum annual salary in Monaco is $26.016 ($2168 monthly) and a regular working week takes 39 hours. However, only 16% of the prinpality’s population has to live on that money. The rest of the employees earn more than that.

2. Luxembourg



Just like Canada, Luxembourg is also expected to be among the top-10 countries with the highest minimum wage, and there she is! For 40 hours of working per week, one can make a minimum of $29.611 in Luxembourg. Divided by 12, the minimum monthly salary in the country is $2468.

1. Australia

Hornby Lighthouse, Australia

Hornby Lighthouse, Australia

Australia pays almost $5000 more than its runner up as a minimum wage. The annual earnings of anyone who works legally in Australia is $34.358 ($2863) and the working week in the country takes 38 hours total. These numbers make Australia the top-minimum-wage-paying country in the world!

But where are the Scandinavian countries and Switzerland?

Well, there’s no government-set minimum wage in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland along with Switzerland, Finland, Austria and many more. In those countries, the minimum wages are usually calculated sector by sector in ‘Collective Bargaining Agreements’ and paid accordingly. Germany, on the other hand, has had a minimum wage regulation since 01.01.2015.

The United States of America, on the other hand, offers its employees a minimum of $15.080 per year for 40 hours a week ($1257 per month), claiming the 13th place in the world rankings, while Turkey, with 45 hours a week and $7560 a year (around $600 a month, including the health insurance), is the 29th in the list. Russia is around the middle with a minimum wage of $2161 a year ($180 a month) and the working week is 40 hours.

The three countries with lowest minimum wage are Sierra Leone, Uganda and Myanmar (Burma) with an annual minimum salary below $100.

It should be noted, though, that those are the legal wages for legal workers. It is an unfortunately well-known fact that hundreds of thousands of people who have to work under inhumane conditions with inhumane payments (or no payment or health service at all – a.k.a. slavery). Since such events usually take place off the books, it is not possible to calculate exactly what goes around over there…

Now you wonder which countries pay the lowest minimum wage? Please click on the link…


  1. https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage/what-is-the-minimum-wage
  2. http://www.germany.info/Vertretung/usa/en/newsletter/The__Week__in__Germany/TWIG-130913.html?archive=2055094
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_minimum_wages_by_country
  4. http://www.germanynews.net/index.php/sid/223558107/scat/0b761d844c35f1be/ht/Germany-may-become-22nd-EU-state-with-federal-minimum-wage

Top-10 Countries with the Highest Minimum Wage / Asgari Ücretin En Yüksek Olduğu 10 Ülke
Article Name
Top-10 Countries with the Highest Minimum Wage / Asgari Ücretin En Yüksek Olduğu 10 Ülke
Top-10 Countries with the Highest Minimum Wage / Asgari Ücretin En Yüksek Olduğu 10 Ülke


  1. 27 February 2016  11:15 by C Reply

    I am stunned at this statistic sitting at number one!! How could people take this seriously!?
    This is a statement compiled on false information.
    I completely disagree with Australia being the country that pays the highest munimum wage!
    Statement of fact is that Australia has one of the absurdly highest costs of living - no matter where you live in the country. Ordinary people struggle daily to make ends meet and many more just scrape by. It is a capitalist paradise though for the wealthy and greedy, of course. Most
    employers are notorious at proposing pay deals. They're absolute experts when it comes to exploitation of their workers and proposing salary conditions. The wages are generally relatively low against the soaring cost of living across everything that englobes goods and services. Australia would be the last country contained in the most developed and advanced nations in the world that I would choose to live or call home - simply for all the above-mentioned reasons and beyond.
    Are you kiddin' half-way world around? Just exactly who are you trying to fool?
    Please, let's be sensible and realistic.

    • 12 March 2016  13:40 by ecotripsos Reply

      Thank you for your comment. For further clarification, please keep the following in mind:
      1. This article is not about "Cost of Living", which is something entirely different than 'Minimum Wage'
      2. This article is not about "Purchasing Power", which is something entirely different than 'Minimum Wage'.

      Minimum wage is only about the numbers. What you can do with these numbers depends on the country's economy, which is by no means the topic of this article.

    • 26 August 2014  19:04 by ecotripsos Reply

      In deed it is really high. But you should also consider the general cost of living within the country, which is definitely very high. The purchasing power of the minimum wage is for sure quite low.

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