Minimum Wages Across The World Compared

A large proportion of UK companies have a distinct lack of knowledge regarding the wage rates of other countries around the world. So we thought it would be useful to draw some comparisons between minimum wage rates currently paid in some of the largest economies, worldwide.

The numbers below are indicative of hourly wages in ten countries from a range of different continents; alongside how many minutes employees in these countries would need to work in order to purchase a Big Mac.

Country US Dollars ($) PPP Mins of work to buy a Big Mac 
UK10.78.1924
Brazil1.92.39174
China1.221.99186
Germany11.2810.3423
India0.311.02348
Mexico0.620.9282
Russia0.92.06156
Spain5.795.8248
Tanzania0.120.282400
United States7.257.2536

In Tanzania citizens would need to work 2400 minutes (about 40 hours) in order to earn enough to purchase a Big Mac. Comparatively, here in the UK, we need to work approximately 24 minutes.

Germany boasts the highest wages per hour and thus its workers are able to procure a Big Mac fastest. It is always worth bearing in mind that cost of living, along with wages, differs greatly around the globe and the two are often linked. Germany however buck this trend; enjoying a slightly lower cost of living than here in the United Kingdom as well as a slightly higher hourly rate.

To give some background on the different costs of living around the world; Greenland, Norway and Iceland currently all have the highest living costs globally with Venezuela and Indonesia also ranking as some of the most expensive countries to live in.

Next up it’s the majority of Europe alongside Canada, Australia, parts of Africa and Japan. The United States is surprisingly just below; followed by Russia and Brazil. The cheapest countries in the world to live in are currently India and Malaysia but places like Mexico, South Africa or China wouldn’t set you back too much either.

When brought back into the perspective of hourly wages we can see that whilst countries such as China and Mexico may seem to earn very little compared to the United Kingdom this may not necessarily mean that people in these countries are not earning enough to support themselves and their families.

We hope this article has been somewhat enlightening and has helped more of you to understand how wage rates across some of the major economies worldwide stack up against ours here in the UK.