Many countries in the world have established a minimum wage. This is to prevent people from being paid too little for the work that is delivered. After all, everyone has to make ends meet in their country on the money they earn. Of course, the rule generally applies that more developed countries are more expensive to live in, and therefore also have a higher minimum wage than other countries. Let’s take a look at the highest and lowest minimum wages in the world.
The lowest minimum wage in the world
VisualCapitalist has mapped the minimum wages of 67 countries. This concerns a gross monthly salary for a full-time job and figures from January 2023 were used for the measurement.
The country at the bottom of the list is Nigeria. There, people get $68 gross per month. In the Netherlands people can just pay their internet bill with that, but in Nigeria they get a little further with that. However, it is not enough to pay rent.
According to Numbeo, the cost of living in Nigeria is between $556 and $1434. In addition, they indicate that the average monthly cost of a single person there is around $492.21, not including rent. In other words, Nigeria is not an ideal place to live on a minimum wage.
Countries such as India, the Philippines, Vietnam and Belarus are also low on the list. However, the minimum wage in most low-wage countries is not enough to pay rent, so normal living in those countries is only possible once people earn more than the minimum wage.
The highest minimum wage in the world
Let’s move right on to the other end of the spectrum. Luxembourg residents can count on the highest minimum wage in the world. There, the minimum wage has risen by 9.2% compared to last year. At the moment, the minimum there is € 2,089.75 gross per month. But yes, life in Luxembourg is anything but cheap. The rent of an apartment is easily between € 1,300 and € 2,100 per month. Furthermore, the average costs for one person are around € 954. With all basic costs covered, people can therefore live just below the minimum wage in Luxembourg.
In second place in the list we find Australia, where people earn $ 2,022 gross per month. Apartment rent sits between $1,100 and $1,650 per month there. The average cost for one person is $1057. Life there is estimated to be 12.6% more expensive than in the Netherlands. It is therefore not easy to live on the minimum wage there.
Where is the US on the list? That ranks number eight, with a gross monthly salary of $1,550. This while the minimum wage has risen by 12% compared to 2022. Meanwhile, we also know that the United States is an expensive country to live in, which Numbeo confirms once again. There they charge an average of $ 1073 per month for one person without rental costs.
It is remarkable that the minimum wage of countries such as Cyprus and Argentina has increased by no less than 100% compared to last year. In Cyprus, the minimum wage is currently $854 and Argentina has a minimum wage of $336 per month.
Minimum wage in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is on the third place highest minimum wage in the world. Certainly a place to be proud of, although it is certainly necessary thanks to the inflation that our country has had to endure recently. According to VisualCapitalist, our minimum wage is $1,719.99, but these figures were most likely taken before the minimum wage increase due to inflation. The minimum wage for people aged 21 and over is currently € 1,934.40 gross per month. With a working week of 40 hours, people earn an average of about € 11.16 per hour.
According to Numbeo, our rental costs are between € 900 and € 1,500 per month (especially if we rent privately) and the monthly costs for one person average € 913. In the Netherlands, it is therefore a lot more profitable to live on the minimum wages than other countries. We can be quite satisfied with that with our small, nagging frog country.