Minimum Wage By Country 2019

Minimum wage is the lowest salary or payment in exchange for work that employers can legally compensate their workers – the price floor below which workers may not sell their labor.

Minimum wages were first called for as a way to stop the exploitation of workers in sweatshops and then came to be seen as a way to help lower-income families. Most countries had introduced minimum wage legislation by the end of the 20th century.

Opponents of minimum wage believe that it increases poverty, increases unemployment because low-wage workers will be unable to find work, and damages businesses because the wage requirements will cause businesses to raise prices of their product and service to accommodate the cost of labor.

Supporters of minimum wage argue the opposite, saying that it increases the standard of living for workers and reduces poverty, as well as reduces inequality and boosts employee morale.

The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development developed a list of each country’s minimum wages. The ten countries with the highest minimum wages (in USD) are:

  1. Luxembourg ($13.78)
  2. Australia ($12.14)
  3. France ($11.66)
  4. New Zealand ($11.20)
  5. Germany ($10.87)
  6. Netherlands ($10.44)
  7. Belgium ($10.38)
  8. United Kingdom ($10.34)
  9. Ireland ($9.62)
  10. Canada ($9.52)

Luxembourg has the highest minimum wage in the world of $13.78 per hour. The minimum wage rises 20% for individuals classed as skilled workers (must be 18 or older) and decreases by 20-25% for individuals classed as adolescent workers (17-18 years old). Salaries, wages, and minimum wage are all adjusted in line with the evolution of the cost of living in Luxembourg; therefore, if the consumer price index falls by a certain percentage, salaries are adjusted by the same percentage.

The minimum wage in the United States is $7.25 per hour, the 12th highest in the world. The states, however, have the power to increase the federal minimum wage as 29 of them did. Furthermore, many states have enacted or proposed legislation to gradually increase the minimum wage by increments over the next several years to reach a specific wage. The federal minimum wages for tipped workers is $2.13 per hour, a minimum wage that states also have enacted their own legislation for.

Below is a list of each country’s minimum wage in US dollars.

* Data is for 2018
Country Hourly Minimum Wage Annual Minimum Wage Earnings Population 2019
Mexico$1.05$1,193.78127,575,529
Brazil$2.18$5,114.28211,049,527
Chile$2.25$7,319.5318,952,038
Russia$2.27$4,734.24145,872,256
Colombia$2.66$7,768.4550,339,443
Hungary$2.9$10,669.449,684,679
Poland$3.35$13,214.8837,887,768
Costa Rica$3.37$9,132.35,047,561
Estonia$3.4$7,082.271,325,648
Slovakia$3.43$10,518.395,457,013
Latvia$4.3$8,969.791,906,743
Lithuania$4.78$9,365.142,759,627
Greece$4.98$12,12810,473,455
Czech Republic$5.17$10,342.4410,689,209
Slovenia$5.72$15,269.872,078,654
Portugal$5.76$9,584.7210,226,187
Spain$5.83$14,289.7646,736,776
Turkey$6.05$12,616.0283,429,615
South Korea$6.84$19,880.7551,225,308
United States$7.25$15,080329,064,917
Israel$7.94$17,713.128,519,377
Canada$9.52$20,643.4137,411,047
Ireland$9.62$23,447.044,882,495
United Kingdom$10.34$20,053.0967,530,172
Belgium$10.38$22,133.3711,539,328
Netherlands$10.44$23,520.5617,097,130
Germany$10.87$22,097.8683,517,045
New Zealand$11.2$20,932.454,783,063
France$11.66$20,903.3365,129,728
Australia$12.14$23,975.6125,203,198
Luxembourg$13.78$28,603.91615,729