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Countries with Universal Basic Income 2024

Universal basic income (UBI), also known as basic income, is a social service model that provides all citizens of a country a small monthly or annual stipend, which each person receives regardless of their employment status, income, or any other qualifying factors. UBI aims to reduce poverty and increase the quality of life among citizens. As of early 2022, no countries had implemented a truly universal basic income model, though a few had launched UBI-like programs specifically designed to aid the neediest individuals. Universal basic income models differ in their sources of funding, amounts distributed, and other dimensions.

In the past four decades, many countries including Finland, Canada, the United States, and Brazil (see map above and table at page bottom for full list) have discussed and debated UBI models. Many governments and private organizations have gone on to implement pilot programs to determine the practical cost of universal basic income, as well as its effectiveness in fighting poverty and its effects. The Basic Income Earth Network (BEIN) is one of many groups devoted to the promotion and implementation of universal basic income in countries around the world. The BIEN defines UBI using the following criteria:

Five Defining Characteristics of Universal Basic Income (UBI):

  1. Periodic: distributed in regular payments
  2. Cash payment: distributed as funds, not coupons or vouchers
  3. Individual: paid to every adult citizen, not just every household
  4. Universal: it is paid to all citizens, regardless of their situation
  5. Unconditional: there are no requirements regarding employment status or any other criteria

The pros and cons of universal basic income

As with other policies and models, universal basic income has its advantages and disadvantages. Supporters point out that many UBI pilot programs have resulted in increased school attendance and employment, greater community health, and improved financial stability with no corresponding increase in negative traits, such as unemployment claims or alcohol abuse. Supporters also argue that UBI enables college students to receive a degree in what interests them and not just a degree that will make them money. Because payments are automatic and do not require eligibility evaluations, the government would spend less time administering the welfare than it does now.

However, opponents of UBI argue that the system could not be funded on a nationwide scale without raising taxes for everyone. Additionally, because there are no requirements to receive UBI (proof of employment or willingness to find employment), people may be disincentivized to work. Free income could also trigger inflation, canceling out UBI's stated goal of decreasing poverty and increasing the overall standard of living.

Notable experiments in Universal Basic Income

Universal Basic Income in the United States

The United States has hosted nearly a dozen pilot programs in universal basic income. The longest-running of these is the Alaska Permanent Fund, which has awarded each of its citizens a portion of the state's oil and gas revenues (roughly $1,000-2,000 per year) since 1982.

2020 Presidential Candidates Andrew Yang campaigned with a universal basic income plan called the Freedom Dividend. The Freedom Dividend responds to the increasing automation that will inevitably take away one in three jobs from American workers over the next decade. Yang’s plan would distribute a $1,000 "partial dividend" to each American adult every month ($12,000 per year)—enough to help, but not so much that it would encourage recipients to stop working. Several states have tried small-scale basic income programs in the past, including Alaska, North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Iowa, and California.

Universal Basic Income in Norway

The country whose system most closely resembles universal basic income is Norway. Norway is a welfare state, ensuring that all Norwegian citizens residing in the country have access to education, universal health care, and income in the form of social security or benefits. However, recipients of the monetary benefit must still meet specific conditions. For instance, they must seek work, abide by the law, participate in elections, and pay taxes.

Universal Basic Income in Finland

In 2016, Finland launched a basic income experiment with 2,000 randomly selected unemployed citizens, who were each given 560 euros ($640) monthly. Although the amount was only 50 euros more than what participants were previously receiving from unemployment benefits, they reported being happier and in better health. They also greatly appreciated being relieved of the ongoing paperwork involved with maintaining proof of unemployment eligibility.

Universal Basic Income in Brazil

It could be argued that Brazil has been more openly supportive of universal basic income than any other country. The UBI-like Bolsa Família social program, established in 2004, delivers a stipend worth roughly 20% of minimum wage to the neediest 25% (or so) of Brazil's people, helping them buy food, school supplies, clothing, and shoes. The town of Santo Antônio do Pinhal has gone a step further and established one of the world's first true UBI systems, giving all residents who have lived there a minimum of five years a portion of the city's tax revenue. Finally, a privately funded UBI pilot program has been active in the region of Quatinga Velho since 2008, and according to data, has led to improvements in living conditions, health, housing quality, and nutrition, particularly among children.

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Start Date
End Date
Considered, but not yet implemented as of 2022.
Considered, but not yet implemented as of 2022.
BrazilWelfare and pilot2004ongoing
Bolsa Família is a welfare program passed in 2004 and implemented in stages, which gives roughly 26%...
Considered, but not yet implemented as of 2022.
An early pilot program that ran from 1974-1978 showed increased school attendance, decreased hospita...
Considered, but not yet implemented as of 2022.
Czech RepublicDiscussednonenone
Considered, but not yet implemented as of 2022.
Considered, but not yet implemented as of 2022.
Trial program gave 2,000 unemployed adults a monthly grant. Parliament declined to fund it past 2018...
Considered, but not yet implemented as of 2022.
Considered, but not yet implemented as of 2022.
Considered, but not yet implemented as of 2022.
Considered, but not yet implemented as of 2022.
Considered, but not yet implemented as of 2022.
Trials lasting 12 and 18 months tested effect of a UBI program amounting to 20-30% of a normal low i...
"Under "subsidy reform plan
Considered, but not yet implemented as of 2022.
Considered, but not yet implemented as of 2022.
Test program gives monthly grants of approx. 1/4-1/2 average income. Scheduled to run until 2030.
Considered, but not yet implemented as of 2022.
Considered, but not yet implemented as of 2022.
Pilot program in two villages paid roughly 8% of average income. Significantly reduced child malnutr...
Considered, but not yet implemented as of 2022.
New ZealandDiscussednonenone
Considered, but not yet implemented as of 2022.
Considered, but not yet implemented as of 2022.
Considered, but not yet implemented as of 2022.
South AfricaCOVID-19 relief2020-052020-10
Issued small grants to citizens of working age who had no other governmental support.
South KoreaPartial2016ongoing
Issues quarterly "allowance" to citizens of Gyeonggi province aged 24 or older; can only be used in ...
Considered, but not yet implemented as of 2022.
Considered, but not yet implemented as of 2022.
Considered, but not yet implemented as of 2022.
United KingdomPilot20222025
Pilot program in Wales (U.K.) will give young people over the age of 18 £1,600 ($2,175 USD) per mont...
United StatesPilotmultiplemultiple
Several pilot programs have been conducted or are in process. One notable pilot program is the Alask...
showing: 33 rows

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Organization Managing Trial
Trial Status
Funding Type
Payment Frequency
Duration (Months)
BrazilMunicipal Government of MaricáActive42,000PublicMonthly
BrazilInstituto ReCivitasConcluded100PrivateMonthly
CanadaGovernment of Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social ServicesConcluded6500PublicAnnual12
CanadaProvince of ManitobaConcluded2263PublicMonthly
CanadaGovernment of BCActiveAny individual transitioning out of care PublicMonthly12
FinlandKela and Ministry of Health and Social AffairsConcluded2000PublicMonthly24
GermanyMein Grundeinkommen e.V.Active1464Private, RaffleMonthly12
Hong KongGovernment of Hong KongConcluded~4 millionPublicLump sum
IndiaUNICEF and the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA)Concluded5,547 in general village pilot of 20 villages and 756 in tribal village pilotPrivateMonthly 18
IndiaYolo CountyConcluded54Public/PrivateAnnua12
IndiaTamil Nadu State GovernmentActiveExpected up to 10,000,000 womenPublicMonthly
IndonesiaYanu Endar Prasetyo (IndoBIG Network & Research Center for Population BRIN)Concluded25PrivateMonthly12
IranIslamic Republic of IranActive~ 75 millionPublicMonthly
ItalyCity of LivornoConcluded100PublicMonthly
JapanYusaku MaezawaConcluded500 Lump sum recepients, 500 monthly payment recepientsPrivateMonthly12
KenyaGive DirectlyConcluded503PrivateMonthly or lump sum16
KenyaGive DirectlyActive20,847PrivateMonthly or lump sum24 or 144
LiberiaGive DirectlyActive10,987PrivateMix of monthly and quarterly payments 54
MacauGovernment of MacauActive638,300 permanent residents and 62,000 non-permanent residentsPublicYearly
MongoliaGovernment of MongoliaConcluded~2.7 millionPublicMix of monthly and lump sum
NamibiaNamibian Big Coalition (Council of Churches, Namibian Union of Namibian Workers, Namibian NGO Forum and the Namibian Network of AIDS Service Organisations)Concluded930Public/PrivateMonthly12
NetherlandsCity of UtrechtConcluded752PublicMonthly
Sierra Leone Social IncomeActive146PrivateMonthly36
SpainCity of BarcelonaConcluded1000PublicMonthly12
TogoGovernment of Togo Active819,972Public/PrivateBi-monthly
UgandaGhent UniversityConcluded123 adults and 217 childrenPrivateMonthly
United KingdomWelsh GovernmentActiveExpected 500 young people are eligiblePublicMonthly24
United StatesMckinleyville Family Resource Center, CAActive150Public/PrivateMonthly22
United StatesiFoster, CAActive300Public/PrivateMonthly27
United StatesFirst 5 Sonoma County, CAActive305Public/PrivateMonthly24
United StatesMarin Community Foundation, CAConcluded125Monthly24
United StatesHealth and Human Services Agency (HHSA), CAActive54 familiesPublic/PrivateMonthly
United StatesYolo County, CAConcluded54Public/PrivateAnnual 12
United StatesUnited Way California Capital Region, CAConcluded100PrivateMonthly24
United StatesUnited Way California Capital Region, CAActive130Public/PrivateMonthly
United StatesReinvent Stockton Foundation, CAConcluded125ConcludedMonthly24
United StatesMy Path, Excite Credit Union, CAConcluded72Public/PrivateMonthly18
United StatesCity of Mountain View, CAConcluded166Monthly12
United StatesOpen Research Lab (formerly Y Combinator Research), CAConcluded1000PrivateMonthly36
United StatesExpecting Justice, CAActive950Public/PrivateMonthly27
United StatesMonument Impact, CAActive120Public/PrivateMonthly11
United StatesNYU Furman Center, CAActive450PrivateMonthly12
United StatesComment Studio, CAActive30PrivateMonthly6
United StatesUpTogether, City of Oakland, CAActive600 (2 cohorts)PrivateMonthly18
United StatesMiracle Messages, CAConcluded100PrivateMonthly12
United StatesCity of Alameda, CAActive150Public/PrivateMonthly24
United StatesMyPath and University of California San Francisco, CAActive300Public/PrivateMonthly31
United StatesYerba Buena Center for the Arts, CAConcluded130Public/PrivateMonthly18
United StatesTipping Point Community, CAConcluded150PrivateMonthly18
United StatesCompass Family Services and Wells Fargo Foundation, CAConcluded13Monthly6
United StatesCity of South San Francisco, CAConcluded160Public Monthly12
United StatesMission Asset Fund (MAF), San Mateo County Government, CAActive500PrivateMonthly24
United StatesSan Francisco Human Services Agency, CAConcluded150Public/PrivateMonthly18
United StatesCity of Santa Fe, NMConcluded100PrivateMonthly12
United StatesNew Mexico Appleseed, NMConcluded53Public/PrivateMonthly8
United StatesUpTogethe, NMConcluded330PrivateMonthly12
United StatesCommunity Action Agency, Families and Youth Innovations Plus, Jardin de Los Ninos, NMActive300Public/PrivateMonthly
United StatesUpTogether, TXConcluded30PrivateMonthly12
United StatesUpTogether, TXActive500PrivateMonthly12
United StatesUpTogether, TXConcluded1000Public/PrivateQuarterly24
United StatesCity of Austin (including Austin Public Health, the Homeless Strategy Office, the Equity Office); Uptogether, TXConcluded135Public/PrivateMonthly12
United StatesUpTogether, TXConcluded173PrivateMonthly12
United StatesThe Houston Fund, TXConcluded110Monthly12
United StatesCity of Shreveport, LAConcluded110Public/PrivateMonthly12
United StatesTeacher's College, Columbia University, LAActive1000PrivateMonthly41
United StatesRooted School Foundation, LAActive470PrivateWeekly12
United StatesCity of New Orleans, LAConcluded125PrivateMonthly12
United StatesSpringboard to Opportunities, MSActive100PrivateMonthly12
United StatesCity of Birmingham, ALConcluded110PublicMonthly12
United StatesCommunity Spring, FLConcluded115PrivateMonthly12
United StatesGRO Fund, GAActive650PrivateMonthly24
United StatesCity of Atlanta and Urban League of Greater Atlanta, GAConcluded300Public/PrivateMonthly12
United StatesCity of Columbia; Central Carolina Community Foundation, SCConcluded100PrivateMonthly12
United StatesEastern Band of Cherokee Indians, NCActive15,414PublicBi-annual
United StatesStepUp Durham, City of Durham, NCConcluded109Public/PrivateMonthly12
United StatesInstitute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin -Madison, NCConcluded810PublicMonthly24
United StatesMoving Nashville Forward (MOVE), TNConcluded100PrivateMonthly10
United StatesOsage Nation, OKConcluded11,721PublicOne time
United StatesUpTogether, OKConcluded304PrivateMonthly18
United StatesCherokee Nation, OKConcluded392,832PublicOne time
United StatesHome Grown, COActive100 cash recipients; 55 consented to be part of studyPrivateMonthly12
United StatesUpTogether, COActive20PrivateBi-weekly15
United StatesUpTogether, COConcluded95PrivateMonthly19
United StatesUpTogether COPublic75PublicMonthly18
United StatesHome Grown, COPrivate100 cash recipients; 55 consented to be part of studyPrivateMonthly12
United StatesImpact Charitable, COActive20PrivateBi-weekly15
United StatesStanford Research Institute, COConcluded4800PublicMonthly
United StatesThe Bridge Network, COConcluded20 in 12 month pilot, 15 in 24 month pilotPrivate Monthly12 - 24
United StatesDenver Basic Income Project, Impact Charitable, City of Denver, COConcluded11 (August 2021 soft launch), 28 (July 2022 2.0) and 820 (full launch by November 2022)Public/PrivateOne-time and monthly, or monthly12
United StatesCity of Boulder, COActive20PublicMonthly25
United StatesCity of Boulder Housing & Human Services Department, COActive200Public/PrivateMonthly24
United StatesBrown Hope, ORActive50PrivateMonthly36
United StatesMultonomah Ideas Lab, ORActive75PublicMonthly6
United StatesUpTogether, ORActive70PrivateMonthly12
United StatesTeacher's College, Columbia University, NEActive1000PrivateMonthly42
United StatesInstitute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin -Madison, IAConcluded810PublicMonthly24
United StatesProject Coordination Team at The Harkin Institute, IAActive110Public/PrivateMonthly
United StatesHeartland Alliance, ILConcludedPrivateMonthly28
United StatesCook County Government, Bureau of Economic Development (BED), GiveDirectly, ILActive3,250PublicMonthly24
United StatesLIFT, Inc, ILActive800+PrivateQuarterlyUp to 24 months
United StatesCity of Chicago, Department of Family and Support Services, GiveDirectly, ILConcluded5000PublicMonthly12
United StatesCity of Evanston and Northwestern University, ILConcluded165Public/PrivateMonthly12
United StatesCity of Gary, ILConcluded100PrivateMonthly12
United StatesRooted School Foundation, INActive470PrivateWeekly12
United StatesLouisville Metro Government, KYConcluded151Public/PrivateMonthly12
United StatesYellow Springs Community Foundation, OHActive90PrivateMonthly24
United StatesCity of Alexandria, VAActive150PublicMonthly24
United StatesCity of Ricmond Office of Community Wealth Building, VAActiveTwo cohorts totaling 64 individualsPublic/PrivateMonthly24
United StatesArlington Community FoundationConcluded200PrivateMonthly18
United Statesif, A Foundation for Radical PossibilityActive75PrivateMonthly60
United StatesMartha’s Table, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic DevelopmentConcluded132IndividualsMonthly12
United StatesUptogether, Montgomery Couty Government, MDActive300Public/PrivateMonthly24
United StatesCity of Baltimore, MDActive200Public/PrivateMonthly24
United StatesInstitute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin -Madison, NJConcluded1357PublicMonthly
United StatesPhiladelphia Housing Development Corporation (PHDC), PAActive300Public/PrivateMonthly30
United StatesCity of Newark, NJConcluded200 receiving bi-weekly payment, 200 receiving bi-annual paymentPrivateBi-weekly and semi-annually24
United StatesUpTogether, MAConcluded1482Monthly18
United StatesPoint Source Youth, NYActive30Public/PrivateBi-Monthly24
United StatesMonarch Foundation. NYActivePhase 1: 100 Phase 2: 500PrivateBi-weekly36
United StatesLIFT, Inc. NYActive800+PrivateQuarterly24
United StatesTeacher's College, Columbia University, NYActive1000PrivateMonthly40
United StatesCity of Paterson, NJConcluded110PrivateMonthly
United StatesCity of Mount Vernon, NJConcluded200IndividualsMonthly
United States4-CT, CTActive20PrivateMonthly12
United StatesCity of Providence, Amos House, RIConcluded110Public/PrivateMonthly15
United StatesChildren's Trust of MA, MAActive123PublicMonthly24
United StatesCamp Harbor View & UpTogether, MAConcluded50PrivateMonthly24
United StatesCity of Cambridge, MAConcluded130PrivateMonthly18
United StatesThe National Council, MAConcluded21PrivateMonthly12
United StatesCity of Chelsea, MAConcluded2000Public/PrivateMonthly6
United StatesHealth Metrics, MAActive30PrivateMonthly36
United StatesThe Local Sounds Collaborative, NYActive6PrivateMonthly12
United StatesHuman Services Coalition of Tompkins County, NYConcluded110PrivateMonthly12
United StatesUlster County, NYConcluded100PrivateMonthly12
United StatesCity of Hudson, NYActive75PrivateMonthly60
United StatesUpTogether, MIActive45PrivateMonthly24
United StatesTASC Madison, WIConcluded155PrivateMonthly12
United StatesSpringboard for the Arts, MNConcluded25PrivateMonthly18
United StatesInternational Institute of Minnesota, MNConcluded25PrivateMonthly12
United StatesCity of St. Paul, MNConcluded150Public/PrivateMonthly18
United StatesCity of Minneapolis, MNActive200PublicMonthly24
United StatesMountain Home, MTConcluded10PrivateMonthly12
United StatesStanford Research Institute, WAConcluded4800PublicMonthly
United StatesCity of Tacoma, WAConcluded110PrivateMonthly12
United StatesAlaska Dept of RevenueActive667,047PublicAnnual
showing: 145 rows

Countries with Universal Basic Income 2024

Do any countries have universal basic income?

Many countries have discussed universal basic income or established pilots to study it. However, only Iran has full universal basic income for its citizens.

How many countries have universal basic income?

Iran has full universal basic income. South Korea offers partial basic income. These two countries are the only two that have programs in place for many of their citizens.

Frequently Asked Questions