Most Productive Countries 2020

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Which countries are the most productive? This can seem hard to determine because different industries are more common in certain countries than they are in others and the number of hours worked in a week varies greatly between countries.

GDP (PPP) per hour worked is a measure of the productivity of a country excluding unemployment or hours worked per week. Gross domestic product (GDP) refers to the total monetary value of the goods and services produced within one country. Purchasing power parity (PPP) is a macroeconomic analysis metric used to compare economic productivity and the standards of living between nations. GDP (PPP) uses nominal GDP that is adjusted for the relative cost of local goods, services, and inflation rates of the country, rather than using international market exchange rates.

GDP (PPP) per hour worked measures how efficiently labor input, the total hours worked all of the persons engaged in production, is combined with other factors of production and used in the production process.

1. Norway

Norway’s GDP (PPP) per hour worked is $75.08, the highest of any country in the world. Despite this, Norway has the third-lowest average workweek in the world of 38.0 hours per week. Additionally, work-live balance is Norway is highly valued and family is a huge priority, even over work. Parents are often allowed to leave work early to pick up their kids from school. Norwegians are known for being extremely efficient and task-oriented at work and can shut out their jobs from their lives once the clock hits 4 p.m. (the typical end time of a Norwegian workday).

2. Luxembourg

Luxembourg’s GDP (PPP) per hour worked is $73.22. The average workweek in Luxembourg is about 40 hours. It is believed that the main reason for Luxembourg’s high productivity levels is its financial sector. If Luxembourg were to adopt the Scandinavian work-life balance, it is believed that productivity would increase even more.

3. United States

The United States comes in at third for productivity with a GDP (PPP) per hour worked of $67.32. This counters claims that Americans are the most productive workers in the world. American full-time employees work 41.5 hours on average per week and about 11.1% of employees work over 50 hours per week. While the U.S. is still the third-most productive country per hour, this shows that many Americans live to work instead of work as a means to live.

4. Belgium

Belgian workers contribute $60.98 to Belgium’s GDP (PPP) per hour worked, making Belgium the fourth-most productive country in the world. The average workweek for full-time employees in Belgium is about 38.8 hours. Workers in Belgium have strong skills and are highly educated, allowing them to enjoy high wages, relatively low inequality, and a good work-life balance.

5. The Netherlands

GDP (PPP) per hour worked is $60.06 in the Netherlands. The Netherlands has the second-lowest hours worked in an average full-time workweek among OECD countries of 37.3 hours. Productivity is so high in the Netherlands that only 0.4% of employees work over 50 hours per week. The Dutch also have some of the best work-life balance in the world.

6. France

France is the sixth-most productive country in the world. French workers contribute $59.24 to the GDP (PPP) per hour worked. France’s workweeks are the fifth-shortest among OECD countries at 38.9 hours. Although GDP (PPP) per hour worked in France is about 12% lower than in the United States, it is about 25% higher than the OECD average and EU averages.

7. Germany

Germany’s GDP (PPP) per hour worked is $57.36. Germany’s average workweek is 39.5 hours. Productivity is significantly higher in western Germany than it is in eastern Germany even after unification over three decades ago. Eastern Germany has mainly small and medium-sized enterprises with lower labor productivity and western Germany has larger competitive firms.

8. Ireland

Ireland is the eighth-most productive country in the United States with a GDP (PPP) per hour worked of $56.05. Ireland’s full-time employees work an average of 39.7 hours per week. Ireland’s high concentration of multinationals typically drives the largest productivity gains.

9. Australia

Australian workers contribute $55.87 to the country’s GDP for every hour worked. Going against the trend seen in the other most productive countries in the world, Australia’s average workweek is longer at 41.8 hours and about 13% of Australian employees work over 50 hours per week. Australia’s productivity growth has averaged 1.1% per year over the past five years.

10. Denmark

Denmark is the tenth-most productive country in the world with a GDP (PPP) per hour worked of $55.75. Of the OECD member countries, Denmark has the shortest average workweek of just 37.2 hours for full-time employees. Denmark will need to continue to grow its worker productivity to keep up with its welfare system and aging population.

Here are the 10 countries with the highest rates of hourly productivity:

  1. Norway ($75.08)
  2. Luxembourg ($73.22)
  3. United States ($67.32)
  4. Belgium ($60.98)
  5. Netherlands ($60.06)
  6. France ($59.24)
  7. Germany ($57.36)
  8. Ireland ($56.05)
  9. Australia ($55.87)
  10. Denmark ($55.75)

Most Productive Countries 2020

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Most Productive Countries 2020

* Data is from 2013.
Country GDP (PPP) per hour Rank Population 2020
Norway$75.0815,421,241
Luxembourg$73.222625,978
United States$67.323331,002,651
Belgium$60.98411,589,623
Netherlands$60.06517,134,872
France$59.24665,273,511
Germany$57.36783,783,942
Ireland$56.0584,937,786
Australia$55.87925,499,884
Denmark$55.75105,792,202
Sweden$55.281110,099,265
Austria$54.83129,006,398
United Kingdom$51.381367,886,011
Canada$50.291437,742,154
Iceland$50.0115341,243
Switzerland$49.88168,654,622
Spain$49.591746,754,778
Finland$48.79185,540,720
Barbados$46.1919287,375
Italy$45.042060,461,826
Japan$43.7721126,476,461
Singapore$41.46225,850,342
Hong Kong$41.3237,496,981
Trinidad And Tobago$40.04241,399,488
Taiwan$39.972523,816,775
Slovenia$39.78262,078,938
Israel$38.99278,655,535
New Zealand$36.83284,822,233
Malta$36.0229441,543
Slovakia$33.44305,459,642
Greece$32.773110,423,054
South Korea$32.313251,269,185
Czech Republic$31.233310,708,981
Cyprus$31.18341,207,359
Lithuania$27.53352,722,289
Portugal$27.233610,196,709
Poland$25.813737,846,611
Hungary$24.37389,660,351
Estonia$23.5391,326,535
Turkey$22.834084,339,067
Latvia$21.15411,886,198
Russia$19.742145,934,462
Chile$19.554319,116,201
Saint Lucia$18.5844183,627
Uruguay$18.16453,473,730
Costa Rica$17.81465,094,118
Bulgaria$16.48476,948,445
Malaysia$16.474832,365,999
Mexico$16.2349128,932,753
Romania$15.465019,237,691
Venezuela$15.055128,435,940
Argentina$13.845245,195,774
Ecuador$13.815317,643,054
Jamaica$12.95542,961,167
Colombia$11.265550,882,891
Peru$10.995632,971,854
Brazil$10.7857212,559,417
Armenia$10582,963,243
Thailand$8.545969,799,978
Sri Lanka$6.856021,413,249
India$3.4611,380,004,385
Bangladesh$1.9862164,689,383