Have you ever wondered which country rewards its employees with the highest salary? Do you ever think that you’re not truly being paid what you’re worth? Let’s take glimpse around the world at the top 10 countries where people enjoy the highest level of disposable income. How is disposable income defined? It’s basically the amount of money that a household gains each year deducting taxes, in other words the amount of money available for a household to spend on goods or services. These averages are based on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) research calculated for single workers without children. Did your country make it on the list? Let’s find out!
Well, the infamously discontent French made it to the top 10 list! France is ranked the world’s seventh largest economies. To explain why the French per capita GDP is lower than that of the United States, the economist Paul Krugman stated that “French workers are roughly as productive as US workers”, but that the French have allegedly a lower workforce participation rate and “when they work, they work fewer hours”. That may be due to the 35-hour workweek law introduced in 1999. By the way, the French receive $28,799 a year after all taxes, which are 49.4% on the average. This is the second largest tax wedge across the OECD countries.
Based on World Bank data, this beautiful scandinavian kingdom is the sixth richest country in the world in terms of GDP per capita. Sweden is an export-oriented mixed economy: timber, hydropower and iron ore constitute the resource base of the economy with a heavy emphasis on foreign trade. Sweden’s engineering sector accounts for 50% of output and exports. This socialist democracy (of which you’re actually going to see quite a few on this list) maintains a Nordic social welfare system that provides universal health care and tertiary education for its citizens. In return, people have to give up 42.4% of their income, but on the average they still receive $29,185 a year.
Oh, Canada, how Americans love and slightly distrust you. Canada is Wealthy with a capital W. The U.S.’s neighbors to the north possess the third largest oil reserve in the world just behind Venezuela and Saudi Arabia (which makes you wonder why America imports so much of its oil from Saudi Arabia…). The country is also rich in zinc, uranium, gold, nickel, aluminum, and the Canadian Prairies are one of the most important global producers of wheat, canola, and other grains. The average annual disposable income of the Canadian fellows is around $29,365 with a tax rate around 31%. That 31%, of course, pays for universal health care and public education. And, Canada’s average work week is around 36 hours.
Would you have thought this Central European country with its beautiful landscapes and adventurous history has the 12th highest GDP per capita in the world? Well, yes, Austria has a highly developed industry, besides, the most important part of the national economy is its international tourism, which accounts for almost 9% of the Austrian gross domestic product. People get (after taxes) an average $31,173 salary, which is not bad considering that 49.4% is taken away as income tax and social security contributions. This amount, of course, covers universal health care and higher education.
Although Germany didn’t make it to the top on our list, it is the first place winner in several other aspects. For example, Germany is the largest and most powerful national economy in Europe! However, Germany is also the first regarding the amount of taxes deducted from its citizens‘ income with 49.8%. Almost half! Can you believe? However, Germany has the world’s oldest universal health care system, so in return, people receive free health care and education on all levels. Oh, I almost forgot to mention, Germans‘ annual disposable income is $31,252. Not bad!
Another one of those pesky socialist democracies. Australia has one of the most robust economies in the world and is a huge exporter of foodstuff as well as oil and minerals, and it imports relatively few goods. In terms of average wealth, Australia ranked second in the world after Switzerland in 2013. Australia’s average disposable income is $31,588 per year with a tax rate of around 27,7%, which, of course, goes to making sure its citizens are healthy and well educated. Oh, and on an average, Australians work 36 hours per week.
Switzerland ranks high in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic competitiveness, and human development. No wonder the country finished third in the OECD life-satisfaction study. Switzerland’s manufacturing sector is the most vital and robust in all of Europe. It produces healthcare and pharmaceutical goods, specialist chemicals, precision measuring instruments and musical instruments. Yeah, think of it as Detroit before Detroit went tits up. Switzerland’s annual disposable income is $33,491, and they work around 35 hours weekly.
Norway is one of the wealthiest nations in terms of natural resources including oil, hydropower, fishing, and minerals. Like Sweden, Norway has universal health care and higher education, but this, of course, comes at a price: Norwegians give up slightly more than 37% of their wages. Still, at the end they receive $33,492 annually. But what they give up in taxes, they make up for in overall free time. The average weekly number of hours spent on paid work in Norway is 33,4.
If Bank Of America, Citibank, and Chase were a country, it would be Luxembourg. Luxembourg is more or less the financial center of Europe. Once the primary provider of steel in Europe, its vast exports market now includes chemicals, rubbers, and industrial machinery, and of course financial services. The average income after taxes in Luxembourg is $38,951 per year, but there is a 37.7% tax wedge, which provides all of its citizens with all that good stuff I’ve mentioned before.
1 The United States
Ah, good news US fellas! You enjoy the highest level of disposable income! No doubt, the United States is the most powerful country in the world. The US has abundant natural resources; it’s the largest importer of goods and the second largest exporter in the world. Americans receive $41,355 annually after the average 31.6 per cent tax is deducted, which is more or less the same as in Canada. However, in the US many people have no health insurance. In fact, the US ranks first for health care expenditure but last for coverage. And there’s no national paid parental leave. And… well, I guess I shouldn’t spoil it for you. Let’s just be happy with the results!