Cost of daily necessities

Average income around the world

The worldwide highest income is earned in Monaco. The smallest budget per capita exists in Afghanistan. In our comparison over 69 countries, the USA comes 7th with an average income of 70,930 USD.

The average income is calculated by gross national income and population. On dividing all annual incomes and profits by the country’s population, we will see the average income per capita. Included in this amount are all salaries and wages, but also other unearned income on investments or capital gains.

The average gross annual wage per full-time employee in the USA was $74,738 in 2021, or around $6,228 per month ($4,648/year more than in the previous year).
Average income by country
RankCountryAvg. income per yearAvg. income per month
1Monaco186,080 $15,507 $
2Bermuda *122,470 $10,206 $
3Switzerland90,600 $7,550 $
4Luxembourg88,190 $7,349 $
5Norway83,880 $6,990 $
6Ireland76,110 $6,343 $
7United States70,930 $5,911 $
8Denmark68,300 $5,692 $
9Singapore64,010 $5,334 $
10Iceland63,460 $5,288 $
11Qatar62,310 $5,193 $
12Sweden59,540 $4,962 $
13Australia57,170 $4,764 $
14Netherlands55,200 $4,600 $
15Hong Kong *54,460 $4,538 $
16Finland53,510 $4,459 $
17Austria52,760 $4,397 $
18Germany51,660 $4,305 $
19Belgium50,490 $4,208 $
20Israel49,290 $4,108 $
21Canada48,310 $4,026 $
22Macao *46,450 $3,871 $
23New Zealand45,230 $3,769 $
24United Kingdom44,480 $3,707 $
25France44,160 $3,680 $
26Japan42,650 $3,554 $
27United Arab Emirates41,770 $3,481 $
28Italy35,990 $2,999 $
29South Korea35,110 $2,926 $
30Brunei30,320 $2,527 $
31Spain29,690 $2,474 $
32Portugal23,890 $1,991 $
33Saudi Arabia21,540 $1,795 $
34Greece20,000 $1,667 $
35Poland16,850 $1,404 $
36Romania14,160 $1,180 $
37Costa Rica12,310 $1,026 $
38China11,880 $990 $
39Russia11,610 $968 $
40Malaysia10,710 $893 $
41Argentina9,960 $830 $
42Turkey9,900 $825 $
43Mexico9,590 $799 $
44Brazil7,740 $645 $
45Thailand7,090 $591 $
46South Africa6,530 $544 $
47Colombia6,190 $516 $
48Ecuador5,960 $497 $
49Indonesia4,180 $348 $
50Ukraine4,120 $343 $
51Sri Lanka4,030 $336 $
52Algeria3,660 $305 $
53Morocco3,620 $302 $
54Vietnam3,590 $299 $
55Philippines3,550 $296 $
56Iran3,530 $294 $
57Egypt3,350 $279 $
58Bangladesh2,570 $214 $
59India2,150 $179 $
60Nigeria2,080 $173 $
61Cameroon1,590 $133 $
62Cambodia1,580 $132 $
63Pakistan1,470 $123 $
64Nepal1,220 $102 $
65Ethiopia940 $78 $
66Sudan650 $54 $
67Chad640 $53 $
68Congo (Dem. Republic)550 $46 $
69Afghanistan390 $33 $

Official data is published by several organizations like the World Bank, International Monetary Fund or the OECD on a regular basis. Unfortunately, there are no standardized procedures to adjust for inflation, currency fluctuations or real purchasing power. That’s why each institution has its own ranking and varying results.

The above list is therefore calculated according to the Atlas method from the quotient of the gross national income (formerly also called "gross national product") and the population of the country. For both figures, we take the latest official numbers, which are usually those of the previous year. For the vast majority of countries, the above table is based on information from 2021. In some countries, however, these starting figures are not collected regularly or published and may be older or official estimates from the institutions mentioned above.

Surviving on 33 USD per month?

Cost of daily necessities The lower end of the table clearly shows that countries like the US and Australia are doing pretty well. Almost all countries with a remarkably low income are also developing countries with unstable political and economic conditions. The figures are quite correct in content, but also reflect only what is actually recorded by the official side. Illicit services and sales are not included in government statistics. And that, in turn, reduces gross national income. Such numbers should always to be looked at with caution.

Difference between salaries and income

The salary or wage is paid to a worker or employee for their work. A self-employed person, therefore, has neither wages nor salary, but an income nevertheless. Also, workers or employees may have an additional income to their salary. This may include income from capital gains (including securities or interest).

The income of a person is therefore the sum of all of their earnings. At first glance, that may sound somewhat inaccurate in a country comparison, as companies also generate an income. Regardless of size, the company is also owned by individuals. Therefore, the income of the owners increases to the same extent as the income of their companies.

Gross national income

The income is always attributed to the domestic population. These are people who live predominantly in the respective country. They do not necessarily have to have the same citizenship, habitual residence is sufficient. Also included in the gross national income are any earnings generated by these residents in another country. If a Mexican worker earns their money in the US during the day, but lives in Mexico, their income is counted for Mexico. If they actually live in the US for at least six months a year, they become a fiscal resident in the USA and their income is counted there.

* Dependent territories

The following countries are not sovereign states, but dependent territories or areas of other states:
  • Bermuda: self-governing territory of the UK
  • Hong Kong: special administrative region of China
  • Macao: special administrative region of China
Further information on the definition of a country can be found in our article, What is a country?
Comparison: Cost of livingCost of living in a global comparisonRanking of international living costs from 103 countries compared to the US
unemployment rates worldwideUnemployment rates by countryInternational comparison of the unemployment figures of 64 countries worldwide
tax havensList of the world's most notorious tax havensTax havens magically attract money and hide it from the tax authorities. Even in the middle of Europe and the USA.