Average wage, salary by country, in purchasing power parity dollars, 2012

This graph shows average wages around the world in 2012 as calculated by purchasing power parity. In 2012 the highest average wage was earned in Luxembourg at 4,089 purchasing power parity dollars.

Wages and salaries

Wages and salaries in the United States have increased during the last decades. The median weekly earnings of a full-time wage and salary worker were about 241 U.S. dollars in 1979 and shifted up to 768 U.S. dollars in 2012.

The median earnings of U.S. full-time wage and salary workers vary across their educational attainment. The highest paid workers are those who hold a bachelor’s degree, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The U.S. federal government specified minimum wage laws for workers in the United States, which say that workers must be paid no less than the current federal minimum wage. The minimum wage was set at 7.25 U.S. dollars per hour by federal law. The actual minimum wage varies from state to state, as some states have additional minimum wage laws.
For instance, the minimum wage in Washington was around 9.04 U.S. dollars per hour, while the worst minimum wage can be found in Georgia, where workers earn at least 5.15 U.S. dollars per hour. No minimum wages can be found in Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina and Mississippi, as of January 1, 2012.

The number of workers paid hourly rates with earnings at or below the minimum wage in the U.S. was at its highest in the industry type of leisure and hospitality in 2013.

Recent statistics show that the share of female workers paid hourly rates at or below prevailing federal minimum wage in the United States decreased since 1979. In that year, 20.2 percent of the female wage and salary workers were paid below the federal minimum wage, while only 2.9 percent of the female workers were paid below the federal minimum wage in 2006.

Average salary around the world, adjusted by purchasing power 2012

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Release date

March 2012



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

The average wages are adjusted to reflect variations of the cost of living in each country.

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Statistics on "Average wage and salary in the U.S."

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