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Latin America: minimum monthly wages in 2021, by country

Chile is the country with the highest minimum monthly wage in Latin America. According to the minimum salary established by law as of January 2021, workers in Chile enjoy a basic monthly wage of over 440 U.S. dollars (326,500 Chilean pesos). On the other side of the spectrum is Venezuela, where employees are only guaranteed by law a minimum salary of 1.2 million bolĂ­vares or less than one dollar per month, according to Venezuela's Central Bank exchange rate on January 14, 2021.

Can Latin Americans survive on a minimum wage?

Even if most countries in Latin America have instated laws to guarantee citizens a basic income, these minimum standards are often not enough to meet household needs. For instance, it was estimated that almost 25 million people in Mexico lacked basic housing services. Salary levels also vary greatly among Latin American economies. In 2020, the average net monthly salary in Mexico was barely higher than Chile's minimum wage in 2021.

What can a minimum wage afford in Latin America?

Latin American real wages have generally risen in the past decade. However, consumers in this region still struggle to afford non-basic goods, such as tech products. Recent estimates reveal that, in order to buy an iPhone, Brazilian residents would have to work at least two months to be able to pay for it. A gaming console, on the other hand, could easily cost a Latin American worker several minimum wages.

Minimum monthly wage in selected Latin American countries in 2021

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Sources

Release date

January 2021

Region

LAC

Survey time period

January 14, 2021

Supplementary notes

* Except from Ecuador, figures were converted from local currencies to U.S. dollars based on the exchange rates of each Central Bank as of January 14, 2021.

Figures have been rounded.

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Statistics on "Latin America and the Caribbean"

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