Typical worker in Norway earns most in world

The typical worker earns a higher salary in Norway than in any other country in the world, with Norwegian wage earners taking home more than double the median per-capita global income, a Gallup survey of household incomes published on Tuesday has revealed.

Typical worker in Norway earns most in world
A cleaner at an engine plant in Ålesund - Mitie plc
The median income in Norway came out at just under 120,000 kroner per year ($19,300), according to Gallup, well ahead of a typical income of $18,630 in Sweden, the next highest earning country. 
The survey highlighted huge wage disparities across the European Union, with workers in Portugal reporting median incomes of just $5,500, barely more than a quarter of what their counterparts enjoy in Norway. 
Even in relatively 'rich' European Union countries such as France and the United Kingdom the median salaries were $12,445, and $12,339 respectively, well below the Nordic countries. 
By reporting median rather than mean salaries, the Gallup survey  favours countries such as Norway and Sweden, where high national income is combined with relative wage equality. 
Data for household incomes showed an even greater disparity, due to the greater proportion of working women in the Nordic countries, with the average Norwegian household taking in more than 316,520.904 ($51,489), compared to $31,617 in the UK and $31,112 in France.  
Workers in some the world's most powerful economies also receive surprisingly low median wages, with those in China, India, Russia and Saudi Arabia receiving median incomes of $1,786, $616, $4,762, and $4,129 respectively. 
Liberia in Africa had the lowest median income, with the typical  worker earning just $118 a year.
Median refers to the exact centre of a range of data, so that half of the respondents earn above it and half earn below it, whereas the mean average divides the combined wages of the country by the population, meaning a handful of extremely high earners can pull up the average substantially. 

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Almost one in ten live in poverty in Switzerland: Report

More than eight percent of Switzerland’s population live in poverty, while 12 percent struggle to make ends meet.

Almost one in ten live in poverty in Switzerland: Report
A number if people in Switzerland can't make the ends meet. Photo by Depositphotos

A study released by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) on Thursday shows that 8.7 percent of Switzerland’s public – around 735,000 people – live in poverty, which is defined at 2,279 francs per month on average for a single person, and 3,976 francs per month for two adults and two children.

When adjusted for purchasing power, this threshold is the second-highest in Europe, topped only by Luxembourg.


The numbers are for 2019, so the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is not yet included in the data.

The poverty rate in Switzerland is the highest it has been since 2014, the study found. 

Most financial difficulties were experienced by foreign nationals, people living in single-parent households, people without training, and those living in households impacted by unemployment, FSO reports.

Here are some of the study’s other findings:

  • For the 10 percent of the population with the lowest wages, this income was less than 25,868 francs in 2019. The median income has remained stable at around 50,000 francs. 
  • The poverty rate for the employed labour force was 4.2 percent in 2019. About 155,000 people were living below the poverty line, even though they were in paid work.
  • Just over 12.2 of the population said they had difficulty making ends meet, and 20.7 percent were unable pay an unforeseen expense of 2,500 francs in the space of a month . Of these, 15.1 percent had at least one payment arrears.

READ MORE: Switzerland’s economy forecast to recover 'from summer onwards' 

On the positive side, the country’s general standard of living remains among the highest in Europe.

It is estimated on the basis of the median disposable income, after adjusting for differences in price levels in various countries. 

In Switzerland, this income was 2.8 times higher than in Greece, 1.6 times higher than in Italy, 1.3 times higher than in France, and 1.2 times higher than in Germany and in Austria.

Despite the high price level in Switzerland, the standard of living was higher in Switzerland than in most of the EU countries.