A World of Finance

The state of income, pensions &

taxes around the world.

They say that money makes the world go round and that’s certainly true to some degree. While cultures and customs change around the world, we all rely on financial security in our lives, both in our careers and in retirement, and also all have to abide by the laws of the land and pay our taxes too!

But which countries have it best when it comes to their finances when we take into account factors such as average earnings, number of days worked, pension income and taxes paid?

Income, pensions & taxes around the world

Key Average annual income Average annual working hours Average pension as a % of pre-retirement earnings Personal income tax rate VAT or equivalent (standard rate) Corporate tax rate Overall finance score /10




Norway ranked fifth overall in our ranking, scoring relatively highly on most of the factors that we looked at.

In particular, Norway was the country with the second-highest average earnings, at $82,500 a year, with a strong economy backed by the huge oil and gas sector in the country which has filtered through to average earnings.

Despite these generous wages, Norwegians also had some of the lowest working hours in the ranking, with the average person working 1,417 hours in a year, with most companies closing at 4pm, and a strong emphasis on efficiency, but also the importance of work-life balance.


1,417 hrs







Average annual income

The average income per capita according to WorldData.info (note that figures for Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia were sourced from OECD data).

Average annual working hours

The average annual working hours per worker according to Our World in Data.

Average pension as a % of pre-retirement earnings

The net pension replacement rate according to OECD data. This shows the average individual net pension entitlement divided by net pre-retirement earnings, taking into account personal income taxes and social security contributions paid by workers and pensioners. (Note that for this section, an average of the male and female rates was taken from each country.)

VAT or equivalent (standard rate)

The standard VAT rate (or that of equivalent taxes such as goods and sales taxes), according to Avalara VATlive. In countries such as the USA, where the VAT rate differs slightly in different parts of the country, the highest rate was taken.

Personal income tax rate

The average personal income tax rate according to Trading Economics.

Corporate tax rate

The average corporate tax rate according to Trading Economics.