The European Union is considered to be a strong economic bloc, but that does not mean that the inhabitants of the different countries are doing equally well. In fact, salaries vary widely across EU Member States. In this article, we look at how widely these salaries vary. Spoiler: there is nothing to complain about in the Netherlands.
Where is the Netherlands?
Luxembourg comes first. You hardly hear anything about the small country not far from the Limburg border. The residents of the state are on good terms with one another. The monthly minimum wage in Luxembourg is 2,508 euros. This sets the country far apart from the rest.
Germany and the Netherlands are second and third, respectively. In both countries, the monthly minimum wage is around 1,995 euros. Next are countries like Belgium, Ireland and France. The middle class starts with Spain. The minimum wage there is 1,203 euros per month.
Gradually the list will then be completed with countries such as Portugal, Greece and Eastern European countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic and Croatia. At the end of the list we find Albania. In the small country north of Greece, people earn at least 375 euros. In Bulgaria the situation is not much better. The minimum wage there is 398 euros per month.
Big pay gaps in Europe
Wages in the EU therefore vary greatly. For example, Luxembourgers earn almost ten times as much as an Albanian. Fortunately, people in the EU enjoy free movement of people and goods and every European has the right to look for work in another country. However, the fact remains that the economic conditions of European countries are very dissimilar.
An interesting fact: In the US, perhaps still the flagship of the western world, the monthly minimum wage is the equivalent of 1,156 euros. In an alternate universe, if the US were a member state of the EU, it would stand alongside Slovenia and Cyprus.
You may be wondering where countries like Switzerland, Norway and Denmark have gone. These countries are not part of the EU. But if they were, they would all be at the top of the list.