Depending on the country, the minimum wage concerns a few or many percent of the working population. By definition, the minimum wage should protect workers from unduly low earnings.
Increasing trend in the minimum salary
The present study included 54 countries in which there is a national minimum wage. This means that rates vary significantly from country to country. For example, in the Philippines and Hong Kong, the minimum wage is exempt from personal income tax. Elsewhere, the difference between gross and net wages can reach up to 40 percent (Romania). For this comparison to be adequate, we consider the net payment, as this is the money that the worker has at his disposal after all deductions.
In 2020, the largest increase in the minimum wage was observed in Nigeria (64.8 percent). However, after converting to US dollars, this amount remains one of the lowest among the countries studied (US $ 74). In some countries, such as the United States, Spain, South Africa and Latvia, the net minimum wage has remained unchanged. In Kazakhstan, the net minimum wage has not changed, but the current value received by the worker has decreased, due to the increase in health insurance.
The minimum salary in Brazil ranked 34 among the 54 countries included in the report. In 2020, the monthly salary paid in the country is 3.3 percent higher than in the previous year (R $ 918.16 compared to R $ 948.52 for a full-time job). In comparison, the minimum wage grew 8.7 percent in Hong Kong, 4.8 percent in the UK and 2.5 percent in South Korea.
Basic basket products
Just as in the previous year, we decided to compare the net minimum wage with food prices. The basic food basket created for the purposes of this report consists of the following eight items: bread, milk, eggs, rice, cheese, meat, fruits and vegetables. Although the list is small and moderate, these products meet the basic nutritional needs of an adult and their prices are constantly monitored around the world.
Spending on food around the world
There are as many different ways to spend money as there are definitions of what a comfortable life is. However, we compare the prices of the same products in different countries and see how much of the personal budget would have to be spent on essential foods.