How do earnings vary across the EU? - Products Eurostat News

null How do earnings vary across the EU?


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Gross monthly earnings vary considerably across the EU. In 2018, the median monthly earnings varied from EUR 4 057 per month in Denmark to EUR 442 in Bulgaria.

The median is defined as a ‘middle value’: half of the employees earn less and the other half earn more than the median value of earnings.

Joining Denmark at the top of the list was Luxembourg with median earnings of EUR 3 671 per month, followed by Sweden (EUR 3 135), Belgium (EUR 3 092), Ireland (EUR 3 021), Finland (EUR 2 958) and Germany (EUR 2 891).

At the other end of the scale, Bulgaria stood out with its median monthly earnings of EUR 442. The countries coming closest were Romania with EUR 700 per month, Hungary with EUR 801 and Lithuania with EUR 809.

Infographic: Median gross monthly earnings, 2018​​​​​​​

Source dataset: EARN_SES_MONTHLY


The data presented have been collected through the Structure of earnings survey (SES), which is conducted every four years.

For more information

Take a look at the overview of earnings statistics and the Statistics explained article Earnings statistics


  • Gross monthly earnings refer to wages and salaries earned by employees (including apprentices) in the reference month (generally October 2018), before deduction of tax and social security contributions. Overtime pay, shift premiums, allowances, bonuses, commission, etc. are included. The gross monthly earnings of part-time employees have been converted into full-time units.
  • Data on gross monthly earnings refers to all employees (including apprentices) working in enterprises with 10 employees or more and which operate in all sectors of the economy except agriculture, forestry and fishing (NACE Rev. 2 section A) and public administration and defence; compulsory social security (NACE Rev. 2 section O).
  • Gross monthly earnings measured in EUR does not necessarily reflect the purchasing value of the income, as it does not consider price level. For such analysis, the source dataset contains data expressed in purchasing power standards (PPS) in addition to the data expressed in euro.


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