What is Minimum Wage: Top 10 countries with the highest minimum wage and where the UK ranks

Amid a cost-of-living crisis and soaring inflation here in the UK many people are questioning our economic situation and how it compares to others - for example, what is our minimum wage and how does it rank on the global scale?

A minimum wage refers to the lowest quantity of money that employees in a country are legally entitled to for a given unit of labour. In the UK we call this the National Minimum Wage which is defined as the “minimum pay per hour almost all workers are entitled to.”

Originally, minimum wages were implemented to counter the exploitation of workers in sweatshops and support lower-income families, and by the end of the 20th century minimum wages were widespread globally. The current UK national living wage (that is the rate that applies if you’re 23 or older) sits at £9.50 per hour, but how does this compare to other countries? Here are the top 10 countries with the highest minimum wage in the world (for adult workers in regular ‘unskilled’ labour) converted into UK currency for reference.

(Note: this list shows the value of minimum wages but does not serve as an assessment of the countries’ cost of living or other economic factors.)