High earnings, but steep deductions

Workers’ pay in the countries of Western Europe might be much higher in comparison with Europe’s south, but their tax and insurance deductions are also very high, amounting to 28 percent of income on average (the global average is 22 percent, almost a quarter of income). The highest deductions, accounting for a third of gross income, are to be found in Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Frankfurt, Copenhagen and Stockholm, as well as in Ljubljana and Warsaw in Eastern European countries due to join the EU. In Greece, deductions come to 19.1 percent of earnings, among the lowest in the 15 EU member states, though not in the world. Some countries have deductions even lower than 10 percent of pay (Thailand, Venezuela, Indonesia and Bahrain). In other countries, such as the United Arab Emirates, deductions are not made. For the worker, what is important is take-home pay. The highest net income is earned by workers in Luxembourg, Copenhagen, Dublin, London, Frankfurt and Amsterdam, and in Zurich, Basel, Geneva, Oslo and Lugano outside the EU borders. In the rest of the world, net income is highest in Chicago, Los Angeles and Tokyo.

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