How Britain’s Minimum Wage Compares with The Rest of the World

As Ed Miliband pledges to increase the minimum wage in Britain, we can have a look that where exactly we stand as compared to the rest of the world.

Ed Miliband identified a problem with British economy and he claimed that, in the developed world, Britain has become one of the worst places for low paid workers. So, Ed Miliband has pledged to increase the minimum wage in order to help the five million lowest paid workers to escape poverty.

Ed Miliband also linked the minimum wage to average earnings. But research by the Telegraph shows that the rise in the minimum wage is actually faster than median earnings since its introduction in 1999.

Research shows that the Britain’s minimum wage rose 75 percent from £3.60 to £6.31 from the year 1999 to 2013 respectively, while the median wage for full-time workers for the same period rose from £17,803 to £27.017 which is just 50 percent.

The table below is based on the comparison of the minimum wage in a number of countries around the world and it shows that Britain is ahead of United States but it is behind France, Ireland and Belgium in this regard.


Australia: A$16.37 (£9.10 per hour)

France: €9.40 (£7.66 per hour)

New Zealand: $14.25 (£7.32 per hour)

Ireland: €8.65 (£7.05 per hour)

Germany: €8.50 (£7 per hour), from 2015

Belgium: €1,559.38 per month (£6.95 per hour)

UK: £6.31 per hour rising to £6.50 (in October)

Canada: C$9.95 (£5.45 per day)

US: $7.25 (£4.31 per hour)

Spain: €2.68  (£2.18 per hour)

Brazil: $2.11 (£1.25 per hour)

China: $1.19 (£0.71 per hour)

Russia: $0.98 (£0.58 per hour)

Mexico: $0.63 (£0.37 per hour)