Bargain reports and analytics

Minimum wage worldwide: where can you live off the minimum wage?

PicodiJanuary 16, 2024

Picodi Saudi Arabia analyst team checked how the minimum wage changed in 67 countries, how prices of basic groceries increased and how the cost of a “survival basket” compares to the minimum wage.

In the report, we use net wages, which employees take home. We find such a comparison more fair, as the difference between gross and net pay, depending on the country, can be as high as 30%.

Minimum wage around the world in 2024

In most countries in our ranking (58 out of 67), the minimum wage, compared to the January 2023 wage, has changed.

The lowest rises were given to workers in France (3.4%), Germany (2.8%) and Thailand (2.5%), while in countries such as Spain, Malaysia or Vietnam, governments have frozen the minimum wage or have not yet decided on the increase.

The highest increase in the minimum wage can be found in Argentina (↑138%) and Türkiye (↑100%), although this is caused by the huge inflation in those countries.

Saudi Arabia ranked 59th in the ranking: the minimum net wage is SAR 3,600, which is the same as last year.

Survival basket: by how much have basic food products become more expensive?

For this study, we created a basic grocery basket consisting of 8 groups of products: bread, milk, eggs, rice, cheese, meat, fruits and vegetables. This list of products is more than modest, nevertheless, these products in the given quantities can meet the minimum nutrient requirements of an average adult for a month.

  • Milk (10 litres) – SAR 61.20
  • Bread (10 loaves, 500 g each) – SAR 33.70
  • Rice (1.5 kg) – SAR 12.32
  • Eggs (20 pcs.) – SAR 15.87
  • Cheese (1 kg) – SAR 27.08
  • Poultry and beef (6 kg) – SAR 229.92
  • Fruits (6 kg) – SAR 39.58
  • Vegetables (8 kg) – SAR 39.39

Minimum wage around the world in 2024

The total cost of the “survival basket” at the beginning of 2024 is SAR 459.06 (1.68% more than last year). This amount represents 12.8% of the net minimum wage, while at the beginning of last year, it was 12.5% of the minimum wage. This means that the increase in Saudi minimum wage did not keep up with the rise of food prices.

Click to see how much the same basket of products cost in previous years

  • January 2022 – SAR 409.56
  • January 2023 – SAR 451.47
  • January 2024 – SAR 459.06

In which country will you (not) survive on minimum wage?

People have different food preferences and different perceptions of comfortable living. Nonetheless, we decided to compare the cost of the basic grocery basket in all the studied countries and juxtapose it with the minimum wage in each country.

Minimum wage around the world in 2024

The most comfortable ratio of the grocery basket to the minimum wage can be found in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and New Zealand. In these countries, workers spend less than ⅒ of the local minimum wage on basic groceries.

Saudi Arabia is slightly behind those countries – in our country the survival basket accounts for 12.8% of the minimum wage (11th place out of possible 67). In this regard, Saudi Arabia ranked higher than countries such as the United States (13%), France (13.2%), Israel (14.5%) and South Korea (18.5%).

There are also countries, where even such a modest set of products consumes more than half of the minimum wage. These include Kazakhstan (54%), India (58.5%), Vietnam (65.6%) and Armenia (74.6%). In Nigeria, the minimum wage is not enough to cover even such a basic set of groceries.


In this study, we compared the monthly minimum wages for full-time work effective January 2024 with the wages from the beginning of the last year. These rates come from official government websites, relevant ministries or committees as of January 8th, 2024. We have omitted countries, in which the minimum wage is negotiated by individual trade unions and countries without a statutory minimum wage (Switzerland, Italy, Singapore and northern European countries). For countries, where the minimum wage varies from region to region (USA, Canada, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam), we have calculated and used the arithmetic mean of all regions. Net wages were obtained through salary calculators.

The grocery basket used in this study is a contractual basket of food products, created only for statistical purposes. The amounts given were calculated based on the recommendations of some of the health ministries regarding the minimum standards of food consumption. The product prices were taken from, where consumers from around the world monitor the prices of food, as well as other products and services.

For currency conversion, we used the average exchange rate data from Google Finance for the fourth quarter of 2023.

A spreadsheet with all the data used in the report can be found here.

Public use

Both the infographics as well as the statistical data can be used freely for commercial and non-commercial purposes. We only ask you to credit the research author ( with a link to this subpage. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at