We’re looking today at the average salary in the EU countries in 2021, as I consider this data extremely important for those who are looking to move to a specific country in the European Union or are planning to travel here.
My general rule of thumb is that you can estimate costs of living by knowing the average monthly wages in a country: in theory at least, if you have that amount available each month, you could live a middle class life while there. Which is not bad at all!
Of course, there are many other factors to consider when it comes to the actual cost of living, but even so, a country’s average salary can be used as a clear indicator of the prices there: the lower it is, the lower the prices should be and the less money you would need to have on you when traveling.
The opposite is not necessarily true, as higher salaries don’t automatically mean a much inflated cost of living, but a higher quality of life. So, as I said, this is just one indicator and not the only thing to consider in the big picture.
In the end, it doesn’t matter why you are interested to know the average salary in the European Union countries in 2021: for statistics, for satisfying your curiosity or for planning your next moves. The thing is that I have these numbers to share with you below and I hope that they will be useful.
Important note: The economy changes constantly and the research I am doing to gather all this information regarding the average wages in all these countries might end up with slightly incorrect values (as they change from month to month throughout the year).
Take everything with a pinch of salt, as the real average salary in a country might be a bit different than the numbers shared below as they also vary by city and influenced by other factors.
However, for informational purposes, the data below is better than no data at all and it can still be considered an average over the year – and not reflecting just one good month (or a bad one).
It’s also important to note that the economy has seen a major boost recently and even though 2020 was a crazy year, the average salaries in all countries in Europe are higher than ever.
This also reflects in major increases in the minimum salaries in the EU, so if you’re planning to relocate and find a job here, the timing is great!
It’s really interesting to look at the values below – I started tracking this data in 2019 and I can say that not only many of these numbers have increased a lot since then, but also the rankings have changed as well.
With all these in mind, let’s check out the average salary in all EU countries in 2021 (we’re talking about the monthly take-home or net salary, with numbers in EUROS – even though some of the countries in the EU use a different currency):
1. Luxembourg: €3,285
2. Denmark: €3,100
3. Netherlands: €2,800
4. Ireland: €2,750
5. Sweden: €2,700
6. Austria: €2,600
7. Finland: €2,550
8. Germany: €2,500
9. France: €2,350
10. Belgium: €2,400
11. Cyprus: €1,750
12. Spain: €1,650
13. Italy: €1,600
14. Estonia: €1,400
15. Czechia: €1,300
16. Malta: €1,200
17. Slovenia: €1,150
18. Greece: €1,100
19. Portugal: €1,050
20. Slovakia: €1,000
21. Poland: €935
22. Croatia: €900
23. Lithuania : €850
24. Hungary: €820
25. Latvia: €800
26. Romania: €675
27. Bulgaria: €550
If we want to check out the overall average wage in the European Union in 2021, after doing the math, that number would be:
1,695 Euros / Month
Compared to 2020 values, the average wage in the European Union increased by 49 Euros.
However, as you can see for yourself in the table above, there are huge differences in Europe and countries toward the end of the table are earning up to 4 times lower amounts than those at the top.
For example, the average wage in Luxembourg is almost 6 times higher than what people in Bulgaria are earning. The drops in the average salary are also substantial even in the top 10: a whooping €825 difference between the 1st and the 10th!
All in all, salaries have increased greatly in the European Union in 2021, with some major gains recorded by the lower ranked countries, including Estonia or Malta and most importantly, the difference between the bottom ranked and the EU’s average are shrinking.
But, as I said in the intro, these average wages in all the countries in the European Union might not reflect actual salaries that one would get if they just started to work in one of these countries.
As we see that the average throughout all countries in Europe is €1,695 yet half of the countries in the EU earn a lot less, the same goes on a country by country basis: some industries will pay a lot more than others, and time spend with a job will have an effect on the wage as well.
So don’t expect to instantly get hired for the average wage listed above, even there’s still a chance you might.
However, for guidance and estimations, this is a good starting point and an interesting list to look at and since these are the actual average salaries in the said countries, you’ve got bigger chances at earning that much than not.
Note: I receive many messages from people linking to a Wikipedia article, claming that those are the actual, correct numbers. However, if you look at the table in that article, listing the salaries for all countries, you will see that the data there is up to several years old in some cases. So it’s no longer accurate.
This means that these numbers I have shared are (in my opinion at least and based on hours of research) as close to reality as possible and more up to date.
It would still be great if people living in the various countries of the European Union listed above could confirm the data that I managed to gather, so that we can have a clearer, updated view of the actual values.