If you ever wanted to know what the minimum salary in the European Union countries is in 2024, you’re at the right place!
I had the same question and decided to investigate things thoroughly and after endless hours of research, I am here to share my results. They are truly eye-opening.
I will have an in-depth analysis and opinions to share as well, but if you only want to check the numbers – the table below is what you need.
Minimum monthly wages in European Union Countries
Now, with all these in mind, let’s check out below the minimum salaries in the European Union (per month), ranked from the highest to the lowest in Net value:
|8. Belgium (varies based on regions)
Please have in mind that some countries (like Austria, Denmark, Sweden or Italy) don’t have a minimum wage set by law, so I have estimated the minimum earnings based on research in each country’s official statistics website.
Now, if we want to see what the average minimum salary across the European Union, after doing the math we have this value in terms of Take Home Pay:
Average minimum salary in European Union in 2024: 1,058 Euros / month
I am tracking this since 2020 now, and below you can check the evolution of the average minimum salary in the EU for all countries and how much it has grown compared to the previous year.
|Average minimum EU salary
|€867/month (+7.5% vs previous year)
|€902/month (+4.03% vs previous year)
|€979/month (+8.53% vs previous year)
|€1,058/month (+8.06% vs previous year)
It’s worth nothing that 2024 will remain in history as the first year ever that the average minimum salary in the EU has passed the €1,000 per month mark. This is quite an impressive milestone!
It’s interesting to note that just 10 countries of the 27 earn more than the average minimum salary throughout the Union, with Bulgarians making €688/month less than the average.
This amount is the value of the monthly minimum wage in many other EU countries!
However, all these numbers need to be taken with a grain of salt. Even though the lowest minimum salary (Bulgaria) is almost 7 times lower than the maximum minimum salary (Luxembourg), the cost of living in each country is also different and mostly keeping a similar ratio.
Why It’s Important to Know the Minimum Salaries Across the EU Countries
Knowing the minimum wages should be extremely helpful in showing which countries are the cheapest to live in the European Union and where you can expect to earn more for the same amount of work.
However, for most countries, earning the minimum wage wouldn’t be enough to afford a good life – or even a decent one.
For example, earning €370 in Bulgaria, €418 in Romania, or even €668 in Czechia wouldn’t be enough… although once we get to values close to or over €1,000/month, you can expect to be able to live comfortably.
But overall, knowing the minimum salaries in each country helps you better understand and estimate living costs and the quality of life in each. And also shows the huge discrepancy that’s still present in the Union.
Countries with the lowest salaries in Europe
The countries with the lowest salaries in the European Union are Bulgaria (€370/month), Romania (€418/month) and Hungary (€524/month).
There’s a huge gap in earnings in these countries compared the the EU average minimum of €1,058/month, and even more so compared to the top earners, at €2,145/month and €2,000/month respectively.
There are talks in the European Union leadership about introducing a minimum wage throughout the entire union, which would help the lower ranked countries.
But with variations as high as those you see above, it’s pretty difficult to implement them right now. If that happens, this article will be a lot easier to write in the future. Ha!
I say that because gathering all the data when so many countries are involved was a bit more difficult than anticipated.
This is made even more difficult by the fact that not all countries in the European Union have an official minimum wage set by the government.
Have in mind that the numbers above are all in Euros and are, to my best knowledge, NET salary values (after taxes).
Also, not all countries in the EU are using the Euro, so these estimates might vary a bit in reality when currency exchange fluctuations are in effect.
But overall, these values should be as close to reality as possible and paint a picture that’s as clear as possible regarding minimum wages in the European Union.
They can help you choose a home base in Europe that is perfect for cheap travel in the area.
For a better understanding of how much is enough to live in a specific country, I have written an article on the average wages in the EU so you should check that out as well after finishing reading this one.
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With soaring inflation and talks for a minimum wage across the entire European Union in place, the salaries kept growing in 2024 and I am sure that they won’t stop anytime soon.
We’ve seen massive year-over-year growth in all EU countries, but in some, despite the huge gains compared to last year, the increases are still under the inflation rates.
This is very important, as it means that the actual buying power is decreasing, despite the wage hikes.
It is obvious that traveling to or moving to Bulgaria, Hungary or Romania (or any of the countries towards the bottom) is a lot cheaper than visiting or moving to Luxembourg, Denmark or any of the top ranked ones – even though the salaries are higher also.
To help you make better decisions regarding your future, you know know the minimum monthly salaries in the countries of the European Union.
If you live in one of these countries and you notice that the actual values that I have quoted are wrong, please let me know so that I can correct them ASAP – it’s very, very difficult to gather all the data from official, trustworthy sources and sometimes they are years old!