These 4 European countries pay better salaries than the US

The prevailing belief that professionals in the United States, particularly in bustling cities like New York or San Francisco, earn higher salaries than their European counterparts, especially in the tech industry, is being challenged by recent data. While certain roles, such as AI engineers, may indeed command hefty salaries in the U.S., averaging around $300,000 annually, workers in Europe, particularly in countries like Switzerland, Iceland, Luxembourg, and Norway, are now surpassing American salaries in many cases.


For instance, workers in Switzerland enjoy the highest average annual wage in Europe, standing at €106,839.33. Several factors contribute to Switzerland’s high earning potential, including lower taxes compared to other European countries and a robust financial sector that demands skilled professionals, thereby driving up wages. The tax system in Switzerland allows workers to take home a significant portion of their gross wage, with married individuals with children benefiting from even lower tax rates due to child-related benefits and tax provisions.


Similarly, Iceland, despite enduring the 2008 financial crisis, has rebounded to offer some of the highest salaries in Europe, with an average of €81,942 annually. Labour agreements implemented in 2019 have contributed to adjusting salaries to keep pace with inflation, further boosting workers’ earning potential.


In Luxembourg, wage standards are constantly under review to ensure that workers receive a living wage commensurate with the high cost of living. The financial sector also plays a significant role in driving up average salaries, as employees are well compensated for their skills and expertise, resulting in an average annual wage of €79,903.


Norway, known for its high happiness index, boasts an average yearly salary of €74,506, exceeding that of its Scandinavian counterparts and even surpassing the U.S. average. Policies promoting gender equality in the workplace, such as gender quotas for company boards, contribute to Norway’s egalitarian culture, where workers across different industries experience financial equality.

Overall, the data suggests that while certain roles may still command higher salaries in the U.S., workers in select European countries are increasingly outearning their American counterparts, driven by factors such as tax policies, industry demand, and efforts to promote financial equality and living wages.

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