What's the world's average wage? 世界平均工资是多少?

Pay and wages 詞匯:工資

Image copyright BBC World Service

What is a fair wage? Why aren't more people in the world offered pay equality? These are some of the questions the United Nations International Labour Organisation (ILO) has recently investigated.

With a global population of over seven billion, is it actually possible to measure an average amount?

The ILO has now tried to work out the sums. Using the total wage bill from over seventy countries, they have multiplied the amounts by the number of earners in each country. The economists then tallied up the results and divided them by the total number across the world. The result was a world average wage equivalent to $1,490 a month. That is approximately $75 a day for a 20-day working month.

This figure might seem very high because they calculated the amount using purchasing power parity dollars, which takes into account the fact that it is cheaper to live in some countries than others. The data also did not include the huge number of people who appear in poverty statistics or who are self-employed.

Calculating an average sum like this might not be a completely fair representation, but these figures do help us to understand how the world is developing, both economically, in the quality of life people are experiencing and their standard of living.

But the result shows that the average wage is still relatively low and there remains a huge difference in levels of affluence around the world. Some people live on just two dollars a day, whilst others are earning more than a million dollars a year. Is this fair? For many, pay equality still seems very far out of reach.