{Study} Salary and cost of living in Europe: Germany is top 3

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When it comes to remuneration, not only a full wage bag is crucial, but also what employees can afford from their salary. A study has made living standards in Europe comparable based on salary information and consumer prices. Germany comes in third place despite slightly below average nominal wages. map of Europe

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Fritzi Roth Fritzi Roth_GlassdoorDACH Fritzi Roth is a product specialist at Glassdoor DA-CH.


Where in Europe is the standard of living highest?

When it comes to remuneration, not only is a full paycheck decisive. What matters is that employees can also afford to improve the quality of life. For the normal consumer, the difference between net income and the price level is the more important than the nominal value.

In the current study “Which Countries in Europe Offer the Best Standard of Living?” Therefore, Glassdoor Economic Research in cooperation with Llewellyn Consulting not only examined salaries but also the cost of living. Based on this, a value was determined that makes the national standard of living internationally comparable. 18 European countries were examined. According to the results, the standard of living is only higher in Switzerland and Denmark than in this country. In a transatlantic cross-comparison, the Federal Republic is just ahead of the USA. The study results are based on OECD and Numbeo data.

Nominals in Germany below average

If you only look at the nominees, there are considerable differences within Europe. With around 44.000 Euro, Germany is slightly below the average in the middle of the European market - behind the UK and France. Switzerland is the first place in the world: the average nominee pay is nearly five times higher for 72.000 Euros with the Swiss than with the light of Estonia (13.000 Euro).

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One way of identifying the differences between price levels across different countries is to analyze the cost of living in the largest metropolises of the respective countries. For this purpose, Glassdoor has compared consumer prices - ie costs for food, restaurants, transport, public supply as well as value-added tax - to an index value.

Geneva and Zurich more expensive than New York - Munich and Hamburg at cost of living in Europe's midfield

The top places are two cities in Switzerland, Geneva and Zurich. These two large cities are even more expensive than New York (3 percent or 1 percent). In third place, London, the metropolis with the highest rents in Europe. The most expensive German cities after Munich are Hamburg and Munich, which are only in the middle of Europe.

By linking the income (according to income tax) with the price level (including value added tax), it is possible to derive a local value based on purchasing power based on the standard of living. In this comparison, Germany ranks third in Europe, although it is not among the top-ranked countries in terms of average salaries according to purchasing power.

This means that the average worker earns more money in other countries, but can make an above-average contribution on the basis of lower living costs. The standard of living in Germany is comparable to that of Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland and Norway. Europe, Portugal, Greece and Estonia are the most important.

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