Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Country-Specific Minimum Wage Data, Courtesy of Wikipedia

I was looking for some data on minimum wages in various countries and found that Wikipedia (perhaps unsurprisingly) has a very nice, well-annotated table. After downloading the data & cleaning it a bit (harder than it should be), I made several plots. There were too many countries for one plot, so I made one for each (approximate) quartile. At the end of the blog post is the R code I used for fetching the data & making the plots.

Fourth Quartile 

NB: Some countries have exemption policies for worker or occupation characteristics, so for a more complete understanding, of say, why Australia appears to have a minimum wage more than 2x the US minimum wage, check the Wikipedia table. 

Third Quartile 

Second Quartile 

First Quartile 

Distribution of Minimum Wages

Below is a some R code for grabbing the table of country-specific minimum wages from Wikipedia.


  1. Nice job! It would be very interesting to weigh countries by their population.

    1. That's a great idea - I actually did the same "pull from Wikipedia" method for country population---I should put it online. I also made some plots showing oDesk mean wages versus country minimum wage---it's amazing how much higher mean oDesk wages are--- e.g., Bangladesh is about 40x.

  2. Very nice graph there, but where is Germany?