Here's how much major political leaders get paid a year compared to the average person in 45 countries around the world

Stefan Rousseau/ Getty Images
  • Income inequality is increasing around the world, both in developed and developing nations.
  • There’s also a wide discrepancy between how much major political leaders earn compared to those they govern.
  • According to new research from Adzuna, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa earns 19 times more than the average South African. At the other end of the scale, Chinese President Xi Jinping doesn’t earn much more than the average Chinese citizen.

Income inequality is increasing in many parts of the world, both in developed or developing nations.

With a larger proportion of national income going to an increasingly smaller proportion of individuals, it’s lead to political upheaval in recent years, producing some stunning political upsets as the working classes opted for a change in the status quo.

It’s little wonder why such a tectonic shift has taken place, fuelled in part by the belief policymakers are out of touch with the everyday concerns of the average worker, particularly when it comes to cost of living pressures.

Well it’s not just income inequality that’s becoming increasingly prevalent around the world. It’s also apparent in what major world leaders get paid.

This chart from jobs specialist Adzuna underlines that last point perfectly, showing the annual salary of political leaders compared to that of the average person in the country they govern.


The disparity between the top and bottom of the list is huge.

Recently elected South African President Cyril Ramaphosa earns $341,803, 19 times more than the average South African at $18,193, according to calculations from Adzuna.

At the other end of the spectrum, China’s President Xi Jinping, leader of the ruling communist party, takes home just $27,531 per annum, not much more than the average Chinese worker at $23,345 per year.

In Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison earns $527,854 in a year, some 6.4 times higher than the average worker. At 16th in the list, that puts him one spot behind US President Donald Trump but ahead of other G7 leaders such as Shinzo Abe of Japan, Theresa May of the United Kingdom and Emmanuel Macron of France.

Adzuna researched used media reports on the salaries of the respective politicians and compared the results with information from the Wage Indicator Foundation. For the average income of the populations, it used data from the World Bank measuring gross national income per capita in 2017.

While income can include other forms of revenue other than salaries, and the data doesn’t measure wealth accrued prior to taking office as well as other associated perks while governing, the list provides a broad picture on the income disparity between leaders and constituents seen around the world.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.