Malcolm Turnbull earns 10 times the average Australian as prime minister -- here's how much 32 world leaders make compared to the citizens in their country

Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesThe salary of the president or prime minister is higher than the average citizen’s, but just how much bigger varies by country.

  • The salary of the president, prime minister, or chancellor varies, but the average pay gap between world leaders and average citizens in some countries is stark.
  • IG Group compiled a report on the salary differences between OECD country world leaders and their citizens.
  • Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto earns more than 10 times the average wage of Mexican citizens, and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is the best paid leader in the OECD, while US President Donald Trump earns at least six times more than the average American.

Some world leaders don’t just take the lead in their country’s affairs – they also take the lead when it comes to the size of their paycheck.

While the salary of the president, prime minister, or chancellor varies across countries, they often make more money than the average citizen of their country. For some, the salary difference is much more drastic than others.

IG Group compiled data on the base pay for world leaders in OECD countries and compared the results to the citizens’ average salary in each leader’s country – and the differences are notable.

Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto earns more than ten times the average wage of Mexican citizens, while Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull earns $US527,854 annually – more than any other head of government in the OECD.

This list features formal heads of government, which excludes all monarchs as well as presidents in some countries (Ireland and France, for example). In some countries, the head of state is also considered the head of government (Mexico and the US, for example).

IG Group notes that base pay is used as a generic term for each person’s base salary or other form of publicly funded compensation for their stated role.

Scroll below to see how the average citizen’s paycheck measures up to their government leader for 32 OECD countries, ranked from smallest difference in pay to largest.


32. Miro Cerar — Prime Minister of Slovenia

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Population: 2,064,840

Annual base pay: $US87,818

Average citizen’s wage: $US34,965


31. Mariano Rajoy — Prime Minister of Spain

WPA Pool/Getty Images

Population: 46,443,960

Annual base pay: $US97,926

Average citizen’s wage: $US37,333


30. Māris Kučinskis — Prime Minister of Latvia

Population: 1,960,420

Annual base pay: $US59,644

Average citizen’s wage: $US22,389


29. Mateusz Morawiecki — Prime Minister of Poland

Jack Taylor/Getty ImagesMateusz Morawiecki.

Population: 37,948,020

Annual base pay: $US57,772

Average citizen’s wage: $US25,921


28. António Costa — Prime Minister of Portugal

Pool/Getty ImagesAntónio Costa.

Population: 10,324,610

Annual base pay: $US72,352

Average citizen’s wage: $US24,529


27. Peter Pellegrini — Prime Minister of Slovakia

Population: 5,428,700

Annual base pay: $US70,973

Average citizen’s wage: $US23,508


26. Paolo Gentiloni — Prime Minister of Italy

Dan Kitwood/Getty ImagesPaolo Gentiloni.

Population: 60,600,590

Annual base pay: $US109,607

Average citizen’s wage: $US35,397


25. Alexis Tsipras — Prime Minister of Greece

Jack Taylor/Getty ImagesAlexis Tsipras.

Population: 10,746,740

Annual base pay: $US82,405

Average citizen’s wage: $US25,124


24. Mark Rutte — Prime Minister of the Netherlands

Dan Kitwood/Getty ImagesMark Rutte.

Population: 17,018,410

Annual base pay: $US193,844

Average citizen’s wage: $US52,833


23. Juha Sipilä — Prime Minister of Finland

Population: 5,495,100

Annual base pay: $US161,498

Average citizen’s wage: $US42,127


22. Erna Solberg — Prime Minister of Norway

Monica Schipper/Getty ImagesErna Solberg.

Population: 5,232,930

Annual base pay: $US210,714

Average citizen’s wage: $US53,643


21. Katrín Jakobsdóttir — Prime Minister of Iceland

Population: 334,250

Annual base pay: $US242,619

Average citizen’s wage: $US55,984


20. Xavier Bettel — Prime Minister of Luxembourg

Dan Kitwood/Getty ImagesXavier Bettel.

Population: 582,970

Annual base pay: $US278,035

Average citizen’s wage: $US62,636


19. Leo Varadkar — Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland

Sean Gallup/Getty ImagesLeo Varadkar.

Population: 4,773,100

Annual base pay: $US234,447

Average citizen’s wage: $US51,681


18. Viktor Orbán — Prime Minister of Hungary

Laszlo Balogh/Getty ImagesViktor Orbán.

Population: 9,817,960

Annual base pay: $US99,349

Average citizen’s wage: $US21,711


17. Lars Løkke Rasmussen — Prime Minister of Denmark

Franco Origlia/Getty ImagesLars Løkke Rasmussen.

Population: 5,731,120

Annual base pay: $US249,774

Average citizen’s wage: $US52,580


16. Benjamin Netanyahu — Prime Minister of Israel

Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesBenjamin Netanyahu.

Population: 8,547,100

Annual base pay: $US168,210

Average citizen’s wage: $US34,023


15. Theresa May — Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Jack Taylor/Getty ImagesTheresa May.

Population: 65,637,240

Annual base pay: $US212,247

Average citizen’s wage: $US42,835


14. Édouard Philippe — Prime Minister of France

Sebastian Widmann/Getty ImagesÉdouard Philippe.

Population: 66,896,110

Annual base pay: $US220,505

Average citizen’s wage: $US42,992


13. Shinzō Abe — Prime Minister of Japan

Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesShinzō Abe.

Population: 126,994,510

Annual base pay: $US202,700

Average citizen’s wage: $US39,113


12. Justin Trudeau — Prime Minister of Canada

Jack Taylor/Getty ImagesJustin Trudeau.

Population: 36,286,430

Annual base pay: $US267,041

Average citizen’s wage: $US48,403


11. Stefan Löfven — Prime Minister of Sweden

Michael Campanella/Getty ImagesStefan Löfven.

Population: 9,903,120

Annual base pay: $US244,615

Average citizen’s wage: $US42,816


10. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan — President of Turkey

Sean Gallup/Getty ImagesRecep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Population: 79,512,430

Annual base pay: $US148,626

Average citizen’s wage: $US25,655


9. Donald Trump — President of the United States

Pool/Getty ImagesDonald Trump.

Population: 323,127,510

Annual base pay: $US400,000

Average citizen’s wage: $US60,154


8. Sebastián Piñera — President of Chile

Sean Gallup/Getty ImagesSebastián Piñera.

Population: 17,909,750

Annual base pay: $US190,466

Average citizen’s wage: $US28,434


7. Sebastian Kurz — Chancellor of Austria

Thomas Kronsteiner/Getty ImagesSebastian Kurz.

Population: 8,747,360

Annual base pay: $US328,584

Average citizen’s wage: $US48,295


6. Charles Michel — Prime Minister of Belgium

Jack Taylor/Getty ImagesCharles Michel.

Population: 11,348,160

Annual base pay: $US358,635

Average citizen’s wage: $US49,587


5. Angela Merkel — Chancellor of Germany

Adam Berry/Getty ImagesAngela Merkel.

Population: 82,667,680

Annual base pay: $US369,727

Average citizen’s wage: $US46,389


4. Alain Berset — President of Switzerland

Andreas Rentz/Getty ImagesAlain Berset.

Population: 8,372,100

Annual base pay: $US482,958

Average citizen’s wage: $US60,124


3. Jacinda Ardern — Prime Minister of New Zealand

Hagen Hopkins/Getty ImagesJacinda Ardern.

Population: 4,692,700

Annual base pay: $US339,862

Average citizen’s wage: $US39,397


2. Malcolm Turnbull — Prime Minister of Australia

Mark Nolan/Getty ImagesMalcolm Turnbull.

Population: 24,127,160

Annual base pay: $US527,854

Average citizen’s wage: $US52,063


1. Enrique Peña Nieto — President of Mexico

Mark Wilson/Getty ImagesEnrique Peña Nieto.

Population: 127,540,420

Annual base pay: $US166,797

Average citizen’s wage: $US15,311

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