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Where to live if you want to work less and earn more

Joanna Whitehead
Luxembourg: istock/Getty Images

The best cities for working less and earning more have been revealed in a new study.

Luxembourg has come top in a list of 69 global cities, followed by Munich in second place and Paris in third.

The three worst cities are Jakarta, Bangkok and Bogotá respectively.

Expert Market, a B2B comparison site, examined population and wage data from Deutsche Bank and UBS, including net average monthly salary, working hours and paid holiday taken in 69 key economic cities across the globe to reach its conclusions.

Lucky Luxembourg residents have plenty to smile about. The average salary in this European city is £3,144 per month for a 33 hour working week. It’s worth noting that those in receipt of this salary would be required to pay 30 per cent of this sum in tax. Citizens receive an average of 32 days of paid leave per year and the city provides universal free healthcare for all.

London receives an honourable mention at number 10 on the list, due to the five weeks’ holiday employees enjoy. Residents in the big smoke take home an average of £2,034 a month.

Overall, Europe comes top for the best place to earn more and work less, with all cities in the top 10 located in Europe.

At the other end of the scale, Asian cities appear to offer the worst work/life balance. Bejing, Mumbai, Shanghai, Bangkok and Jakarta were all present in the bottom 10 of the study.

Coming in 10th from bottom, Bejing’s employees take the lowest number of annual leave days at just 10 on average.

While workers in Hong Kong take home an average of £1,989, they work around 50 hours a week and take just 17 days of paid leave, suggesting that financial and professional success comes at a price.


Those seeking a greater work/life balance should consider a move to Paris, where residents work on average 30 hours a week – 10 hours less than the European average – but still take home £1,893 a month.

Chicago emerged as the worst US city to move to, particularly if you value your down time. Workers in the Windy City earn a respectable £2,654, but only take 14 days’ leave per year.

10 best cities for high wages and low work hours

1. Luxembourg

2. Munich

3. Paris

4. Helsinki

5. Lyon

6. Copenhagen

7. Rome

8. Dublin

9. Oslo

10. London

10 worst cities for high wages and low work hours

1. Jakarta

2. Bangkok

3. Bogotá

4. Mexico City

5. Nairobi

6. Shanghai

7. Istanbul

8. Mumbai

9. Santiago de Chile

10. Beijing