Minimum Wages in Former Soviet Union 2014

Some time ago I already did a chart of minimum wages in Former Soviet Union, now some time - about 6 months have passed and I decided to take a look to minimum wages in Former Soviet Union one more time.

Although minimum wages doesn't play major role on economic boost, it's still an indicator I like to know when researching particular country.

In my previous research for 2013 I found that highest minimum wage was set in Estonia ($427) while the lowest was in Kyrgyzstan (jut $17 per month)

Minimum wage in FSU 2014/2013 ($)

Country 2013 ($) 2014 ($) Change $ Growth %
Estonia 427 480 53 11.04
Latvia 379 432 53 12.26
Lithuania 385 391 6 1.53
Belarus 150 161 11 6.83
Russia 159 158 -1 -0.63
Turkmenistan 154 154 0 0
Azerbaijan 133 133 0 0
Armenia 108 110 2 1.81
Kazakhstan 121 108 -13 -12.03
Ukraine 143 104 -39 -37.5
Moldova 69 64 -5 -7.81
Georgia 54 51 -3 -5.88
Tajikistan 52 48 -4 -8.33
Uzbekistan 40 41 1 2.43
Kyrgyzstan 17 16 -1 -6.25
Average 159.4 163.4    


The clear leaders in term of minimum wage are the Baltic States with Estonia leading this table with $480 per month as minimum wage, followed by Latvia and Lithuania.

Another trend - difference between minimum wage in Estonia and Lithuania is about = $89, pretty huge gap if we are overlooking Baltic states as one united region.

Another interesting trend, in some countries minimum wage has not increased, but even decreased, like Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The biggest decrease has been noticed in Ukraine, where minimum wage decreased by 37.5% or $39 per month. All of the decreases in this chart I can explain simple - it's not that government's has cuted down their minimum wages, it's about devaluation of their national currencies against USD.

Ukrainian Hryvna, due to Internal problems in Ukraine has lost some 37% of it's value, and it's not clear - how long it's going to continue. On the other hand - Russia, with all the sanctions against it, has experienced some devaluation of Russian rouble against USD, although it doesn't mirror much on minimum wages.

There are still 5 countries in Former Soviet Union space, receiving less than $100 per month. 2 of them - Georgia and Moldova are seeking closer ties with European Union. In order to get them, my understaning is simple, they need to raise their minimum wages above $100 in very soon time.

In 2013, when I measured minimum wages in Former Soviet Union Space, I did find out that:

the highest minimum wage is in Estonia - making $427 in month, while the lowest is in Kyrgyzstan making more than modest $17 per month. Difference between Estonia is 25 times. It means a Kyrgyz worker who receives minimum wage needs to work 25 month's to receive the same amount receives his counterpart worker in Estonia in one month.

Then if compared by minimum wage in 2014, then difference between Estonia ($480) and Kyrgyzstan ($16) is exactly 30 times. Meaning Kyrgz worker receiving minimum wage should work 2 and half years to receive the same amount receives his counterpart worker in Estonia in one month. 

Gap in minimum wages compared "wealthiest" Baltic States to Central Asian countries is pretty huge.