This is already third annual article covering minimum wage and its disproportion among 22 of 28 European Union member countries.

Feel free to browse through the archives for previous years, before proceeding, see: 2016, 2015, 2014

In 2017 there were 22 out of 28 European Union member states with official minimum wage set by government.

N.B. Countries that don't have minimum wage set by government in European Union - Austria, Denmark, Finland, Cyprus, Italy and Sweden (collective bargaining agreements effective, instead of minimum wage)

Now, the biggest question about future reports involves Britain after Brexit. As for 2017 United Kingdom still counts in as a member country of EU, in following table bellow you will still find data on how much Britons receive in minimum wage in 2017

Key findings

As for the previous years, there are no changes in the country with highest and lowest minimum wage. Luxembourg as usual ranks #1 with almost EUR 2,000 minimum wage in 2017, while Bulgaria ranks last with just EUR 235.50. Making a gap between highest and lowest salary in European Union 8.48 times. That's huge. 

All, but Slovenia, former Communist block countries fall bellow EUR 500 minimum wage in 2017

Minimum wage map in European Union 2017

Minimum wage map in European Union 2017

Southern European countries Spain, Greece and  Portugal fall between above EUR 500 and bellow EUR 1,000 minimum wage in 2017. With Greece being the only country which minimum wage have increased just by 0.11% during the last three years (2014-2017).

So called, Western countries - Benelux countries, Germany, France and UK have more or less similar minimum wage. With Britain experiencing a huge, more than EUR 200 increase, over the last three years, well that of course involves British pound strength against euro.

For this years minimum wage table I've included data for 2014 and current 2017,  with added minimum wage growth over three years, to better understand overall scene. Also, for the first time I've included Forecast for minimum wages in 2020, using last three year growth rate as an indicator. 

Data used in this table are from Minimum wages on EurostatList of European countries by minimum wage and my previous articles: Minimum wage 2016;  Minimum wage 2015Minimum wage 2014;

Also it should be noted: The calculations are based on the assumption of a 40-hour working week and a 52-week year, with the exceptions of France (35 hours), Belgium (38 hours), United Kingdom (38.1 hours), Ireland (39 hours), and Germany (39.1 hours). Most of minimum wages are fixed at a monthly rate, but there are countries where minimum wage is fixed at an hourly rate or weekly rate.

    2017 2014 Growth over three years Forecast
Rank Country Monthly € Hourly € Monthly € Money € % 2020
1 Luxembourg 1,998.59 11.53 1,921 77.59 4.04 2,079.31
2 Ireland 1,563.25 9.25 1,461 102.25 7.00 1,672.66
3 Netherlands 1,551.60 8.95 1,485 66.60 4.48 1,621.19
4 Belgium 1,531.93 9.30 1,501 30.93 2.06 1,563.50
5 Germany 1,498.00 8.84 1,473* 25.00 1.70 1,523.42
6 France 1,480.27 9.76 1,455 25.27 1.74 1,505.98
7 United Kingdom 1,433.82 8.65 1,226 207.82 16.95 1,676.87
8 Spain 825.65 4.76 752 73.65 9.79 906.51
9 Slovenia 804.96 4.64 789 15.96 2.02 821.24
10 Malta 735.63 4.24 702 33.63 4.79 770.87
11 Greece 683.76 3.94 683 0.76 0.11 684.52
12 Portugal 649.83 3.75 565 84.83 15.01 747.40
13 Estonia 470.00 2.78 355 115.00 32.39 622.25
14 Poland 464.60 2.71 405 59.60 14.72 532.97
15 Croatia 439.33 2.55 396 43.33 10.94 487.40
16 Slovakia 435.00 2.51 352 83.00 23.58 537.57
17 Hungary 411.00 2.37 327 84.00 25.69 516.58
18 Czech Republic 407.00 2.44 309 98.00 31.72 536.08
19 Lithuania 380.00 2.19 289 91.00 31.49 499.65
20 Latvia 380.00 2.19 320 60.00 18.75 451.25
21 Romania 321.23 1.83 202 119.23 59.02 510.84
22 Bulgaria 235.20 1.35 173 62.20 35.95 319.76
  Average EU 890.51 3.66 779.14 70.89 16.09 935.81

* Minimum wage in Germany was introduced in just in 2015, in above table historical data for minimum wage in Germany is used values from 2015.

Exchange rates for hourly minimum wages are set as of 3/21/2017 and might differ for countries with minimum wages set in other currencies than euro.

Average minimum wage for 22 EU member states have increased by about EUR 70 during past three years, from EUR 779.14 in 2014 to EUR 890.51 in 2017. Of course its just an median indicator as we already know - minimum wages in EU member countries vary.

Also it's clearly visible that minimum wage growth are relatively much faster in Eastern European countries, with Romania growing it's minimum wage for the past three years almost by 60%, followed by Bulgaria (35.95%) and Estonia (32.39%). 

Minimum wage is growing relatively slower in old EU member states, with an exception United Kingdom. If British Pounds exchanged to Euros, UK shows a very nice about EUR 200 growth for minimum wage in the past three years.

If the future forecast for 2020 will turn out to be true or at least close to approximate,  it will require years, if not decades, for  countries failing bellow EUR 500 minimum wage to catch up with better developed countries