Ireland in top 10 countries to work and generate wealth, study finds

Irish people work more hours than most other countries, second only to US

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Ireland is among the top countries in which to work and generate wealth, a new study by software company Tipalti suggests. However, Irish people on average work more hours than people in any other country in the top 10 apart from those living in the United States.

Combing data around average working hours, salaries, combined tax rates and pension assets per person from almost 40 countries to arrive at a “wealth score” for each nation, Tipalti has found that Ireland — with a score of 6.89 — is the eighth best country in which to work and generate wealth.

Combining the highest average annual salaries in the world at almost €79,000 with an ultra-low tax burden, the Swiss top the list of the world’s best countries in which to generate wealth with a wealth score of 9.19. The United States comes second with 7.84 followed by Iceland with 7.7.

Irish people are the third best compensated in the top 10 and the fourth best compensated among the 38 countries, the analysis suggests, taking home average salaries of €62,782. Only Switzerland (€78,890), Luxembourg (€77,448) and Norway (€74,756) had higher average annual salaries.

However, Irish people work more than their counterparts in most countries in the top 10, the study suggests. Irish people work an average of 1,746 hours every year, second only to people in the United States, who work 1,757 per year on average. By contrast, Icelandic people work 1,493 hours.

With a combined tax rate of 83 per cent when income tax, VAT and corporation tax are taken into account, the Irish also had the fourth-highest tax burden among the top 10 countries by wealth score, the lowest being the Canadians who have a combined tax burden of 64 per cent.

When it comes to combined tax rates, however, Ireland comes 23rd out of 38 countries. The countries with the highest combined tax rates were Denmark (102 per cent), Finland (100 per cent) and Austria (100 per cent).

Meanwhile, the study suggests that Irish people are 10th globally when it comes to pension assets per person at €29,899, with the Swiss again topping the list with average pension assets of €131,307. With just €285 per person, Greece had the lowest pensions score followed by Turkey with €261 per person.

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times