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Revealed: Which Nations Give Teachers The Best Salaries?

• Just 5 countries pay teachers more than the local cost of goods and services
• Côte d'Ivoire is the leading country in the index, paying teachers 62% more than the local costs of living, followed by China where teachers earn 44% above the cost of living
• The US ranks 20th in the world, paying teachers 14% less than the average cost of goods and services
• The UK pays 18% less than the average local cost of goods and services, putting it in 22nd place within the index
• Teachers in New Zealand are paid 7% less than the average cost of living

Globally, teachers have been protesting for decades, campaigning for improved pay, with teachers even in some of the most well-developed countries living below the poverty line.

To see just how bad the situation is, Teaching Abroad Direct created the Teaching Salary Index, researching the average teaching salary in the top 100 developed economies and benchmarking that as a percentage of gross domestic product per capita at purchasing power parity, or GDP (PPP).

The highest paying countries found in the study were Côte d'Ivoire, where teachers earn 62% above the cost of goods and services and China where teachers earn 44%. While the 3rd “best” paying country, Morocco, pays teachers 13% above the cost of goods and services.

Somewhat shockingly, only 2 other countries were found to pay teachers above the average cost of living, Switzerland and Germany, with Turkmenistan paying teachers on par with the costs of living.

All the way down in 19th, the study found that the US was one of the highest paying in terms of salary figures. However, the numbers are still way below the costs of living; meaning teachers in the earn close to $9,000 below than the average costs of living in the US.

Similarly, teachers in the UK earn 18% below the cost of living, taking home an average of $37,395 per year but facing an average annual cost of living of $8,247 more than they make.

The table below shows the 20 countries with the highest teacher salaries compared to the costs of living (plus the UK and Ireland):

RankNationAverage Salary (USD)% above or below GDP (PPP)How much above or below GDP (PPP)
1Côte d'Ivoire$6,72362%$2,568
7South Africa$13,618-2%-$222
8New Zealand$37,586-7%-$2,680
18Costa Rica$15,311-13%-$2,336
19United States$53,609-14%-$8,908
*22United Kingdom$37,395-18%-$8,247

Andrew Lynch, Director of Teaching Abroad Direct, comments:

“Based on the results of our study it is not really a surprise to have seen so many teachers strikes throughout the past couple of years.”

“From the recent State and regional strikes in the US and Canada to strikes across Europe and elsewhere, teachers are crying out for their pay to reflect the amazing work they do and match their costs of living.”

“As costs continue to rise across the globe and teachers budgets get cut, there is a real need for governments to start listening to teachers; in the hope of decreasing the levels of teacher turnover and providing children with the best opportunities to succeed in their education and after their school years.”

© Scoop Media

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