Eurostat: Bulgaria again has lowest minimum wage in EU

Of the 21 European Union countries that have a national minimum wage, Bulgaria again has the lowest, continuing a trend that has lasted for years.

Figures released on January 28 by EU statistics agency Eurostat showed that Bulgaria’s minimum wage as of the start of 2022 is the equivalent of 332 euro.

Bulgaria was one of 12 member states, in the east and south of the EU, with minimum wages – before any tax and social security contributions are deducted – below 1000 euro a month.

The second-lowest minimum wage is in Latvia, 500 euro a month, and the third-lowest is in Romania, 515 euro a month.

The highest minimum wage is in Luxembourg, 2257 euro a month, followed by Ireland, 1775 euro, and the Netherlands, 1725 euro.

Across the group of 21 EU countries, the highest minimum wage was almost seven times higher than the lowest, Eurostat said.

However, the disparities are considerably smaller once price level differences are taken into account, Eurostat said.

When expressed in purchasing power standard (PPS), minimum wages in the member states with lower price levels become relatively higher compared with those in the member states with higher price levels, the statistics agency said.

The purchasing power standard, abbreviated as PPS, is an artificial currency unit. Theoretically, one PPS can buy the same amount of goods and services in each country.

However, price differences across borders mean that different amounts of national currency units are needed for the same goods and services depending on the country. PPS are derived by dividing any economic aggregate of a country in national currency by its respective purchasing power parities.

PPS is the technical term used by Eurostat for the common currency in which national accounts aggregates are expressed when adjusted for price level differences using PPPs

By eliminating price differences, minimum wages ranged from 604 PPS per month in Bulgaria to 1707 PPS in Luxembourg, meaning that the highest minimum wage was almost 3 times higher than the lowest, Eurostat said.

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