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20 Of The Highest Paid World Leaders
Trump makes the list, who else? (CCSS Level: Grade 8, Words: 1818)
Apr 15, 2019 World News

Who are among the top paid world leaders? Earning from just over $200,000 to more than $1.6 million, the yearly earning of these heads of states far exceed the pay of the average citizen in their countries.

Generally, these countries tend to be among the wealthiest and most productive countries in the world. Among the countries on this list, the leader's annual salaries are well above the country's GDP per capita or average wages.

Salaries are expressed in U.S. dollars that were converted from country of origin currencies as of April 13, 2018. Leaders of absolute monarchies such as Qatar, Brunei Darussalam, and Saudi Arabia were excluded from our list due to a lack of consistent available data.

20. Édouard Philippe

  • Title: Prime Minister of France

  • Annual salary (in USD): $220,505.00
  • Time in office: 1 year, 10 months
  • GDP per capita: $40,145.94

In France, President Emmanuel Macron, the head of state, holds more power than the head of government, Prime Minister Édouard Philippe. Despite this, Philippe earns just as much as the French president. Both leaders make more than five times as much as France's GDP per capita.

19. Jimmy Morales

  • Title: President of the Republic of Guatemala

  • Annual salary (in USD): $227,099

  • Time in office: 3 years, 2 months

  • GDP per capita: $7,421.29

Prior to becoming the president of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales was a household name in Guatemala on the Guatemalan TV series "Moralejas" ("Morals"), where he starred alongside his brother. These days, Morales earns more than 30 times the economic output of a typical Guatemalan citizen.

18. Leo Varadkar

  • Title: Taoiseach

  • Annual salary (in USD): $234,447

  • Time in office: 1 year, 9 months

  • GDP per capita: $66,548.10

Leo Varadkar is the Taoiseach of Ireland. Taoiseach is an Irish word of Ancient origin meaning "leader" and is used in the Irish Constitution for "the head of the Government or Prime Minister. As Taoiseach, Varadkar earns more than four and a half times the average wage of Irish citizens.

17. Katrín Jakobsdóttir

  • Title: Prime Minister of Iceland

  • Annual salary (in USD): $242,619

  • Time in office: 1 year, 4 months

  • GDP per capita: $49,704.76

If Katrín Jakobsdóttir's salary as the prime minister of Iceland were to be shared across the nation, each Icelandic citizen would receive the equivalent of 73 cents. While the president has a higher base pay than the prime minister in Iceland, the president has limited powers and the role is largely ceremonial as a diplomat and figurehead.
Meanwhile Prime Minister Jakobsdóttir is the highest ranking official within Iceland's government. Prior to joining the Icelandic government, she had a career in both Icelandic media and academia, where she lectured at various universities in Reykjavík.

16. Stefan Löfven

  • Title: Prime Minister of Sweden

  • Annual salary (in USD): $244,615

  • Time in office: 4 years, 6 months

  • GDP per capita: $46,519.75

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven began his career as a welder, but he quickly ascended into politics when he became his group's trade union representative two years into his career. Decades later, in 2005, he became the chairman of the major trade union IF Metall. It was not long before he became the leader of the largest political party in Sweden – Swedish Social Democratic Party – and subsequently elected prime minister.

15. Lars Løkke Rasmussen

  • Title: Prime Minister of Denmark

  • Annual salary (in USD): $249,774

  • Time in office: 3 years, 9 months

  • GDP per capita: $46,329.81

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark has an annual salary of the equivalent of nearly $13.5 million. She is not, however, an elected official – Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen is. Rasmussen makes a comparatively modest $249,774 a year.

14. Adrian Hasler

  • Title: Prime Minister of the Principality of Liechtenstein

  • Annual salary (in USD): $254,660

  • Time in office: 6 years

  • GDP per capita: N/A

With an annual pay of $254,660, Prime Minister Adrian Hasler is a former banker who worked for VP Bank AG, where the salary of the average employee is $128,648. Hasler was a division head there.

13. Charles Michel

  • Title: Prime Minister of Belgium

  • Annual salary (in USD): $262,964

  • Time in office: 4 years, 5 months

  • GDP per capita: $42,497.40

Prime Minister Charles Michel earns more than five times the average wage of a Belgian citizens. Belgium levies one of the highest income taxes for individuals in the world.

12. Justin Trudeau

  • Title: Prime Minister of Canada

  • Annual salary (in USD): $267,041

  • Time in office: 3 years, 5 months

  • GDP per capita: $44,134.80

Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau earns the equivalent of nearly $270,000 U.S. dollars per year. In Canada, the prime minister's compensation includes the Member of the House of Commons Basic Sessional Indemnity, the prime minister salary, and the prime minister car allowance.

11. Cyril Ramaphosa

  • Title: President of the Republic of South Africa

  • Annual salary (in USD): $273,470.00

  • Time in office: 1 year, 1 month

  • GDP per capita: $12,317.97

The average household income in South Africa is $10,872 a year, nearly a third of the average across OECD nations. The President of South Africa, Cryil Ramaphosa, earns more than 25 times the average wage in South Africa. South Africa has been struggling with stagnant GDP growth, high unemployment, and social unrest. As a result, Ramaphosa's administration declared salary cuts for Members of Parliament and the executive branch. The National Treasury, however, has shown in its 2019 budget statements that Ramaphosa actually received a salary increase for the current fiscal year.

10. Xavier Bettel

  • Title: Prime Minister of Luxembourg

  • Annual salary (in USD): $278,035

  • Time in office: 5 years, 4 months

  • GDP per capita: $93,891.49

Luxembourg is the smallest nation among the top 10 countries that pay their leaders the most, and if Prime Minister Xavier Bettel's base pay were to be distributed to Luxembourg's 596,992 citizens, each would receive 48 cents. While Bettel's salary is one of the highest in the world, the citizens of Luxembourg trail no other nation on this list in terms of individual wealth.

9. Sebastian Kurz

  • Title: Chancellor of Austria

  • Annual salary (in USD): $328,584

  • Time in office: 1 year, 3 months

  • GDP per capita: $45,478.96

Chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurz is much younger than his peers on the global stage, the youngest head of state in the world. When Kurz first entered political leadership at age 22 as chairman of the JVP political party in Vienna, it is unlikely he imagined he would be earning more than six times the average wage of Austrian citizens when becoming appointed as Chancellor only nine years later.

8. Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz

  • Title: President of Mauritania

  • Annual salary (in USD): $330,000

  • Time in office: 9 years, 8 months

  • GDP per capita: $3,655.37

Mauritania is a critical port and rail system within China's Belt and Road Initiative, which is creating major economic and defense ties between China and Africa. Relations between Mauritania and China's leadership are stronger than ever, but the differences between the two nations is stark. China's GDP is 2,400 times Mauritania's GDP, yet President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz earns almost as much per month as Chinese President Xi Jinping earns per year, according to Saraya, a Jordanian online newspaper.

7. Jacinda Ardern

  • Title: Prime Minister of New Zealand

  • Annual salary (in USD): $339,862

  • Time in office: 1 year, 5 months

  • GDP per capita: $35,244.99

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is paid more than 20 times the economic output of the average kiwi citizen. Presiding over a land known for having more sheep than people, Ardern's salary would only provide each citizen with 7 cents if her annual base pay were to be shared across the country.

6. Angela Merkel

  • Title: Chancellor of Germany

  • Annual salary (in USD): $369,727

  • Time in office: 13 years, 4 months

  • GDP per capita: $46,719.29

German Chancellor Angela Merkel earns almost eight times the average wage of German citizens. Merkel's base pay of $369,727 eclipses the average german worker's income of $46,389. Merkel has served in the role since 2005, earning millions of dollars during her tenure.

5. Scott Morrison

  • Title: Prime Minister of Australia

  • Annual salary (in USD): $378,415

  • Time in office: 7 months

  • GDP per capita: $46,554.63

Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison earns more than seven times the average wage of Australian citizens. Unlike some of his predecessors, Morrison has had a career in public service, where his first job out of university was working as a national policy and research manager for the Property Council of Australia, where he worked for nearly a decade. Australia has no maximum term limits for a prime minister, and if Morrison matched the nearly 12 year held by John Howard in the late '90s and early aughts, he would amass a fortune of over $4 million.

4. Donald Trump

  • Title: President of the United States

  • Annual salary (in USD): $400,000

  • Time in office: 2 years, 2 months

  • GDP per capita: $54,440.90

U.S. President Donald Trump's salary of $400,000 a year is about seven times the average U.S. per capita GDP. Trump, however, did not actually take home any of this money as he made good on a promise to donate his entire salary.

3. Ueli Maurer

  • Title: President of the Swiss Confederation

  • Annual salary (in USD): $482,958

  • Time in office: 3 months

  • GDP per capita: $56,473.64

President Ueli Maurer of Switzerland earns $482,958 per annum – more than any other head of government in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The OECD is an intergovernmental economic organisation of the 36 highest income economies that are also dedicated to setting transparency standards for governments of global democracies. As part of the OECD standards, Maurer's salary will always be public knowledge.

2. Carrie Lam

  • Title: Chief Executive of Hong Kong

  • Annual salary (in USD): $568,400

  • Time in office: 1 year, 9 months

  • GDP per capita: $57,081.14

Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam is known for being at the top of one of the best paid bureaucratic systems in the world. Hong Kong recently raised the salaries of all heads of governments by 12.4% based on the cumulative change in the consumer price index, an economic indicator that measures inflation.

1. Lee Hsien Loong

  • Title: Prime Minister of Singapore

  • Annual salary (in USD): $1,610,000

  • Time in office: 14 years, 7 months

  • GDP per capita: $86,810.78

The head of government in Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, earns more than 20 times the country's GDP per capita. Could a prime minister's high salary actually be a perk for citizens? The people of Singapore know one thing for sure: no one can buy off their leadership. According to "Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI)," first released in 1995, which tracks nations' corruption trends, Singapore is potentially the least corrupt nation in the world. Comparatively, at $1.6 million, Lee earns 12 times as much as Russia President Vladimir Putin. An additional partial explanation for the high salary could be cost of living: Singapore is the most expensive city to live in the world.

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as said by



real, in fact






very old



happening every year



go up or climb



able to be used



officially not allow



simple, beginner level



offering a cheap price, low cost



a job for a big part of your life



to do with religion or power / the system of rules for a formal occasion



the most senior officer in a company



dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery



right now / a flow of water in the ocean



a period of ten years    



devote (time, effort, or oneself) to a particular task or purpose



defending against attack



of, relating to, or supporting democracy or its principles



in spite of



the ways in which people or things are not the same



an official representing a country abroad



the wealth and resources of countries



the condition of having paid work



costing a lot of money



the ruling body of a nation, state or community


make a picture in your head




money gained through work or investment



growing or becoming greater



single, one



a plan to solve a problem




existing between two or more countries



to be the same as something else



a plan or way of doing things /  units showing size or amount




to do with the mind



a head of a government department



small, not a lot    



while connected to a computer



the highest governing body



of or relating to the government or the public affairs of a country



to deliver or put forward something / now, at this point in time




putting things in order, such as lowest to highest



not long ago



not long ago



to let go



set free, allowed to move



person chosen to speak for another or others



looking for knowledge



a number of things coming one after another



a raised floor in a theatre for plays or a speaker



the normal amount



the main body or stalk of a plant or shrub, usually rising above ground



trying to do something that is hard



regularly or frequently behave in a particular way or have a certain characteristic



the condition of being transparent, not hidden 



show respect or liking for someone



the number of people without a job



sight, seeing