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Average Workweek by Country

Average Workweek by Country

The Global Work Week: A Comparative Analysis

Work - a crucial aspect of human life, shaping our societies and economies, is defined differently around the globe. The average hours in a workweek can stretch from less than 40 hours in length to close to 50 hours, with vast variations across countries and income levels. We delve into the diverse panorama of work, based on publicly available data, showcasing the "Average Working Hours per Week" across different countries with varied economic development and cultural norms.

A fascinating pattern emerges where high-income and developed countries, prioritizing work-life balance and leisure/family time, typically have shorter official workweeks, often reflected in worker-friendly regulations, generous overtime compensation, and substantial parental leave laws. Conversely, countries with longer workweeks often have fewer worker protections and amenities, leading to a possibility of a less happy and overworked populace.

A snapshot of some key findings:

  • Notably, the highest average workweek is seen in Tanzania, with workers there clocking an average of 54 hours per week. Bangladesh and Senegal follow close behind with an average workweek of 51 hours. 
  • Despite being a high-income nation, Qatar has one of the higher average work weeks with 49 hours.
  • Largely, developed countries like the United States, Canada, and parts of Western Europe, have average workweeks ranging from 33 to 37 hours, emphasizing the focus on work-life balance in these regions.
  • Countries reflecting the shortest workweek include Malawi, Australia, Rwanda, Iraq, and Netherlands, where the workweek varies from 30 to 32 hours.

Countries that Work the Most

Strikingly, the nation with the highest average workweek is Tanzania, where workers are clocking up an impressive 54 hours per week on average. This East African country presents a clear example of the longer workweek trend seen among many lower-income and developing nations.

Coming in second and third respectively, Bangladesh and Senegal both have an average workweek of 51 hours, strengthening the previously identified trend. Moreover, Gambia in fourth place with an average 50-hour workweek, furthers the pattern of long workweeks being prevalent in lower-income countries. 

Interestingly, the fifth country on the list, Cambodia, and three others in consecutive order - Liberia, Pakistan and the high-income nation of Qatar - all have their average workweek set at 49 hours, showing a diverse blend of countries and income levels in this bracket. 

Finally, rounding off the list, Bhutan and Jordan both report an average workweek of 48 hours. This confirms the trend that lower and middle-income countries tend to have longer workweeks, with notable exceptions like Qatar.

Ten Countries with the longest workweeks:

  1. Tanzania - 54 Hours
  2. Bangladesh - 51 Hours
  3. Senegal - 51 Hours
  4. Gambia - 50 Hours
  5. Cambodia - 49 Hours
  6. Liberia - 49 Hours
  7. Pakistan - 49 Hours
  8. Qatar - 49 Hours
  9. Bhutan - 48 Hours
  10. Jordan - 48 Hours

By Country

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