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How a teacher’s salary compares to the cost of living around the world


  • Most teachers across the world get paid less than the local average cost of goods and services, according to a new report from UK-based educator job site Teaching Abroad.
  • Teaching Abroad used 106 data sources to find teacher salaries in 100 countries, and then compared it to the per capita GDP (PPP), a measure of the total local cost of goods and services.
  • China and the Ivory Coast pay teachers the highest relative to GDP, and educators in 93% of countries make less than the local per capita GDP.
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Teachers in the US recently spoke out against low pay — and the country’s educators aren’t alone.

Globally, K-12 teachers make 48% below the local average cost of goods and services, according to a new report from UK-based hiring firm Teaching Abroad.

Teaching Abroad analyzed 106 external sources to find local teacher salaries in 100 countries. It then converted those figures into dollars and compared it to the gross domestic product per capita at purchasing power parity, or GDP (PPP). That measure is used by economists to estimate the total level of goods and services per person produced by a national economy, and provides a good proxy for the overall cost of living in a country.

Ninety-three percent of teachers make below a country’s local average price of goods and services, according to the study, meaning even teachers in the best-paying countries still earn less than an average share of the national economy.

Here are 20 countries that pay teachers the best when compared to the cost of living.


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