Connect with us

Columns

Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan: Average Annual Salary In Developed Asia

The average Singaporean earns roughly S$50,000 annually after CPF deductions.


As economic powerhouses of Asia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan boast some of the highest standards of living in the world. But it is always irresistible to compare if the grass is greener on the other side.

Alongside standard of living, the cost of living in these countries is also relatively high. The average annual salary provides an insight into how much spending power the average resident earns, and how affordable it is to live in these countries.

Singapore

According to statistics released by the Ministry of Manpower, median monthly income reported in 2023 is $5,197, inclusive of CPF and one-twelfth of annual bonuses, which means that the gross annual salary of Singaporeans is $62,364.

Excluding CPF, the net annual income is $49,891.20. Nevertheless, it should still be noted that while CPF cannot be withdrawn and used as we please, funds in CPF still be used for education, housing, investment and retirement savings. If we include the employer contribution for CPF, this sum becomes $72,965.88 based on the gross median monthly income reported in 2023.

Aside from average salary, cost of living in Singapore is estimated by Numbeo to be $1,492, not inclusive of rent.

Read Also: What’s The Median Salary In Singapore (At Every Age, Gender, Education and Race)

Hong Kong

According to the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), the median monthly wage in Hong Kong in 2022 was HK$19,100 (Roughly S$3,300). This roughly translates to HK$229,200 (Roughly S$40,000) annually.

The Hong Kong pensions scheme requires employees in Hong Kong to contribute 5% of their monthly income, subject to minimum and maximum income caps. This would roughly mean that the average Hong Kong employee will receive HK$217,740 (Roughly S$38,000) annually.

The cost of living in Hong Kong is estimated by Numbeo to be HK$9,205.70 (Roughly S$1,600) per month not inclusive of rent.

Taiwan

According to a Taipei Times report, the median annual wage in 2022 was NT$518,000 (roughly S$21,600) annually.

In Taiwan, employee contributions are voluntary, whereas employers are required to contribute at least 6% of the employee’s monthly salary. This means that the median Taiwanese employee will generally receive NT$486,920 (Roughly S$20,300) annually.

The cost of living for a single person in Taiwan is estimated by Numbeo to be NT$24,360.8 (Roughly S$1,050) per month, not inclusive of rent.

Read Also: Complete Guide To Your CPF Contributions In Singapore (2024): Salary Caps, Contribution Rates And Allocation Rates

South Korea

According to Statista, the average monthly salary in 2023 is ₩3,270,000 (Roughly S$3,200). This translates to an average annual salary of ₩39,240,000 (Roughly S$38,400) per year.

Employees in South Korea are required to contribute 4.5% of their monthly salary to the National Pension Scheme. This would mean that the average employee in South Korea will receive ₩37,474,200 (Roughly S$36,700) annually after deducting pension contributions.

The cost of living in South Korea is estimated by Numbeo to be ₩1,411,406 (Roughly S$1,400) per month, not inclusive of rent.

Japan

According to Statista, the average monthly salary in Japan amounted to ¥318,300 (roughly S$2,700) in 2023. This roughly translates to ¥3,819,600 (roughly S$33,000) annually.

It should be noted that Japan has a pension scheme, and the contribution amount for National Pension is ¥16,980 from April 2024 to March 2025. This means that the average Japanese person gets ¥3,615,840 (roughly S$31,000) on an annual basis.

Aside from average salary, the cost of living for a single person in Japan is estimated by Numbeo to be ¥129,378 (Roughly S$1,100), not inclusive of rent.

Salary Correlated With Cost Of Living

Singapore and Hong Kong rank as the highest in terms of median/average salary among the economic powerhouses in Asia, especially after subtracting pension/social service contributions (roughly S$49,900 for Singapore, and roughly S$38,000 for Hong Kong). At the same time, the estimated costs of living, weighed against a common basket of goods, the cost of living in Singapore and Hong Kong is estimated to be S$1,500 and S$1,600 respectively.

Nevertheless, it should also be mentioned that this estimate does not include rent, and it is well-known that rents and property prices are high in both Singapore and Hong Kong.

Listen to our podcast, where we have in-depth discussions on finance topics that matter to you.