What Are the Most Hardworking Countries?

Updated on February 14, 2020
Margaret Pan profile image

Margaret has a bachelor's degree in International and European Studies. She has thoroughly studied global economy, history and development.


The 5 Most Hardworking Countries

Have you ever wondered which country has the most hardworking people? The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has been compiling the average weekly working hours for workers in 35 countries around the world since 2000. Let's take a look at the top hardworking countries according to their latest data.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 36 member countries. It was founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade.

Average Annual Hours Worked In 2017
Average Annual Hours Worked In 2018
Costa Rica
Countries with the highest average annual hours worked

5. Greece

There is a stereotype of Greek people being lazy and getting tired easily. However, that's far from the truth, since statistics prove the exact opposite. Partly due to its economic crisis, Greece is now one of the most hardworking countries, taking up the 5th place among 39 countries. The average annual hours worked per worker was 1956 in both 2017 and 2018. Greece has the 50th largest economy in the world.

4. Russia

Greece is followed by Russia, with an average of 1980 hours worked per worker in 2017, which dropped to 1972 in 2018. Russia takes up the 11th place in the list of countries with the highest economies while the biggest field of employment in the country are physicians and healthcare workers.

3. Korea

Most people are probably not surprised to see Korea taking such a high place. Korea, the 12th largest economy in the world, scores the third place in the list of the countries with the highest average of annual hours worked per person, with an average of 2018 hours in 2017, which slightly dropped to 1993 in 2018. The five-day workweek was only introduced in South Korea in 2004, when the government implemented a five day, 40-hour (plus another 12 hours of overtime) law with the purpose of making people work less and reduce the pressure put on workers.

2. Costa Rica

Costa Rica is the second most hardworking country of the world. Costa Rica workers worked an average of 2179 hours in 2017 and 2121 hours in 2018. However, their economy isn't one of the world's highest, since it ranks 76th.

1. Mexico

Mexico is the winner in the field of hard work, steadily ranking first on the list of the world's most hardworking countries, with an average of 2148 hours per worker both in 2017 and 2018. Mexico has also the 15th economy in the world, making this country the second-largest economy in Latin America. Due to the fact that many Mexicans receive less education, and therefore acquire lower skills and knowledge, most of them turn to the workforce.

What About the Countries With the Lowest Average Annual Hours Worked?

Due to the fact that Germany has the 4th largest economy of the world, many would be surprised to know that this country is also the one with the lowest average annual hours worked per person. In 2017, it had an average of 1360 hours, while in 2018, 1363 hours per worker. Germany is followed by Denmark, Norway, Netherlands and Iceland.

Average Annual Hours Worked Per Worker in 2017
Average Annual Hours Worked in 2018
Countries With The Lowest Average Annual Hours Worked Per Worker

A country's economic growth is measured by the increase in its total output or real Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The GDP of a country is the total value of all final goods and services produced within it over a period of time.

Why a Hardworking Population Doesn't Mean a Large Economy

After seeing the above statistics, a fair question someone could ask is why, although a country has an extremely hardworking population, it doesn't achieve significant economic growth.

Germany, for example, as mentioned above, is the country whose population works the least amount of hours; however, it has the 4th largest economy of the world. That's due to the fact that a country's economic growth is affected by multiple factors and not just labor. For instance, its natural resources and infrastructure, its level of technology and education or its laws and government are crucial factors that can either promote or limit a country's economic growth.


Top Largest Economies of the World

GDP (US$/billions)
United States
United Kingdom
The Top 10 Largest Economies, According to IMF'S Latest 2019 Estimates

How Many Hours Should a Person Work?

Unemployment, and the lack of stability and security that comes with it, are directly linked to psychological distress and miserable living. On the other hand, overworking leads to extreme levels of tiredness and reduces a person's productivity. So, what's the ideal number of hours a person should work?

The majority of people work Monday through Friday from 9 to 5. That makes 40 hours a week. Whether that amount is less than the ideal, too much or just right hasn't yet been clearly answered by experts. There have been examples favoring all sides, making it a controversial issue.

Were You Surprised by Which Countries Were the Ones Who Made It to the top of the list?

See results

© 2020 Margaret Pan


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Margaret Pan profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Pan 

      2 months ago from Athens

      This article does not reflect my personal opinions, it analyzes the statistics based on surveys that the OECD has been conducting. India isn't included in the top 5.

    • profile image

      Imran ali 

      2 months ago

      How can you miss India.

    • Margaret Pan profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Pan 

      6 months ago from Athens

      Thank you so much!

    • JC Scull profile image

      JC Scull 

      6 months ago from Gainesville, Florida

      Very good article as well as informative.

    • Margaret Pan profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Pan 

      6 months ago from Athens

      Thank you very much Bushra! It surprised me as well!

    • Bushra Iqbal profile image

      Anya Ali 

      6 months ago from Rabwah, Pakistan

      I would never have thought Germans work the least number of hours in the world - quite the opposite! Thank you for an informative and interesting read.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, soapboxie.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)