Being a President or head of government involves high pressure from the country’s citizens, long tedious working hours, and relatively little salary, at least on paper and compared to CEOs of banks and large corporations.
However, some world leaders have a much better salary than others. Here are some of the highest-paid world leaders in 2023.
Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore
Lee Hsien Loong, the prime minister of Singapore, receives the highest compensation compared to any other government leader globally. He earns approximately $1.6 million a year.
Carrie Lam, Hong Kong
Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, comes second. According to South China Morning Post, she earns approximately $672,000 annually.
According to the Chinese newspaper, she achieved this annual salary after the Hong Kong government proposed a 12.4% pay rise for all its heads.
Ignazio Cassis, Switzerland
Ignazio Cassis, President of the Swiss Confederation since January of 2022, earns around $483,000 annually, ranking third on the list of the best-paid world leaders.
Joe Biden, USA
Being the leader of the world’s superpower, many people would expect the US president, Joe Biden, to be the highest-earning government official. But, he’s fourth on the list, with an annual salary of $400,000.
Extra $50,000 and luxury access
However, the US also allows its president a $50,000 expense “to assist in defraying expenses relating to or resulting from the discharge of his official duties”, per the US Code. Plus he has access to the most luxurious amenities like the White House and Air Force One.
Anthony Albanese, Australia
The fifth highest-paid world leader is the Prime Minister of Australia and former leader of the Labor Party, Anthony Albanese, who follows Biden with an annual salary of $378,400 approximately.
Olaf Scholz, Germany
Not far behind, is the chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz, who earns about $360,000 annually.
Jacinta Ardern, New Zealand
The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinta Ardern, who earns almost $340,000.
Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, President of Mauritania:
The President of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, is in 8th place earning $330,000 p/y.
9. Karl Nehammer, Chancellor of Austria
The chancellor of Austria Karl Nehammer earns $328,000 p/y.
10. Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister of Luxembourg
Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel earns a yearly income of approximately 311,000 euros. At a gross salary of about 24,000 euros per month, Xavier Bettel is leading among Luxembourg’s politicians. This is $278,000 p/y.
11. Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Prime Minister
Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau earns $267,000 annually, occupying the next position in the list of the world’s best-paid leaders.
Rishi Sunak, UK’s Prime Minister
UK’s Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, earns around £161,401 ($186,685) annually. Not that it makes much of a difference to him, given he’s the 222nd richest person in the world, according to The Sunday Times.
Worst paid leaders
On the other hand, some world leaders are really badly paid. Some of the worst ones are Laos president ($1,630 p/y); Cuba’s president, Miguel Díaz-Canel ($360 p/y), and Ali Khamenei the supreme leader of Iran, who supposedly doesn’t receive a salary.
However, low salaries on top government jobs, usually lead to corruption, especially in a dictatorial regime like Iran’s, for instance. And even though on paper, they might have a certain salary, they most probably have millions at their disposal.
Nigeria is a classic example. Russia is another.