How CNNMoney's Global Wage Calculator was put together

davos income calculator

Think you're paid what you're worth? Here's a chance to compare your salary.

The CNNMoney Global Wage Calculator is a regular feature of our coverage of the World Economic Forum.

It lets anyone compare their salary with the average in their country and worldwide.

The calculator was created with data supplied by the International Labor Organization, which takes on the gargantuan task of compiling the average wage of the world, as well as individual countries.

The calculator uses the latest available data, from the ILO annual report released last month.

The ILO collects this data by sending out annual questionnaires to countries' national statistical authorities. It also gathers data directly from national authorities' publicly available information.

They can't cover the entire world -- some countries don't supply or have the information -- but this interactive uses data which counts for 93% of the global workforce.

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However, there are some important caveats.

The ILO only includes employees who earn a wage. It does not include self-employed workers.

The share of employees in total employment varies across the world. In most developed economies, employees represent about 85% of total employment. However, in developing countries this is much less. In Africa, for example, employees account, on average, for about 30% of total employment.

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This means the average wage as calculated by the ILO will not always capture what an average family lives on, particularly as self-employed workers in developing countries can earn much less than wage earners.

China is also a special case. There is information on private wages and urban wages, but nothing which combines the two. Because the percentage split is unclear, the ILO, and the CNNMoney interactive feature, keeps the data points separate.

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The data also comes from different years, as some countries don't send their data to the ILO as regularly as others. However, with wages stagnant in recent years, at least in developed economies, the differences are likely to be small. You can see what year your data comes from in the blurb comparing your wage to the average in your country.

In order to be able to compare wages globally, they are converted into what's called a "purchasing power parity" U.S. dollar. This uses a 2015 World Bank conversion rate to weight wages relative to the buying power of $1 inside the U.S. However, the comparison is not perfect because the definition of wages can vary from one country to the next.

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The $PPP figure reveals the buying power of what you earn, inside your country, relative to the spending power of someone in the U.S.

The G20 data is presented as an indicator of global wages. Argentina and the EU are excluded because comparable data is not available.

The representative jobs CNNMoney chose were guided by data the ILO had in hand, for reasons of consistency. The wages used by CNNMoney can be found on the ILO website here, as can the years it is available.

The U.S. chief executive data comes from public records and were selected to represent those on relatively higher incomes.

This interactive was put together with assistance from Kristen Sobeck and Ding Xu from the ILO.

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