What America's Average Take-Home Pay Looks Like Compared to Other Countries

iStock
iStock

When you look at how much money people make around the world, salaries can only show part of the picture. In practically every country, workers give up a chunk of their paycheck to the government. So after taxes, which citizens get to hold onto the biggest slice of their pie? These graphics from the company relocation program CapRelo lay it out, analyzing what people making the average wage in a number of countries can expect to pay in taxes each year.

A map of the percentage of the average wage in each country that goes toward taxes
CapRelo

The countries with the highest tax rates in the world can all be found in Europe. In Belgium, workers give up 45 percent of the average wage, while in Sweden, they pay 52 percent, and in Denmark, they pay 56 percent. But not every nation on the continent follows this trend. In Switzerland, employees making the average wage pay just 2 percent in taxes, one of the lowest rates in the world. The only citizens that pay less are in India and Saudi Arabia, where the tax rates are 0 percent.

Lower taxes don't necessarily equal bigger paychecks. Though Denmark pays the most taxes, the average take-home salary ($28,227) is still higher than it is in Saudi Arabia ($21,720) and India ($1,670). But workers in Switzerland enjoy the biggest wages after taxes by far, with an average take-home salary of $84,006. The runner-up is the U.S., with an average take-home salary of $52,344.

A graph showing average salaries versus take-home pay
CapRelo

Of course, these figures don't take the cost of living into account. Citizens paying less in taxes are often forced to spend that money on benefits they would receive from the government in other countries. In Switzerland, for example, you have to pay to drive on motorways, while in the U.S., most highways are maintained using government funds. Meanwhile, the U.S. is one of the few developed nations that doesn't offer universal healthcare. And while Swedes may pay a lot in taxes, thanks to generous government subsidies, they also pay some of the world's lowest rates for childcare. So make sure you consider all the factors before picking a new place to live based on tax rate.

[h/t CapRelo]

Want to Buy a House? This Is How Many Hours You Need to Work to Afford One in Your State

iStock.com/jhorrocks
iStock.com/jhorrocks

How much people need to work to afford what is perhaps the most iconic aspect of the American dream—their own house—varies drastically from city to city and state to state. Just as real estate values change with ZIP codes, so, too, do income levels. (Not to mention tax rates and the price of common goods.) To see how attainable owning a home in different cities across the U.S. really is, the cost information site HowMuch.net mapped how many hours someone earning the median income in the country’s biggest cities would need to work just to pay the average mortgage.

To crunch the numbers, the site used Census data to figure out the median hourly income for people in the 98 biggest cites in the U.S., based on the idea that everyone is working 40 hours a week. (Which isn’t very realistic, but still provides a rough estimate.) Then, HowMuch.net used data from Zillow on the median housing prices to calculate the median monthly mortgage price in each of those cities, estimating that people typically get a 30-year mortgage.

Here's the breakdown for the country's most expensive metros:

1. New York, New York: 113 hours
2. Los Angeles, California: 112 hours
3. Miami, Florida: 109 hours
4. San Francisco, California: 107 hours
5. Boston, Massachusetts: 95 hours
6. Oakland, California: 83 hours
7. Long Beach, California: 78 hours
8. San Diego, California: 77 hours
9. Santa Ana, California: 74 hours
10. San Jose, California: 74 hours

California is just as expensive as you thought it was, and that applies to more than just L.A. and Silicon Valley. Long Beach and Orange County's Santa Ana make the list, too, as does sunny San Diego. Those cities pale in comparison to Miami and Boston, though. Someone living in Santa Ana would be able to afford the median mortgage working a full 35 fewer hours than someone in Miami—basically a whole workweek. Of course, that seems much less affordable when you consider that someone in Memphis only has to work 18 hours to afford their mortgage, about a fifth of what someone in San Jose does.

Obviously, there are aspects of this data that don't entirely capture the reality on the ground. Many people work more than 40 hours a week. Interest rates can vary a lot based on credit score, when you took out your mortgage, and other factors. Many households have more than one source of income, and those incomes may not be equal, which change the figures quite a bit. Most importantly, this only reflects the cost of housing. While a mortgage payment is a huge chunk of most people's expenses, this graphic doesn't reflect the cost of other necessities like food, insurance, transportation, and all the other things we have to pay for to get by in any given month.

So, before you plan your move to Memphis, bear in mind that these are just rough estimates. That said, if you do want to move to Memphis, we wouldn't blame you.

Game of Thrones Star Emilia Clarke's Impressive Net Worth Revealed

Matt Winkelmeyer, Getty Images
Matt Winkelmeyer, Getty Images

Most people know Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen, the badass Mother of Dragons on Game of Thrones. Although her role on the HBO hit, which kicked off in 2011, is inarguably what made her a star, she originally made her screen debut back in 2009.

Since then, Clarke has acted in various TV shows and movies (not to mention one memorable commercial for the Samaritans charity), signed endorsement deals, and more. So how much is she actually worth?

According to CheatSheet, the 32-year-old actress has an impressive net worth of $13 million.

Her biggest payday, of course, comes from Game of Thrones, for which she'll earn a salary of $500,000 per episode for the upcoming final season. Although there are only six episodes in the season, she's still making off with a pretty $3 million. Clarke and fellow GOT star Lena Headey (who plays Cersei Lannister) reportedly make the same amount as their male co-stars: Kit Harington, Peter Dinklage, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau—making them HBO's highest-paid actors.

Clarke's acting career began in the theater during school, and she landed her first TV role in 2009 with one episode of the British series Doctors. She also starred in the 2009 SYFY film Triassic Attack. By 2010, she was cast as Daenerys Targaryen, a role that would eventually earn her three Emmy nominations (and counting).

During her time on Game of Thrones, Clarke has also built up an exciting resume with other projects. In 2015, she played Sarah Connor in Terminator Genisys, and in 2016, she starred in the film Me Before You. Most impressively, she joined the Star Wars franchise, playing Qi'ra in 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story. In 2019, she'll team up with Crazy Rich Asians star Henry Golding for Paul Feig's upcoming comedy, Last Christmas.

In addition to leading roles, Clarke has also voiced characters on Futurama and Robot Chicken. She is also currently the face of Dolce & Gabbana's "The One" fragrance.

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