Countries With Most and Fewest Vacation / Paid Leave Days

Who doesn't like holidays and vacations? We all do. It is the best time of the year when you just leave everything behind and completely relax. No emails, no deadlines, no work-related phone calls (not everyone I know but still).

Unfortunately, we can't all have the same number of paid leave days in a year. This largely depends on the type of job but also the country of residence.

The data comes from a recent survey by SalaryExplorer that involved 200,000+ professionals in 100+ countries.

One of the survey questions was, "How many paid leave days do you have in a year?"

The responses were grouped and averaged by country.

Some countries are missing from the list because there were no participants from those countries. I apologize if your country is not listed.

The average may be slightly different from the official allowed paid leaves by labor law for each country. The numbers reported are the actual number of paid leave days that the employee has taken, not the maximum allowed by law.

Paid Leave / Vacation Days By Country

#CountryPaid Leaves
1. Algeria31.9
2. Kuwait27.7
3. Oman27.4
4. Saudi Arabia27.3
5. United Arab Emirates26.7
6. Azerbaijan26.6
7. Bahrain26.5
8. Russia26.2
9. Sweden26.0
10. France25.5
11. Qatar25.5
12. Luxembourg25.4
13. Iran25.1
14. Spain25.1
15. United Kingdom24.4
16. Morocco24.3
17. Serbia23.9
18. Germany23.9
19. Brazil23.8
20. Switzerland23.7
21. Netherlands23.5
22. Norway23.5
23. Austria23.5
24. Slovenia23.4
25. Italy23.2
26. Lithuania22.4
27. Denmark22.3
28. Czech Republic22.0
29. Belgium22.0
30. Ireland21.9
31. Egypt21.9
32. Hungary21.8
33. Finland21.7
34. Bulgaria21.6
35. Portugal21.4
36. Romania20.8
37. Croatia20.6
38. Poland20.5
39. Slovakia20.3
40. Greece20.2
41. Malta20.1
42. Tunisia19.6
43. Cyprus19.5
44. Ukraine19.5
45. Australia19.2
46. Pakistan18.9
47. New Zealand18.5
49. Argentina18.0
50. Jordan17.8
51. Namibia17.7
52. Tanzania17.6
53. Turkey17.4
54. Bangladesh17.0
55. Nepal16.6
56. Korea (South)16.5
57. Nigeria16.5
58. Brunei16.5
59. Uganda16.4
60. China16.2
61. Chile16.1
62. South Africa16.0
63. Ghana15.6
64. Singapore15.6
65. Canada15.5
66. Kenya15.4
67. Hong Kong15.0
68. Japan15.0
69. Lebanon14.9
70. Thailand14.8
71. United States14.6
72. Malaysia13.5
73. Fiji13.5
74. Sri Lanka13.5
75. Taiwan13.4
76. Mexico12.8
77. Philippines12.5
78. Mauritius12.3
79. Vietnam12.2
80. Myanmar11.9
81. Indonesia11.8
82. Trinidad and Tobago11.0
83. Jamaica10.2
84. Botswana9.9

Analysis and Comments

Countries With Fewest Paid Vacation Days

Topping the list is Botswana with 9.9 days only, making it the country with the fewest vacation days in the world. I was expecting to see an undeveloped country at the top, so this didn't come as a surprise. I hope work conditions improve there so that our fellow Botswanese workers can enjoy more paid vacation days. Wish you all the best Botswana.

I couldn't help but notice that positions two to thirteen were occupied by either South Asian countries (Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka) or tropical island countries (Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Mauritius, and Fiji). Is that a coincidence? What is going on there!? Anyway, all of these countries averaged less than 14 days a year, which is not so great, to say the least.

The United States came in 14th place with an average of 14.6 vacation days, only two days more than Mexico at 12.8 days in a year. While Americans certainly do wish for more off days, employers seem to believe that fifteen days a year is within the acceptable range.

The Normal / The Average

Most countries in the world fall within the 15 to 25 range. If you are enjoying a paid leave within that range, then there is not much to complain about.

Countries With Most Paid Vacation Days

Topping the list is Algeria with a whopping 32 days of paid leave a year. The top five nations are all Arab countries, four of them are Gulf states (United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Kuwait) with yearly paid leaves exceeding 26 days.

The European country with the most paid leaves is Sweden at 26 days, which is regarded by many as the country with the best work conditions in the world.