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Top 10 Highest-Paid Leaders In The Wor. ldPhoto KnowInsiders

Although most of the countries on the list have developed economies, the salaries of the heads of government are many times higher than the per capita GDP of the countries.

The List of Top 10 Highest-Paid Leaders In The World - The Highest-Earning Leaders

(Updated, Source: The South China Morning Post)




Annual salary


Lee Hsien Loong

Prime Minister of Singapore



Carrie Lam

Chief Executive of Hong Kong



Simonetta Sommaruga

President of the Swiss Confederation



Joe Biden

President of the United States



Scott Morrison

Prime Minister of Australia



Angela Merkel

Chancellor of Germany



Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister of New Zealand



Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz

President of Mauritania



Sebastian Kurz

Chancellor of Austria



Xavier Bettel

Prime Minister of Luxembourg


Who Are The Top 10 Highest-Paid Leaders In The World Today - The Highest-Earning Leaders?

1.Lee Hsien Loong

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The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported that Lee Hsien Loong, the prime minister of Singapore who has served the nation since 2004, gets paid more than any other leader of the world. His annual salary at 1.6 million U.S. dollars (about 1.9 billion won) is four times higher than that of U.S. President Joe Biden, who was ranked third with 400,000 dollars, and 12 times higher than Russian President Vladimir Putin’s.

Singapore has pegged the salary level of high-ranking officials with the payroll of the high-earning private sector since the years of Lee Kuan Yew (1923 – 2015), the incumbent’s father and former prime minister of Singapore, and the country has imposed a tight scrutiny to prevent corruption among high-ranking officials. Singapore is considered to have one of the least corrupt governments in the world.

Lee sits pretty at the top of this list. For the sake of comparison, his US$1.6 million-a-year salary is 12 times as much as Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, takes home.

Well aware that his pay is the talk of the town (read: world), he once said in an interview, according to the Korea Herald, “The [US] president is paid less than me, yes. But the high-level residents in the White House travel in Air Force One, live in the White House and holiday in Camp David.” Lee also pointed out that US presidents earn millions of dollars long after their tenures are over. Well, he’s not wrong.

2.Carrie Lam

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Ranked in the second was Carrie Lam, the chief executive of Hong Kong, with 672,000 dollars of annual salary. But according to the SCMP report, Lam is stuck with piles of cash at home as she has been denied essential banking services due to U.S. sanctions. Since Beijing enacted the National Security Law last year to impose a maximum life sentence to dissidents, Washington is slapping a set of sanctions on not only the leadership of Hong Kong but banks doing business with it.

Hong Kong’s first female leader earned the nickname “tough fighter” for her reputation of never backing down during a political battle and for being something of a workaholic, according to the BBC. After graduating from the University of Hong Kong, Lam began her career in the civil service and became permanent secretary for home affairs by 2008, which entailed active involvement in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Since Lam took on the role of chief executive of Hong Kong in 2017 (and chairperson of the Committee for Safeguarding National Security in 2020), her pay has increased by a hefty 12.4 per cent, based on the cumulative change in the consumer price index

3.Simonetta Sommaruga

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President Simonetta Sommaruga of Switzerland earns USD 4 lakh 82 thousand 958 (about Tk 4 crore 8 lakh 72 thousand)– more than any other head of government in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The per capita GDP of the country is USD 56,473.

4.Joe Biden

US President Joe BIden makes the first press conference this Thursday and he mentioned to eliminate the filibuster.
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As if having the run of the six floors and 132 rooms of the White House wasn’t enough, Biden also gets to cruise around in the world-famous Air Force One. With 4,000 sq ft of floor space over three floors, a medical room where emergency surgeries can be carried out, private suites for the president and kitchens with the capacity to feed up to 100 people at a time, this has to be the world’s most well equipped plane.

As president of the world’s largest superpower, one might assume Biden would be the highest-paid leader on this list. But while his salary is certainly a handsome one at US$400,000 a year, it’s often a US president’s post-presidential projects that help them really rake in the cash.

READ MORE: Biden First Press Conference: Foreign policy and Immigration

5.Scott Morrison

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Scott Morrison is among the highest-paid leaders in the developed world, but his pay packet is slimmer than some.

The Aussie prime minister pockets almost $550,000 a year, placing him fifth among global counterparts, AAP FactCheck has found.

As of July 1, Mr Morrison's base salary was $211,250, plus an additional salary of $338,000, making for a gross $549,250, or $1505 a day.

Earlier this year Morrison batted away the idea of taking a temporary pay cut during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I'll just keep doing a good job, that's my plan, and I will be accountable to Australians for that job," he said.

6. Angela Merkel

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel's annual salary is USD 3 lakh 69 thousand 727 (about Tk 3 crore 12 lakh 82 thousand). Her salary is eight times the average income of the people of the country. Germany's per capita GDP is USD 46,719.

This scientist-turned-world leader became the first female chancellor of Germany in 2005, and is now at the end of her fourth and final term. Despite her party losing at the recent elections, she is still considered to have been the world’s most influential female leader and is credited with steering Germany through its financial crisis and back to growth.

7.Jacinda Ardern

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The annual salary of the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern is USD 3 lakh 39 thousand 862 (about Tk 3 crore 87 lakh 55 thousand), which is more than 20 times the economic output of the average kiwi citizen. The country's GDP per capita is USD 35,244. Jacinda has been re-elected for a second term in the 2020 general election.

Ardern was one of 15 women who appeared on the cover of the September 2019 issue of British Vogue. During the pandemic, Ardern requested a 20 per cent wage cut in solidarity with New Zealand’s five million citizens who lost their jobs or were subjected to a reduced salary as a result of Covid-19 lockdowns in the country.

8. Mohamed Ould Ghazouani

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The annual salary of the President of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, is USD 3 lakh 30 thousand (approximately Tk 2 crore 79 lakh 84 thousand). The country's per capita GDP is USD 3,655. China's GDP is 2,400 times Mauritania's GDP, yet President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani earns almost as much per month as Chinese President Xi Jinping earns per year, according to Saraya, a Jordanian online newspaper.

9. Sebastian Karz

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The annual salary of the Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Karz is USD 3 lakh 28 thousand 584 (about Tk 2 crore 78 lakh 64 thousand). Sebastian, 34, is the world's youngest head of government. His annual income is six times the average income of the people of the country. Austria's per capita GDP is USD 45,478.

Kurz is the chancellor of Austria, a position he has spent 1 year, 3 months. He currently earns an annual salary of $328,584 in a country of GDP worth $45,478.96 per capita. He is the youngest head of state in the world. His political career started when he first entered political leadership at age 22 as chairman of the JVP political party in Vienna.

10. Xavier Bettel

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The annual salary of the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel, is USD 2 lakh 78 thousand 35 (about Tk 2 crore 35 lakh 77 thousand). With a population of less than 6 lakhs, Luxembourg is the smallest country to make this list. The country's per capita GDP is USD 93,891.

As the prime minister of Luxembourg covering period of 5 years, 4 months, Bettel has earned his place as world highest paid leader with annual income reportedly worth $278,035 in a country of GDP per capita of $93,891.49. For his various international travels, the prime minister of Luxembourg has at his disposal a private Cessna 550 Citation II, a Learjet 35A and even a 737-700, chartered from the flag carrier Luxair.

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