This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Thanks to a study by business research firm Expert Market, we can now quantify the adage, “work hard, play hard,” and point workers in the right direction to find cities where people earn more but work less.
The study looked at the average pay, working hours and paid vacation taken by workers in 69 cities around the world to reveal what the study calls the “millennial Holy Grail.” The study cross-references data from average monthly salary to annual working hours and paid holiday taken; the results were analyzed to list, in order, the cities that offer the best reward for the least amount of work.
Expert Market states that the current work atmosphere is influenced by millennials increasingly rejecting the traditional 9 to 5 jobs “in pursuit of a healthier work-life balance and wanderlust.” Leading the pack, Luxembourg was ranked No. 1 if you want a high paycheck paired with plenty of time off. The study found that the average worker makes $4,291 monthly for 33 hours in the office per week.
Luxembourg isn’t the only European city that ranks high on the list. In fact, every city in the top 10 is in Europe, which makes it the best place to earn more for working less. New York doesn’t even crack the top 10 — while the salary is impressive in the Big Apple, workers there put in a lot of hours.
“Having a good work-life balance and adequate downtime is important but the reality is that you need to earn pretty well if you really want to make the most of your time away from the office,” said Sophia Patsikas, researcher for Expert Market. “Our new study is the first to uncover the sweet-spot cities where you can live the dream of working fewer hours for more money. Anyone looking for this kind of lifestyle should hot-foot it to Europe as soon as possible where good salaries and ample vacation are a plenty!”
As far as the other end of the spectrum, the worst work-life balance can overwhelmingly be found in Asian cities with Beijing, Shanghai, Bangkok and Jakarta all in the bottom 10. Shanghai and Beijing offer a total of seven and 10 days off, respectively.
The US did not fare well in the study, either, with no cities in the top ten spot. Chicago was the worst American city to move to. Windy City workers make a respectable $3,622 every month, but they only take off 14 days from work every year.
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.
With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards