Minimum Wages in the Former Soviet Union: A Look at 2013

The former Soviet Union was a vast region that encompassed a number of countries with distinct cultures, economies, and political systems. In 2013, the region was still recovering from the economic and political upheavals of the previous decades, and minimum wages varied widely across the countries that made up the former Soviet Union.

Previously I have already measured and compared minimum wages in Baltic states, Caucasus and Central Asia. All of these once were a part of the Soviet Union.

Today I'm willing to measure minimum wages in all the former 15 republics of the Soviet Union.

Estonia 427
Lithuania 385
Latvia 379
Russia 159
Turkmenistan 154
Belarus 150
Ukraine 143
Azerbaijan 133
Kazakhstan 121
Armenia 108
Moldova 69
Georgia 54
Tajikistan 52
Uzbekistan 40
Kyrgyzstan 17

As seen from the data above - the highest minimum wage was in Estonia - making $427 per month, while the lowest is in Kyrgyzstan making more than a modest $17 per month.

The difference between Estonia is 25 times. It means a Kyrgyz worker who receives minimum wage needs to work 25 months to receive the same amount receives his counterpart worker in Estonia in one month.

Baltic states lead the table, making a huge leap to its closer Russia. The difference between Latvia for Russia is $220, while Estonia is even $268.

Why do Baltic states lead the table? Well, I guess since Baltic states are really tiny economies, it's a lot easier for them to adjust the minimum wage to the average wage in the country. I'm not sure where, but somewhere I have read that Latvia's minimum wage should respond to 68% of the average wage in the country.  In my opinion, it's a nice measurement, and who knows, maybe Baltic republics have adjusted this measurement to make it more Socially equal?!

Georgia is staying behind its counterparts in the South Caucasus region,  receiving a minimum wage of just $54 per month. Well. Georgia should figure out how to increase its minimum wage to at least $100 per month ASAP.

In Central Asia, we can see that oil-rich countries, like Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, have relatively close minimum wages as to Russia, while countries like Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan stay behind.

Moldova's modest $69 - hard to tell - it's similar to Georgia - both countries aim to European Union, hard to tell - does EU needs such "poor" countries?