April 13th, 2011
05:33 AM GMT
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(CNN) - Who works the most minutes each day at home and work?

Japan may be the first to spring to mind, with its legendary work ethic, but according to the latest study by the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development, Japan comes in second place with an average of  540 minutes, or nine hours, spent doing paid work and chores such as shopping and cooking.

So what nation is the hardest working in the world? Mexico, according to the OECD.

As the chart above shows breaking down daily minutes of work, Mexicans spend 594 minutes, or 9.9 hours, doing paid or unpaid work each day.

The nation that works the least, according to the survey of 29 economies, is Belgium with a total of 427 minutes (7.1 hours) of work each day.

The OECD average was 277 minutes (4.6 hours) of paid work, and 207 minutes (3.45 hours) of unpaid work each day.

How much some other major economies worked: China (8.4 hours of paid and unpaid work), The U.S. (8.3 hours), India (8.1 hours), Australia (8 hours), the UK (7.8 hours), France (7.5 hours) and Germany (7.4 hours).

In total minutes of paid work only, Japan worked the most with 6.3 hours on average each day.  Denmark worked the least paid time (3.75 hours).

Mexico had the highest average of unpaid work (4.2 hours) and Korea the least (1.3 hours).

French spent the most unpaid time doing shopping each day (32 minutes) while Koreans did the least (13 minutes).

soundoff (171 Responses)
  1. Really?

    This study is flawed. Did the OECD take into account the two hour lunch (2 to 4) that is the norm for employees in Mexico. They are paid during this time. The Mexican work ethic is lax and questionable for employees of larger corporations. Work is conducted with a HEAVY dose of socializing. The usual work period is between 9 to 2 and 4 to 6.

    April 13, 2011 at 7:59 am |
  2. Manny

    Korea in last? lol, they should be 2nd, company workers work from sun up until 10 or 11pm, some of that work is unpaid, I think you guys need to do more research.

    April 13, 2011 at 8:00 am |
  3. Siktirium

    This chart is missing Romanian teachers who are among the worst paid in the world. An excellent example would be the extra hours in some universities where as much as more than half of them (more then 60 teaching hours/month) are free of pay... Enjoy your own countries folks!...

    April 13, 2011 at 8:02 am |
  4. kkqq

    Canada, the forth?? must be kidding...

    April 13, 2011 at 8:07 am |
  5. Jin

    a error to correct : In total minutes of paid (unpaid?) work only, Japan worked the most with 6.3 hours on average each day.

    April 13, 2011 at 8:14 am |
  6. dfirefox83

    While Mexico is definitely in the lead, look at the 3 Asian countries of Japan/Korea/China right behind?! Always the busy bodies....

    April 13, 2011 at 8:23 am |
  7. Gepids

    Really: you must be thinking of an other country. I've lived in Mexico, there are no 2-4 hour lunches. The fact that you suggest this indicates a lack of knowledge about Mexico, the work ethic and the people. You need to stop getting your information through old TV shows.

    April 13, 2011 at 8:37 am |
  8. Drew

    This study conclusively demonstrates that Mexicans are the most full of frijoles.

    April 13, 2011 at 8:44 am |
  9. Tom

    More like you need to stop getting your information on Mexicans from racial stereotypes.

    I found it interesting when I went to Virginia on a business trip, that almost the entire hotel staff is Mexican. It is pretty obvious who is doing the work.

    April 13, 2011 at 9:12 am |
  10. J Luis

    It is with great regret that my own country – Portugal is in 3 rd place and unfortunatly so much time spent working doesn't pay off – the economy is bankrupt!

    April 13, 2011 at 9:12 am |
  11. Top Man

    I thought US number one like what Obama said....(1 lie) starting counting

    April 13, 2011 at 9:18 am |
  12. Kyle H. Davis

    These statistics are quite skewed. Differences between development and cultural differences in work ethics should be weighed in greatly. – I've spent the past decade working and living in China, and there is no possible way that these statistics are a true representation of China. – I'm not saying they are lazy or anything of the sort, but the work culture in China is quite different. With half the population living being rural/farmers, farming little more than 2 or 3 acres of land, and with the commonality of an hour long sleep break after an hour long lunch (in urban areas)... there is no way that you can get me to believe that it is "harder working" than the US.

    April 13, 2011 at 9:25 am |
  13. wansaku Nashon

    where is Kenya?

    April 13, 2011 at 9:54 am |
  14. Bronwyn

    I am not surprised in the least. I grew up near the Mexican border. Mexican people are the hardest working people I have ever known.

    April 13, 2011 at 9:59 am |
  15. Tumalaca

    remove the blue bars and we'll see who is actually getting a life outside of the paid work

    April 13, 2011 at 10:01 am |
  16. brunette

    come to nigeria! Local manager can come at 10.30 – 11am, having breakfast for 1 hour, then work (inefficiently) till 2 pm, then having lunch for 1 hour plus, then going home by 5pm, and the good news is.... they get paid for 8 hours (official working hours is 8 to 5).
    Oh yaa... one more thing... they can leave office for whatever reason, and it wont b considered as leave.
    Plus... one more... if the boss is not around... yes... they can come at 3pm... without any need to explain why.

    welcome to naija!

    April 13, 2011 at 10:02 am |
  17. Bowu

    As usual, Taiwan is forgotten because everybody is affraid of China... Nevertheless, the Taiwanese would probably have come in first of second place in this study. Right now, the huge local legislative debate is about reducing work hours, averaging 12hrs a day, to stop people from dying from overwork. Just Check the Taipei Times over the last few days......!!

    April 13, 2011 at 10:05 am |
  18. Talal

    I thought what's more important is the productivity achieved by working all these hours. Who cares if an employee works 6 hours, but achieves a productivity average of 4 hours.
    Time has changed, companies are pushing their employees to be more productive humans not work horses, and that's why this study is flawed

    April 13, 2011 at 10:10 am |
  19. sammy

    if you guys think mexico shouldnt be first, or want to give your useless opinions which are not based on facts, why dont you go and do your own research and publish also? you all just come on here and say these people who have spent months doing research for this publications dont know what thier sayin/doing. what the hell do you know yourself?

    April 13, 2011 at 10:14 am |
  20. Castleray

    I am an American working in Mexico and to say that in Mexico people have 2 hour lunches is nonsense. That was a loooong time ago. The 2 hour lunch was when people could go home to eat. That in Mexico City is impossible now due to traffic, so normally get between 45 minutes and 1 hour. I get 45 minutes.In my company we work from 8:30AM to 1:30pm and from 2:15 to 5:45. So update your information.

    April 13, 2011 at 10:18 am |
  21. Alana

    Just because one country works the most hours, doesn't mean it's the most efficient. Look at Germany, for example, working way less hours than Mexico, but producing much more. It's all about efficiency.

    April 13, 2011 at 10:21 am |
  22. Jack

    What is the definition of unpaid work? This sounds completely open to interpretation. I believe the "paid" part, where the list goes Japan, Korea and China in the top slots...

    April 13, 2011 at 10:22 am |
  23. Snake Speaks

    I'd like to see how the countries rate when economic impact in the market place per hour worked (paid) is compared. I'm willing to be we'll see a different picture.

    April 13, 2011 at 10:26 am |
  24. michaelngigi

    We have forgotten the stay at home housewives. Check this out http://bit.ly/h9v4of

    April 13, 2011 at 10:35 am |
  25. Alexander

    Never. Germany clearly is the world's top leader in unpaid work. EVERY German I know spends AT LEAST 4 hours a day (after regular paid work) renovating their homes and gardens. Just take a walk through an average German neighbourhood any day!

    April 13, 2011 at 10:37 am |
  26. b kim

    South Korea has a great work ethnic. Everything is done quickly, and people are expected to do their best with everything that they do. Work starts at sunrise, and ends definitely after 10 PM. A lot of the time, work ends after or around 12 PM.

    This is how we have become such a developed country within just half a century. And I smirk when people think of Seoul and the rest of South Korea as some 'developing country.' It's much more developed and much, much busier than New York.

    April 13, 2011 at 10:38 am |
  27. Yousaf Siddiqui

    Why Pakistan is not the part of study? The researcher should not skip country having population of approx. 180 million

    April 13, 2011 at 10:48 am |
  28. rezwan

    What abt the wager of bangladeshi people, they work almost 14 hours a day

    April 13, 2011 at 11:03 am |
  29. deep_forrest

    I think most here (including the author of the article) fail to realize the important distinction between working the most hours and working the hardest (not to mention the even further removed notion of being the most productive – i.e. working the smartest)...

    April 13, 2011 at 11:04 am |
  30. Louisa

    Oh my gosh! Country, that I've been to/live in, has people who work 22 hour days/get paid to sit on the couch/some other extreme, and I KNOW them, therefore EVERYONE in the country must be like that. I'm sure my anecdotal evidence is much more truthful than any methods a legitimately published study could have used!

    April 13, 2011 at 11:11 am |
  31. Saka Rasak

    Japan as been a high country which emback on world economic development. In social and importance in world develop Japan as contributed.

    April 13, 2011 at 11:28 am |
  32. ronb

    why is Israel not in the study results??? in Israel in all industries. from H-i-tech to Services (lawyers. accountants), to Doctors etc...everypne works more then 11 hours a day. everything is stressfully urgent and needs to be done quickly,

    Mexico – i just worked in Mexico – what noncense ppl work a alot of time because they usually dont do anything ...most of the work is sitting ang doing nothing...

    April 13, 2011 at 11:31 am |
  33. JMe.

    How come Singapore is missing from the chart? Basically, Singaporeans work very long hours on an average of 10:30 hrs minus off between 1/2 hr – 1 hr for lunch n yet paid one of the lowest. This isn't taking into account the many others that work even longer hours than this. OECD needs to do a more thorough n intensive study on ALL countries and get their findings more accurate.

    April 13, 2011 at 11:46 am |
  34. Ayaz

    Something time we need to think about saying pakistan " 80% are waiting for AID of US" Pakistan leader deserve this "

    April 13, 2011 at 11:46 am |
  35. AD

    So illegal workforce might not have been counted in this? Take child labour, forced labour blah blah.... China and India along with few other nations would top all others.

    April 13, 2011 at 11:50 am |
  36. Lewis

    Tom you need to quit judging Mexico work ethic based on a trip to Virginia

    April 13, 2011 at 11:58 am |
  37. mfhmfer

    Sure. Drug trafficking and overall dirtbag enterprising is hard work, very labor intensive.

    April 13, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
  38. Abdulsalami daks

    For me is nigeria becouse we are hard working ones legal or illegal 24hours daily

    April 13, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
  39. Nelson dan

    Why is affrican country not among?

    April 13, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
  40. Lawrence

    What do they use in this survey.Nigeria could have be the first to considered as a farmer Nigeria start go to farm as early as 7:am and come back around 6 to 7pm evening .In an industry i manage to work with an insurance company as IT student i left home 5am and i returned 11 to 12pm

    April 13, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
  41. African

    What abt Southern African countries? People dnt take Lunch breaks instead every time-off its called "Smoking break"

    April 13, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
  42. emmanuel

    @ brunette i'm not sure you are in Nigeria.

    April 13, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
  43. chanya

    I live in Belgium, the country which supposedly is at the bottom of that scale.

    What that research doesn't mention is that if I drive to work at 6 AM, I'm in a traffic jam for 1 hour, and when I drive home at 6 at night, I'm in another 1 hour traffic jam. So go add those 2 hours each day and tell how the stats look then.

    April 13, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
  44. Ankie

    Where is Switzerland???

    April 13, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
  45. Ahmed

    Korea should be the first. They work from early morning until 10-11pm, or to be more precise, until their boss leaves the office. Just get on a subway around 11pm. It is FULL!

    April 13, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
  46. In Japan - first hand

    I work in a Japanese organization with great Japanese people. I agree they do spend a lot of time at work, however they do little work at their workplace, and get paid a lot for the little they do. Tradition feeds inefficiency, protectionism pays the inefficient. It explains why they are 225% in GDP debt, right after Zimbabwe.

    Mexicans ...... I have still yet to meet an inefficent Mexi-CAN. Too bad they don't get paid for all of what they do.

    April 13, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
  47. sammy

    to mr yousaf siddiqui, yes pakistan has about 180 million people, but not every country can be included in the research/study, there must have been some form or critieria or random method of picking the above studied countries so it should not really be a cause for concern that your country isnt there. if it makes you feel better, my country is also ommited from the studied countries.

    April 13, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
  48. Mauricio Escalante

    Doesn't surprise me Mexico being #1. Everyone who says the contrary swims in ignorance. This chart measures time spent working, not efficiency.

    April 13, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
  49. parag

    i agree... south korea has to be up there with the most hardworking nations. 11-12 hrs is the norm here where i work (excluding lunch/dinner time).

    April 13, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
  50. Emecheta Ugochukwu

    I have been 2 China and i know very well they start work very late in the morning nd close very early at evening so i dont see Chinese working harder than Nigerians let alone USA

    April 13, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
  51. J4wie

    Av u guys been to any West African country in recent times. Have u considered Ghana or Nigeria. Even sum other African countries.

    April 13, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
  52. MM88

    What about the MiddleEast??

    April 13, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
  53. James

    It looks like the study skipped all Africa countries, except for South Africa, where most people work more than 9 hours a day plus do time consuming chores at home. I'm always disappointed that these studies skip over nearly 1 billion people when proclaiming who is the top in anything.

    April 13, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
  54. Alejandrito

    If you work longer hours does not necessarily mean that you are highly productive. On the contrary. It would be interesting though to see the difference between working for the public or working for the private sector. In the former any overtime should be duly paid, so productivity tends to be higher. In the former overtime is seen, at lesat by some, like an offering, a personal sacrifice to the State, so at the end of the month there is not any extra cash for you to withdraw from the ATM.

    April 13, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  55. NoVictims

    Top Man: The USA is, currently and statistically, the #1 economy in the world. No one, including our president, ever said we are the hardest working 'country'. To the contrary, we're being told to 'step it up'. We've been falling behind in this category (mentioned in the article) for years now.

    April 13, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
  56. T

    I have a friend who used to work in the Philippines and got transferred to Mexico recently. Indeed, there is siesta time. She was shocked and amazed at the same time. In the Philippines, she worked 7.1 hours in a day.

    April 13, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
  57. Anelka

    Something seems to eludemost people commenting here:
    Germany the 4th worldl economy is among the less working (paid AND unpaid hours) country.

    Which means economic strength has almost nothing to do how manuy hours you work daily.

    I would look for personal and overall working efficiency to assess a country economical strength.

    April 13, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  58. Radster

    Koreans don't really 'work' during all the time they spend in the office. They are just expected to be there all day and night. Half the time they are just cruising the internet. If they won't stay in the office for the hours someone else will. I've been living and working with them for 2 years in South Korea. I see it all the time.

    April 13, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  59. Izzy

    Yall are saying crap,beta go do ur reasearch properly.so deceivin people.

    April 13, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  60. Isidshomen Francisca

    China is the most hardworking nation because their people are always busy trying to meet up the agreed minutes and hours of work they signed with the company or trying to reproduce any thing that was manufacured by some one else.I know this because i have worked with them.

    April 13, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
  61. Sam

    This is a flawed study, skewed to make Mexicans look like hard workers so that Americans will buy into the idea that their illegals are important to our economy and work harder than we do. What garbage.

    April 13, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  62. bob

    Having lived and worked in europe for over 10 years, I knnow firsthand that this research is totally flawed. Spain, france, belgium, austria, finland, denmark, and holland shouldn't even be on the list at all..! A more accurate and meaningful work assessment eould have included total hours worked in a given year, less time off during working hours. As presented this information is biased anf worthless...

    April 13, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  63. Rexy

    Canadians work harder than Indians?? This is the funniest study I've ever seen.

    April 13, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  64. Dhimmy

    Hi all;

    This doesnot consider the fact that USA and Japan workers spend most of the regular hrs being inefficient, reading the newspaper all day, and doing their job after regular hrs to look good to the boss and get payed higher rates for overwork.

    Living in the Netherlands for a Canadian company, we work to live (as opposed to the USA where people live to work), meanwhile our labour output is higher than that form my Canadian co-workers who spend more time on procedures and meetings.

    April 13, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  65. Al

    I agree with some, South Korea probably should be at the top. Simply put, Koreans don't leave before their boss. My acquaintances there basically told me the following: You come at 8 in the morning, and leave at midnight. If your boss wants to go get a drink, you must follow. So during my weekdays I wake up at six AM and to go bed at 2 to 4 AM the next day.

    They basically "work" 12 hours a day.

    April 13, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  66. Get real!

    @ b kim...In fact, the average Korean worker is much less productive than many of his/her global counterparts (28th among 30 OECD countries surveyed in 2009 – Chosun Ilbo News, Dec. 09, 2010), hence the need to have a work day that, as you say, "starts at sunrise, and ends definitely after 10 PM." By the way, when you stop smirking, you may like to know that "12 PM" is lunchtime.

    April 13, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  67. deminey

    Where is Viet Nam

    April 13, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  68. Max

    This is so incorrect.. how about countries like Singapore and Hong Kong?

    April 13, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  69. Scare de crow

    No wonder Japan had the second world's working hours rank. there is no doubt dat it is one of the fastest growing economy.Bravoo Japan

    April 13, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  70. james

    Israel, Singapore, Pakistan and Africa are not included because none of those 'countries' matter.

    Israel and Sing are the size of an American city.

    Africa – who cares about Africa. How do you measure the 'work' of raping, murdering and corrupting?

    Pakistan? No measurements there because a non-Paki who sets foot there is killed. 180 million people wasting their time.

    And the Mexico #1 bit only goes to show how much of a waste of time these studies can be. In science, 'work' is a a function of output, not 'time in'.

    So maybe we should measure productive time, then Mexico won't matter.

    And Canadians work hard, but not as hard as Americans, no doubt.

    April 13, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  71. Thomas

    The average working day for most engineers in Taiwan is 8am til 11pm, 6 days a week and often on Sunday. Last year when the economy was worse they were asked to change to a 4 days paid working week but still work 6 days a week (2 days volunteer)!
    There is something strange about the stats above!

    April 13, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  72. Lori

    All this study shows is time on the clock, doing paid or unpaid work. The real measure of hard work is productivity and, using that measurement, Mexicans fall far short of workers of other nationalities. Sorry to burst another politically correct bubble.

    April 13, 2011 at 2:59 pm |

    To me china is the must working hard country in the world

    April 13, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  74. Kynt

    I'd be interested in the basis for this statistic. It seems flawed on several levels and not quite reflecting reality in those countries. E.g.: How does unpaid time spent shopping qualify as work?

    April 13, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  75. may

    hey, you guys forget about Taiwan.............

    April 13, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  76. Matt Richmond

    Which ***OECD*** countries work the most. Compare this to many African countries and those hours are a joke. It's not even comparable.

    April 13, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  77. Tiara

    Where is Nigeria in this research?

    April 13, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  78. John

    as usual OECD got it wrong, the hardest working country in the world is unquestionably Taiwan

    April 13, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  79. vicki

    Yeah take into account the MOST unpaid workers.....Cause we ALL know its getting more & more, harder & harder to Keep up with the demands of the so called Labour industry & the so called " FREE TRADE" ha yes cause thats Our Excuse (the governments) to Employ ppl on $2.00 an hr..Big Businesses can do what ever they Want....Lets get the dirt POOR over here, that were on 50c a day & give em $2.00 a day..everyones Happy :) The economy will Thrive....Get a GRIP...And We think WE have to right to stand up 4 Human Rights!!.....Yes there r Despots in different Countries ..But OUR Governments have Lost ALL their POWER to Big Corporations..SO Are We Any Better????

    April 13, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  80. pamela

    Do you really believe mexican people loves to spent 2 hours more of work eating instead of being in house with our family? That's a wrong assumption. I am mexican and compared to many other countries and nationalities, they have a more relaxed work/roll. I believe that mexicans work really hard,but also people in the office looks you like a lazy person if you leave in your time.

    April 13, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  81. Rafael

    I work in a different country than Mexico but Im mexican from Mexico city and yep! it so true! mexicans work a lot for unpaid work! we deserve the position #1 but the fact is that most of the times you do a responsibility based job so it does not matter how many hours you are paid you have get all done! Mexican culture is like that and because there are so many people looking for a job outside you know that if you dont do it the company can get someone else to do it so thats why we can complain for those extra not paid hours! we dont take 2 hours for lunch, its is 1 at max
    Its a shame employers in Mexico take advantage of employees. Who do you think gets most of the work done in the US?
    I recomend the movie ´A day without mexicans´ youll see..

    April 13, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  82. Yuyun

    Can i know How the statistic come out...? How about the gender...? Age ? I feel blur with the graph, why not just did it in separate bar. Blur and gray...

    April 13, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  83. Juice

    HA ! take that UK´s TOP GEAR with your lazy stereotype about Mexicans , Hardest Working People in the world (not including forced labor ofcourse) were the Uk stands at around #22. Put That in your pipe and smoke it you worthless blue pill pop´n old geezers.

    ps your show sucks

    April 13, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  84. Dino

    I know first hand that Chileans put in anywhere from 10-14 hours at the office albeit 2 of those are generally spent on lunch and coffee breaks.

    April 13, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  85. Johndoe

    I dont know what many of the commenters are smoking, but that "claimed" 2 hour lunch time is bull.
    the official time is 1 hour, it is paid, but you have to work 9 hours.
    Example.. you work 8 hours and you get 1 hour to eat in the work's kitchen.. total time in the company.. 9 hours.
    also the numbers are very high because sometimes Mexican workers have been forced to work extra hours with no pay with fear of lossing their jobs.

    April 13, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  86. Kathy

    To the people talking about why they excluded some countries, these were probably unavailable for an in-depth analysis due to lacking data on the total workforce.

    April 13, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  87. Yuyun

    Do a new statistic, base on proficiently of economic growth. Quantity does't stand for working quality. Between, where is the third world country, i thought some of them will be in listed. Mostly third world country need to work more hard in order to get an enough life expenses...

    April 13, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  88. NewChina

    I am in China, I start working at around 9:30am, go for lunch at 11:30am. Then I go for a walk in the park. Back to office at 2pm. I leave the office at 5:30pm

    April 13, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  89. Paull

    That is how CNN roles telling only half a story with half facts.

    April 13, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  90. Sani Kabiru

    It's Nigeria.

    April 13, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  91. Rod

    Please send this results to the tool heads in TOP GEAR at BBC; LOL!!!

    April 13, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  92. Antje

    Well, what is best? Work most or least hours? Considering prosperity from hours EU countries win flat out.
    Likely the hours are averaged over the number of people in a working age. Should actually be averaged over the number of people's assigned working hours. Result will be quite different. Productivity in EU like Germany, France, Holland is so much higher then elsewhere in the world.

    April 13, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  93. Scott

    Peruvians have a 48 hour work week, at least the majority poor ones do.......

    April 13, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  94. Coach

    I could believe that...I have worked with a few Mexican bosses while at Coca-Cola International and they really did work tirelessly for long hours and still had time to raise families.

    April 13, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  95. Sani Kabiru

    It's Nigeria. Because in Nigeria some workers are using 12hrs/day some 8hrs/day but monthly rate. Imagine after that hard working you cannot recieve your salary in right time, especially government workers. In some cases you can spend morethan a week or 2 weeks in the next month, before you get the last month salary.

    April 13, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  96. jimml

    PLEASE READ THE FIRST LINE OF THE ARTICLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    And maybe actually click through the link to read the actual study too.

    Unpaid work is "the things you need to do to live your life", not "work I'm doing at work to keep my job". That's still "paid" work under the study's definition regardless of whether the over time is compensated or not. As someone else mentioned, "unpaid" doesn't seem to account for commuting. It also doesn't seem to account for a swath of parenting duties that could be considered "work" (anyone not think taking the kids to soccer practice is work?).

    April 13, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  97. Rodolfo Rogers

    Hi everybody! I'm Mexican, and I can only say that Mexicans do spend a lot of time at work. This study didn't include effectiveness and efficiency. The best worker is not the one who works more minutes per day, but the one who can accomplish a task in an efficient and effective manner. Mexico needs to improve in those aspects. Mexicans are very good at procrastinating (some people can spend 8 hours without accomplishing nothing) and sadly with stupid Mexican business paradigms in which bosses give more importance to imagery, treat workers like slaves and so on. Mexican workers will pretend to be working, rather than doing the actual work.

    April 13, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  98. TheOldOne

    Numbers of hours "at work" does NOT translate directly into productivity or even 'hard work". Some people are just much more productive because of their intelligence and efficiency.

    April 13, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  99. Mario

    This people have never been to Lagos, Nigeria. No further comment needed.

    April 13, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  100. Luis

    Y´all fricks that´s the reason i am now in BRAZIL!!!suny,but i never saw so many crap!!, India with more than a billion peolple, 3 are working now ,and let me tell ya!! in call centers ,but nobody can understand a word they say!! Mexico??What a joke.Oh yeah they are working,but on plan to be illigal imigrats in the USA!Hello???

    April 13, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  101. Luis

    We all could be resting now!!WORK Hell no!!

    April 13, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  102. Ken nyaga

    No african country yet very sad

    April 13, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
  103. joe

    If Mexico is such a great place.. then tell the SOB's to stay there and stop jumping the border!!!

    April 13, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
  104. Spock

    Why no mention of Vulcan?

    April 13, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
  105. Paqui

    Spain is the 11th... that's pretty good...

    April 13, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
  106. Bijdehans

    Why is working made into another competition? And why is the country working the hardest being presented as the winners? We in Europe pay the most for housing and energy for instance but we still manage to preserve precious time for ourselves. Isn't that the best deal in the end? Turning working hard into a virtue only serves governments that have not a lot else to offer to their citizens...

    April 13, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
  107. Jose AV

    Yea like many point out the data its about "raw" work , not productivity, but as a mexican i find it a bit dissapoiting the number, it should be 30% than that, and increase 25% the productivity, and you got really something

    April 13, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
  108. Bernardo Chamis

    How about Brazil? Trade Unions in Brazil claim that we work too much!

    April 13, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
  109. reg

    These calculations are based on official data, not the unofficial such as illegal aliens, slaves, etc. So the actual country where the average person works the most, may well be countries where the data is most obscure. Communist countries spring to mind, namely China, but also Western nations where so many immigrants are not accounted for.

    April 13, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
  110. Jim

    And this information means absolutely nothing unless you factor in how much they get paid per hour, how much they are taxed on what they earn and what is done with the tax revenue that their governments collect from their efforts.
    There are successful countries right alongside countries that are bankrupt. Simply looking at the amount of "work" performed is pointless.
    How much did this worthless "study" cost?

    April 13, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
  111. nokto

    Texas brings down America's rating, bigtime.

    Without Te-has's lazy-ass rednecks, the USA would rank #1!!!!

    True, 'dat.

    April 13, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
  112. Marcialc

    It doesn’t surprise me, I have been living in northern Mexico for a few years now. Why do you think companies like Ford, Honeywell, Kimberly Clark and others are moving their operations to Mexico?!,
    Just in 2007 Ford made a multi-Billion dollar (with a B) investment in Sonora… all this in the middle of their financial downfall…hope we all take a hint…

    April 13, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
  113. Luis

    No, we mexicans are not paid while taking lunch. :)

    April 13, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
  114. Slacker

    Work Schmirk.

    Work sucks. The less the better!

    April 13, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
  115. Walace

    The thing here is to find out, who´s making the profitable work. I can work all day and night packing chicken...

    April 13, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
  116. Ulli

    Germans spent 4 hours per day renovating their house??? Lol, that is the dumbest thing I've ever heard about my country, what nonsense! Since work hours are usually until 5 or 6pm, few Germans would then go home and spent the evening renovating and doing up their gardens, instead of spending quality time with their families! Jesus, all these unfounded assumptions about other countries!

    April 14, 2011 at 12:40 am |
  117. Really?

    Gepids / Castleray – I'm a foreigner whose lived and done business in the U.S., U.K., Australia and in many Asian countries. I'm in Mexico City currently trying to get two businesses set up. I'm speaking on behalf of my first hand experience. My suppliers / manufacturers don't deliver on time due and when they do not according to agreed basis... I've been living in a hotel for the past 2 months and I see the same people coming into the restaurant for 2 or 3 hours at a time happily "working" away. Friday's after 2pm nothing gets done with the businesses I've dealt with. Agreed that people not necessarily go home for lunch but are at the local restaurants or shopping etc.

    Spending time in an office does NOT equal working. And working does NOT equal working efficiently or productively.

    Many Mexicans are great at projecting to be working when in fact they're trying to see how they can drag something on for longer. It is ingrained in them to see if they can get something for nothing. Mexicans who I've addressed this issue with blame the Spanish...go figure...

    And don't get me started on the business ethic here. Over promise (answer Yes to everything even when they don't have an idea of the product or service) and under-deliver (if they even do deliver). Forget about any contracts or money fronted. No respect for one's time and they behave as life is party not taking into consideration the follow-on effects. Even my Mexican national friends, who are all top MBA graduates, lament on doing business in Mexico and the work ethic. Most of them couldn't wait to get out of Mexico and dread coming back!

    Marcialc – U.S. firms move here because of the cost of labor and tax concessions, as I have. Price competitiveness is more important in a global environment even when it comes at cost of productivity. Not for efficiency.

    Alana / ronb / Mauricio Esaalante / Rodolfo Rogers – Spot on!

    April 14, 2011 at 12:43 am |
  118. mimi

    The USA is full of lazy asses

    it shouldn't even be on this list

    April 14, 2011 at 1:08 am |

    I wonder why many people are surprised about this research, specially in the USA many Americans do not know (or they pretend so) or for get that Mexicans workers (legal or ilegal that is not the point) since WWII while the americans were at the front line the mexicans worked in the fields and factories, withotu these work is unthinkable they could win the war, after WWII mexicans do the job that the americans do not want to do (the toughts jobs) so why do you get surprise? you better be thank to the mexicans for what they do for your economy

    April 14, 2011 at 2:19 am |
  120. Pawan

    ...And u nd I got paid for so many hours reading the above article and commenting

    April 14, 2011 at 2:27 am |
  121. Paola

    As a mexican i can tell you that we are the persons that work harder in the world but working alot of hours doesnt mean that we are effective.... probably if the half of the people making comments came to México to work and probably if half the people commenting to come to work in Mexico they would work would ensure that if the number of hours worked but not by choice but by necessity, and would not work efficiently because they usually do not receive pay for goods produced but by hours worked.

    April 14, 2011 at 3:06 am |
  122. @b kim

    Yes, you are great!
    No problems over here!
    Move along, nothing to see!
    The rest of the world really has to take a long hard look at itself and recognise Corea's benchmark status!
    Thank you for lowering yourself to smirk at the peasents of the world in order to point out your greatness.
    I just posted this for a dollar. Is that like I am double working? Winning!

    April 14, 2011 at 3:21 am |
  123. linuxaomi

    ... the article's title should read either 'Get paid but don't work' or 'How efficient Belgiens, Dans or Germans' are able to work

    April 14, 2011 at 3:33 am |
  124. Movitar

    @Joshmann, I just got a $829.99 iPad2 for 117.37 and if you think thats awesome – my neighbour snagged a $999 Sony Vaio for only $92.73, its being delivered to his home tomorrow. I would be a fool to ever pay high retail prices at places like Walmart or Bestbuy again. I even sold a 37" HDTV to my boss for $600 that I only paid $78.24 for. I use SnagBids.com…back to the article…

    April 14, 2011 at 3:44 am |
  125. Phd. John Simon

    Japan beffor Korea this was maybe true 7 years ago but today it is proven and well known that Korean working habbits are way above the Japanese one. Morover Working in Japan we get Korean consulting to impruve our working habbits.

    South Korea Should be number one most definatly.

    April 14, 2011 at 3:51 am |
  126. Les

    C'mon CNN – stop the sensational headlines and get the story straight. Mexico is not the most hardworking country in world. It's the most hardworking amongst the 29 countries polled in this survey of OECD countries + China, India and South Africa.

    April 14, 2011 at 4:31 am |
  127. Lisa

    Seriously, People. This is an article that is announcing the results of a study, not the study itself!! Everyone is sitting here complaining about the validity of the study and yet I'll bet only 5% of you actually clicked on the link and read the ENTIRE study! This article on CNN is just a summary, it's not that difficult of a concept. The Americans commenting on this article are the most embarrassing because our culture and education and online usage leaves absolutely no excuse for the stupid comments being made by my fellow Americans. You're commenting on the 'stupid' study, but you clearly have no idea what the parameters of the study were! The ignorance of my fellow Americans is infuriating, especially considering how many resources we have here.

    To those around the world, please do not let Americans lead you astray – only 20% of our population even owns a passport, so most have no business commenting on anything remotely international because they have no direct experience! Most never even leave their state or region and don't read books. Do not accept articles at face value – do more research and read the primary data source which is the OECD report itself, which you can access in its entirety by clicking the blue bolded words 'the latest study' in the second sentence of the article. It will bring you to the OECD site where you can download the report.

    April 14, 2011 at 4:46 am |
  128. Waj

    What about rest of the countires ??

    April 14, 2011 at 5:26 am |
  129. Julia

    And where's Russia? not to mention one of the largest countries in the world (in terms of population) is at least strange...

    April 14, 2011 at 5:51 am |
  130. Mexicanely

    Well, I'm a Canadian/Mexican that has been working in Mexico for 30 years and I know the Mexican people. I totally believe it. I am taking a break at 12 midnight from my full-time work-at-home job, by reading today's news...and tomorrow I'll take a look at how the two other businesses I am PR for are moving forward.

    April 14, 2011 at 6:10 am |
  131. JP

    Mexico being the ones spending most of the time working?. Maybe yes, but also many of this time is dead time, so its ineffective. As a mexican, I can say that its really a hard issue trying to deal with "serious" suppliers or clients. They are used to establish a "due date", and not doing anything until its "late" and have wasted many time and resources, and then they start working extra hours, saturdays, sundays, or just trying to re-negotiate the due date. Also this only applies to some companies. Goverment or any public office, they are just lazy as hell.

    April 14, 2011 at 6:10 am |
  132. Roja

    Kurdistan is number one, especially women as they work the most hours each day at home and work.

    April 14, 2011 at 7:36 am |
  133. RM

    Many Europeans that I've known don't like the American lifestyle because it's soo "work-oriented".I have no doubt that the average work day is longer in many other countries per job.But soo many Americans work 2 jobs,I wonder if this study takes multiple jobs into consideration, as often the second job is under the table and not officially on record.

    April 14, 2011 at 8:10 am |
  134. adiaty

    well, every countries has their own problems: job and their job description, great sklls workers, chances, and many more. So, I believe that hard to compare.Depend on our point of view– of that matters.So, those who are looking for job just to believe that you are capable enough to handle every/anything in it–not only with the job you're handling on, but your boss or partner, urself, and many more...alright that will be all........

    April 14, 2011 at 8:29 am |
  135. @B Kim

    The reality in Korea is that the employers will force people to work longer hours but Koreans don't work more, they just stretch 8 hours of productivity into twelve hours then jump out of their seats and bow to their masters when they make the rounds. I have been living here (Incheon) since 2002 so I know what I'm talking about.

    April 14, 2011 at 8:51 am |
  136. huang

    I living in china, just goverment officer can take a long sleep and 1hour lunch with payment. most of ordinary people need go to office before sunrise and go home after 5:00pm, and they need spend more than 2 hours in way.

    April 14, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  137. Turgay

    Good job OECD did not included North Cyprus in their list.
    (If you work for the goverment or in public office you do nothing whatsoever yet you would be laughing all the way to Turkish Bank)

    April 14, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  138. Sam S

    I wonder how unemployment figures into this? IF an American has a job they probably work a lot of hours. IF they are unemployed they just bring down the average.

    April 14, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
  139. Mike

    I think no one has mentioned the informal/side work part, for all the countries in the study. For example, here in Mexico a lot of people are, apart from working in their full time jobs, getting involved in side jobs such as selling Avon/Tupperware articles, investing in micro-companies, selling vacation plans and other activities that sum up to almost 16 daily hours of work in some cases. And I am not only speaking about low-income families. Even people with full college preparation and middle level employment are involved in this. Im in that case.

    April 14, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
  140. Zeke

    Why is it that you don't ever see Mexicans complaining? On this board I see one person say that this country works really hard then someone who has actually lived and worked in that country just rip them. Productivity in the US my asssssss. I live in this country. If we were so productive we would not have 1000 lb. whales walking around. Just got to hate on Mexico. Just accept it or try to keep up. Education is a problem for 1st generation but the latter generations are coming in strong. In no time if we keep talking and sitting on the work of our grandparents (ancestors) NOT THE CURRENT AMERICANS.....then we will be outcompeted. If you disagree your lying to yourself. Indulge yourself in your delusions.

    April 15, 2011 at 5:56 am |
  141. Zol

    All the people here are so butthurt, face it, México is number one, we are the best workers but sadly our work is severely underpaid

    April 15, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  142. M&M

    I am a 28 year old US Citizen working in Mexico for a US company. I come in at 8 am and leave right at 5pm. I used to work in the US as well and I don't let myself get overworked. However, it is very common for true native Mexican to leave the office everyday after 6pm.

    April 15, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
  143. M&M

    I live in Mexico and I also have an English teaching job which provides for my makeup, beauty products, gym, and a movie night.

    April 15, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
  144. Raúl

    I've been living in Mexico for almost 3 years now and I've worked at several American corporations as an English teacher. Everyone definitely works longer hours compared with their American colleagues. I asked them about over time and some of them didn't even know what that meant... I've also noticed that a lot of these corporations hire them as 'outsourcing' and these employees, no matter how many hours they work, get absolutely no benefits.

    April 18, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
  145. Simon

    Why, yes. Mexicans are indeed among the most hardworking people on the planet. Whether caring for our homes, our children, our wives and husbands or putting in those dawn to dusk shifts and odd jobs (as I have seen many of my Mexican neighbors and acquaintances do) we do what has to be done. Non-Mexican, non-indigenous so-called "Americans" have no right to complain. The laziest folks in my work place are Blacks and Whites in that order. The hardest working 100 % of the time have been Mexicans, Guatemalans, Peruvians, and Asians of various nationalities. Our cultures inculcate in us a strong work ethic very early on. Just ask those Mexican roofers (probably an odd job for many) how they can finish an entire roof in one day. Whether it is building the largest, most beautiful city in the world in its time (Tenochtitlan, city on the lake) on what was once hostile wetland and marsh in little over 100 years, or the hundreds of years of unfortunate slavery to debt peonage, to the present day, the Mexican is a person of industry. Don't let some grouchy "American" tell you otherwise. They probably aren't working themselves.

    April 20, 2011 at 11:58 am |
  146. Chuck

    Mexicans get up early and accomplish more in the first four hours of daylight than most Americans do(except farmers, doctors and teachers). As a kid growing up along the US/Mexico border I'll tell you, people were driving into the fields at 5:00AM and working to get the salads and ingredients for the households we in the "first world" USA, people of all ages working on food prep and cleaning, where would the USA really be without Mexicans? I went to a hotel in Ohio last month, and breakfast was turtle slow, NO Mexicans worked there, darker people did with a few lighter faces in charge if ya get my drift,

    April 20, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
  147. Junior

    Two hours lunch? what are you talking about? first of all, the majority of jobs in mexico aren't in offices like the U.S., if anything, those two hour lunches are done by management type people with high egos (trust me, people with higher education think they deserve more free time anywhere in the world). The common Mexcian worker does not take that long of a lunch..trust me, I know...STOP ASSUMING THE STEREOTYPES! It's sad that these things hinders us from getting far in life

    April 28, 2011 at 4:38 am |
  148. Thomas

    Funny thing, "hardest working in the world" doesn't necessarily translate into prosperity, good standard of living, or personal wealth on an average individual basis. Most of the individuals in the countries at the top of this list are pretty poor. Even U.S. citizens average income has dropped by at least 5% in the past 10 years, as our work obligations and productivity have increased dramatically. The Netherlands has one of the highest standards of living in the world, and national healthcare. Yes, their taxes are probably twice what we pay in the U.S., but (1.) everyone knows the U.S. already has the lowest tax rates of any industrialized country, and (2.) the social-economic structure benefits both business and individuals. 58% of U.S. households earn (and often need) two incomes. Only 84% of Netherlands households get by on just 1 income (a benefit those in the U.S. enjoyed through the 1950's, and which significantly reduces the overhead, costs and necessity of daycare and after-school programs). Overall, given how technology has significantly increased our productivity (and the amount of money we generate for our employers), I'd love some reciprocity here. 50 to 60 hours per week, plus time spent commuting and scrambling to do chores in the off-hours, in just too much. Business should enjoy the fruits of my labor, but I want a better standard of living. It's my life I'm giving to these companies. Let me enjoy some of it.

    May 4, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
  149. raechan

    Korea and Japan top the charts :3
    why is their unpaid? who does unpaid work. It's called volunteering .

    May 28, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
  150. Kai

    I totally disagree with that chart, the Mexican Government gets paid very well and doesn't even work. Eg. Please take a look at the conditions of the streets in Mexico City, or even better the public elementary education schools.

    July 5, 2011 at 1:51 am |
  151. Logan

    Maybe Mexico might be the hardest working nation but they do low grade work and are still ranked 61 in the world for wealthiest nations, thats the difference between Japan, America, Canada, China, Germany and so on while these nations are in the top ten for there wealth. Work smarter not harder, Thats why this poll is BS, I come from a military family in the Uninted States we all work over 50hrs a week some times 6 days a week.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:37 am |
  152. Carl

    Please, the only things Mexicans work hard at are bringing drugs over the borders and stilling jobs from the hard working Americans who dug this nation out with there own hands and breaking backs while burying there familys along the way so that some day there future generations would not have to give so much sweat, and blood and reap there harvest not so it could be stolen by a bunch of cowards who cant stay in there country to make it better for themselves, well it is easier to steal something than earn it, and Mexicans are stereotyped as being thieves lol.

    August 9, 2011 at 8:01 am |
  153. Logan

    Maybe Mexico is the most worked nation but they do low quality work and are still ranked 61 in the world for wealthiest nations while Japan, America, Canada, Germany and so on are in the top 10, work smarter not harder.

    August 9, 2011 at 8:36 am |
  154. Nami

    I feel so sorry that Taiwan is not included in this research. Pity that CNN let political issues get in the way.

    August 22, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
  155. Carlos

    I agree Mexico works very hard. Unfortunately, every one swims on different directions; and that doesn't help in terms of productiveness. Mexicans have a very high sense of responsability (contrary to stereotypes) and place their heart to their work (almost all of the mexicans). Now, for this chart; it is important to notice that mexicans still want to prove to their bosses how hard they work, by spending extra hours at the office. The longer they stay, the safer they feel on the office. Maybe thats what this chart portrays. Nevertheless, mexicans DO work very hard (and please, share the hard data on the 2 hour lunch.... hahahaha...).

    October 13, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
  156. Oskar

    Im a mexican i work as a receptionist in a 5 stars hotel in Hermosillo,Sonora,Mexico. I work 3 different shifts and they change constantly ,may day off also changes, i work 7:30 hrs and 00:30 min for lunch a day, so i work 2737.5 hrs a year, THATS PAYD HOURS. but if the guy of the next shift for any reason dose not appear yo have to do double turn and that is not extra hours, but steal we work very hard and new generations as me work smart to, we are trying to change people minds about Mexico, may our goverment be corrupted, rotted, but we are going to keep fighting to become a better country and LOGAN have you ever been in mexico? we got quality here AMIGO

    October 29, 2011 at 12:31 am |
  157. SYC

    This post is full of immature guys who compare working hours like children compare whose toy cars run the fattest, talking about all the partially-true fact of their own nations while bashing all the rest of others. It's a global age, and yet so many are still thinking in ethnic terms. I really don't get what's so AWEsome about one country working a bit more than the others-it doesn't make anybody happier, healthier or better person, just satisfying some childish notion that longer working hours equal stronger power~

    November 28, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
  158. Martin

    I live & work in Belgium for a multinational corporation. Legally I am only supposed to work 7,5 hours a day. I work sometimes 9. While a colleague works normally 9 or 10 hours.

    Furthermore, as Chanya pointed out, traffic here is a nightmare. Brussels & it's hinderland often tops European surveys for traffic congestion.

    December 9, 2011 at 11:55 am |
  159. Mark

    I would be curious to see each of these countries respective retirement ages. As an average of course.

    December 10, 2011 at 7:01 am |
  160. Derpina

    How about South East Asia? D:

    January 25, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  161. Raul

    I'm a mexican living in Mexico City, and yes, i think we are the hardest workers..... from monday through friday i wake up at 4:30am, i start my work at 6:00am, i have 30 min to have breakfast and 30 min to have lunch, my work day sometimes ends at 6:00 pm.... but sometimes i am arriving home from work at 2:00am..... by the way.... i also work saturday and sunday from 7:00am to 2:00pm..... and i have to mention that i spend also a lot of time doing work at home. My salary.... around 800 US dollar monthly; and i am a postgraduated worker

    February 1, 2012 at 5:31 am |
  162. Axx

    So, 48 hours a week, for mexicans is normal, anyway im looking to find out whats the actual efficiency, i mean people working in makioadora ans private companies not gouverment.

    Most people opin mexico when they get in at 7:00 they have coffe and talk about soccer or watever, so im woderin whats their efficiency out of 48 houres... Yes im mexican working in tijuana maquiladora....

    February 12, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
  163. Axx

    So, 40 hours a week, for US is normal, anyway I'm looking to find out whats the actual efficiency, i mean people working in manufacturing and private companies not government.

    Most people open in the US when they get in at 7:00AM, they have coffee and talk about NFL or whatever, so I'm wondering whats their efficiency out of 40 hours... Yes I'm American working in Colorado manufacturing....

    March 2, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
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