European Beer Index Sparks Heated Debate

Map ranks countries by how many beers minimum wage will buy
Wikimedia/Jon Sullivan

A new beer map index ranks countries by how many pints of beer a person could buy for the monthly minimum wage.

A European “Beer Map Index” making the rounds on the Internet compares the minimum wage of the countries of Europe with the cost of a pint of beer in each place to come up with a map showing exactly how many beers a person could buy with the monthly minimum wage.

According to the map, the Belgians are in the lead with a whopping 1,028 beers per month, with Holland and Luxembourg coming in at 761 and 708 beers per month, respectively. Germany has no minimum wage at the moment, but does have a proposed €8.50, or $11.46, an hour minimum wage planned to be introduced in 2015. Assuming that goes through, Germany will be fourth on the list with 521 beers per month.

According to The Local, the monthly minimum wage of €1,461, or $1969.43, in the U.K. would pay for 374 beers, while the minimum wage in Ireland gives 333.


The map is an unscientific study based on minimum wage and average beer price data from the Internet, but it has already sparked some heated debates online. Internet users in Spain and France have taken particular umbrage at the numbers. According to the map, France’s minimum wage will cover 248 pints. That sounds like a healthy number, but lags well behind most of Western Europe. Some Spanish users, on the other hand, object to the fact that the map says their minimum wage covers 388 pints, when several people argue that the “real” minimum wage is much lower than recorded and that beer is actually more expensive than reported.