8 Of The Most Productive Countries In The World.

From Ireland to Norway, we look at the 8 best productive countries in the world and see why they’re so good at ‘getting it done’. 

The simple term of productivity is ‘a way to measure efficiency’ and the amount of ‘output per worker’, so the more a worker produces, the more they contribute to the profits for their company. As productivity is drastically falling in the modern world, with UK productivity 18% below the average of other western economies, there is greater importance to measure productivity when considering a countries economy.

”This data is taken from the OCED



Surprisingly, despite the gloom of Brexit potentially clouding any future trade, Ireland has the highest levels of GDP per hour worked at $102. However, it can be argued it’s not surprising at all, as Ireland is home to the ‘Silicon Docks’ which facilitates major tech companies in Europe, including Google, Facebook, Airbnb and LinkedIn and housing over 7,000 technology professionals. This is thanks to Ireland low corporation tax which is just 12.5% 

GDP Per Hour worked 2018 – $102 ‘


Luxembourg comes in second at $99.9 per hour worked. The countries’ focus on well-being is its catalyst for high productivity growth, including a mandatory minimum of five weeks paid leave and all workers must be compensated for overtime. Luxembourg working has an average working week of 29 hours. Most industries in Luxembourg don’t allow work on Sundays and flexible working hours is a well-known initiative. This model of a well-being focused society has meant Luxembourg has had high levels of productivity for many years now and has proved a successful model which other countries have started to mimic.  

GDP Per Hour worked 2018 – $99.9′ 



Keeping with the theme of high productive but shorter work weeks, Norway had the third-highest productivity rate in 2018 at $86 per hour worked. Similar to Luxembourg it’s society is based around the well-being of the country’s workers, allowing a shorter working week. This has contributed to a higher productivity rate, and helped Norway become one of the happiest countries in the world. So there certainly seems to be a theme of shorter working hours contributing to higher productivity. 

GDP Per Hour worked 2018 – $86′



Belgium has been at the higher-end of the scale for productivity for some time now. Even with it slowing down in 2018, it still manages to produce an overall GDP Per Hour of $78. One of the reasons for its high productivity is its high wages (6th highest in Europe), high education skills and low inequality. 

GDP Per Hour worked 2018 – $78′


Denmark’s work life balance allows it to produce high productivity levels at $77.2. Like many countries in Europe, it’s focus is on creating a positive work-life balance, with only 2% of its workforce regularly working very long hours compared to an average of 13%. Denmark’s focus is having a healthy and happy workforce, despite having high taxes, its societies focus less on money and more on social life has created a productive and happy country. 

GDP Per Hour worked 2018 – $77.2′


United States 

After a very long decline through the new millennium, the United States has made a comeback in it’s productivity levels, producing capita of $74.4 per hour worked. What drove this sudden increase in productivity is the cost of employment, high skilled workers of any kind are hard to find in America as the unemployment levels are so low, this has caused companies to invest in more ways to hire, either through better incentives or greater workplace enterprise solutions that allow for stronger labour.

GDP Per Hour worked 2018 – $74.4′


Switzerland’s GDP per hour worked comes in at $73.5, this high level of productivity happens by having one of the most robust transport systems in the world, the 5th healthiest population on the planet, and 6th in the ranking for happiness. This allows a population that is happy and content and will produce more for their place of work, improving the countries productivity.

GDP Per Hour worked 2018 – $73.5′


Ranking in at a respectful 8th, Austria has a GDP per hour worked of $72.4. This is down to a high growth in labour costs, highly producing manufacturing sectors and also modernising its IT and digital services in sectors such as teaching and education. This means Austria is producing more high-quality skilled workers who are paid well, increasing the productivity of its population.  

GDP Per Hour worked 2018 – $72.4′