Unexpectedly Intriguing!
April 14, 2010

With Tax Day nearly upon us here in the United States, we were curious to know just how the U.S. ranks among the world's nations when it comes to the average individual tax burden.

We picked up Greg Mankiw's controversial idea for how to rank the nations of the world by average individual tax burden, and then took it to the extreme, going far beyond the eight nations that Mankiw considered and instead, creating a dynamic table in which we present the data for all 179 world nations for which we could get or calculate the data!

You can instantly sort the data presented in our dynamic table below by clicking the column headings. We'll have more comments below the table....

2009 Average Individual Tax Burden by Nation
Nation Population GDP-PPP per Capita [USD} GDP-PPP [billions USD] Total Tax Collections [billions USD] Taxes as a Percentage Share of GDP-PPP Tax Collections per Capita [USD]
Afghanistan 28,395,716 800 22.72 1.45 6.4% 00,051
Albania 3,639,453 6,200 22.56 5.17 22.9% 01,420
Algeria 34,178,188 7,100 242.67 18.69 7.7% 00,547
Angola 12,799,293 8,800 112.63 6.42 5.7% 00,502
Argentina 40,913,584 13,800 564.61 129.30 22.9% 03,160
Armenia 2,967,004 5,900 17.51 2.47 14.1% 00,832
Australia 21,262,641 38,500 818.61 249.68 30.5% 11,743
Austria 8,210,281 39,400 323.49 140.39 43.4% 17,100
Azerbaijan 8,238,672 9,900 81.56 14.52 17.8% 01,762
Bahamas, The 307,552 29,800 9.17 1.71 18.7% 05,573
Bahrain 728,709 38,400 27.98 0.67 2.4% 00,922
Bangladesh 156,050,883 1,600 249.68 21.22 8.5% 00,136
Barbados 284,589 18,500 5.26 1.72 32.6% 06,031
Belarus 9,648,533 11,600 111.92 27.09 24.2% 02,807
Belgium 10,414,336 36,600 381.16 178.39 46.8% 17,129
Belize 307,899 8,200 2.52 0.55 21.6% 01,771
Benin 8,791,832 1,500 13.19 2.03 15.4% 00,231
Bhutan 691,141 6,200 4.29 0.46 10.7% 00,663
Bolivia 9,775,246 4,600 44.97 12.14 27.0% 01,242
Bosnia and Herzegovina 4,613,414 6,300 29.06 11.97 41.2% 02,596
Botswana 1,990,876 12,100 24.09 8.48 35.2% 04,259
Brazil 198,739,269 10,200 2,027.14 786.53 38.8% 03,958
Bulgaria 7,204,687 12,600 90.78 31.23 34.4% 04,334
Burkina Faso 15,746,232 1,200 18.90 2.17 11.5% 00,138
Burma 48,137,741 1,200 57.77 2.83 4.9% 00,059
Burundi 9,511,330 300 2.85 0.50 17.4% 00,052
Cambodia 14,494,293 1,900 27.54 2.20 8.0% 00,152
Cameroon 18,879,301 2,300 43.42 7.90 18.2% 00,419
Canada 33,487,208 38,400 1,285.91 429.49 33.4% 12,826
Cape Verde 429,474 3,900 1.67 0.39 23.0% 00,897
Central African Republic 4,511,488 700 3.16 0.24 7.7% 00,054
Chad 10,329,208 1,500 15.49 0.65 4.2% 00,063
Chile 16,601,707 14,700 244.05 41.73 17.1% 02,514
China, People's Republic of 1,338,612,968 6,500 8,700.98 1,479.17 17.0% 01,105
China, Republic of (Taiwan) 22,974,347 30,200 693.83 86.03 12.4% 03,745
Colombia 43,677,372 9,200 401.83 92.42 23.0% 02,116
Comoros 752,438 1,000 0.75 0.09 12.0% 00,120
Congo, Democratic Republic of the 68,692,542 300 20.61 2.72 13.2% 00,040
Congo, Republic of the 4,012,809 4,200 16.85 0.99 5.9% 00,248
Costa Rica 4,253,877 11,300 48.07 6.73 14.0% 01,582
Côte d'Ivoire 20,617,068 1,700 35.05 5.36 15.3% 00,260
Croatia 4,489,409 17,600 79.01 21.02 26.6% 04,682
Cuba 11,451,652 9,700 111.08 49.76 44.8% 04,346
Cyprus 1,084,748 21,200 23.00 8.42 36.6% 07,759
Czech Republic 10,211,904 25,100 256.32 93.04 36.3% 09,111
Denmark 5,500,510 36,200 199.12 99.56 50.0% 18,100
Djibouti 724,622 2,800 2.03 0.41 20.0% 00,560
Dominica 72,660 10,200 0.74 0.22 30.3% 03,091
Dominican Republic 9,650,054 8,200 79.13 11.87 15.0% 01,230
Ecuador 14,573,101 7,300 106.38 14.04 13.2% 00,964
Egypt 78,866,635 6,000 473.20 74.77 15.8% 00,948
El Salvador 7,185,218 6,000 43.11 5.73 13.3% 00,798
Equatorial Guinea 633,441 36,100 22.87 0.39 1.7% 00,614
Estonia 1,299,371 18,800 24.43 7.60 31.1% 05,847
Ethiopia 85,237,338 900 76.71 8.90 11.6% 00,104
Fiji 944,720 3,800 3.59 0.78 21.8% 00,828
Finland 5,250,275 34,900 183.23 79.89 43.6% 15,216
France 64,057,792 32,800 2,101.10 968.61 46.1% 15,121
Gabon 1,514,993 13,700 20.76 2.14 10.3% 01,411
Gambia, The 1,778,081 1,300 2.31 0.44 18.9% 00,246
Georgia 4,615,807 4,500 20.77 4.51 21.7% 00,977
Germany 82,329,758 34,200 2,815.68 1,143.17 40.6% 13,885
Ghana 23,887,812 1,500 35.83 7.45 20.8% 00,312
Greece 10,737,428 32,100 344.67 115.46 33.5% 10,754
Guatemala 13,276,517 5,200 69.04 8.22 11.9% 00,619
Guinea 10,057,975 1,100 11.06 0.91 8.2% 00,090
Guinea-Bissau 1,533,964 600 0.92 0.11 11.5% 00,069
Guyana 752,940 3,900 2.94 0.94 31.9% 01,244
Haiti 9,035,536 1,300 11.75 1.10 9.4% 00,122
Honduras 7,833,696 4,200 32.90 5.13 15.6% 00,655
Hong Kong 7,055,071 42,700 301.25 38.56 12.8% 05,466
Hungary 9,905,596 18,800 186.23 69.46 37.3% 07,012
Iceland 306,694 39,800 12.21 4.93 40.4% 16,079
India 1,156,897,766 3,100 3,586.38 634.79 17.7% 00,549
Indonesia 240,271,522 4,000 961.09 105.72 11.0% 00,440
Iran 66,429,284 12,900 856.94 62.56 7.3% 00,942
Ireland 4,203,200 42,200 177.38 60.31 34.0% 14,348
Israel 7,233,701 28,400 205.44 75.60 36.8% 10,451
Italy 58,126,212 30,200 1,755.41 747.81 42.6% 12,865
Jamaica 2,825,928 8,300 23.46 6.38 27.2% 02,258
Japan 127,078,679 32,600 4,142.76 1,135.12 27.4% 08,932
Jordan 6,269,285 5,300 33.23 7.01 21.1% 01,118
Kazakhstan 15,399,437 11,400 175.55 47.05 26.8% 03,055
Kenya 39,002,772 1,600 62.40 11.48 18.4% 00,294
Kiribati 112,850 5,300 0.60 0.55 91.6% 04,855
Korea, South 48,508,972 27,700 1,343.70 360.11 26.8% 07,424
Kuwait 2,692,526 55,800 150.24 2.25 1.5% 00,837
Kyrgyzstan 5,431,747 2,100 11.41 2.44 21.4% 00,449
Laos 6,834,345 2,100 14.35 1.55 10.8% 00,227
Latvia 2,231,503 14,500 32.36 9.84 30.4% 04,408
Lebanon 4,017,095 11,500 46.20 6.65 14.4% 01,656
Lesotho 2,130,819 1,500 3.20 1.37 42.9% 00,644
Liberia 3,441,790 500 1.72 0.23 13.2% 00,066
Libya 6,324,357 14,600 92.34 2.49 2.7% 00,394
Lithuania 3,555,179 15,000 53.33 11.15 20.9% 03,135
Luxembourg 491,775 77,600 38.16 13.89 36.4% 28,246
Macau 559,846 30,000 16.80 3.38 20.1% 06,030
Macedonia 2,066,718 9,000 18.60 5.45 29.3% 02,637
Madagascar 20,653,556 1,000 20.65 2.21 10.7% 00,107
Malawi 15,028,757 900 13.53 2.80 20.7% 00,186
Malaysia 25,715,819 14,700 378.02 58.59 15.5% 02,279
Maldives 396,334 4,200 1.66 0.34 20.5% 00,861
Mali 13,443,225 1,100 14.79 2.26 15.3% 00,168
Malta 405,165 23,800 9.64 3.39 35.2% 08,378
Mauritania 3,129,486 2,100 6.57 1.01 15.4% 00,323
Mauritius 1,284,264 12,400 15.92 2.88 18.1% 02,244
Mexico 111,211,789 13,200 1,468.00 142.40 9.7% 01,280
Micronesia 107,434 2,200 0.24 0.03 12.3% 00,271
Moldova 4,320,748 2,400 10.37 3.50 33.8% 00,811
Mongolia 3,041,142 3,400 10.34 3.49 33.8% 01,149
Montenegro 672,180 9,800 6.59 1.84 28.0% 02,744
Morocco 31,285,174 4,600 143.91 32.09 22.3% 01,026
Mozambique 21,669,278 900 19.50 2.61 13.4% 00,121
Namibia 2,108,665 6,400 13.50 3.89 28.8% 01,843
Nepal 28,563,377 1,200 34.28 3.74 10.9% 00,131
Netherlands 16,715,999 39,000 651.92 257.51 39.5% 15,405
New Zealand 4,213,418 27,700 116.71 42.60 36.5% 10,111
Nicaragua 5,891,199 2,800 16.50 2.94 17.8% 00,498
Niger 15,306,252 700 10.71 1.18 11.0% 00,077
Nigeria 149,229,090 2,400 358.15 21.85 6.1% 00,146
Norway 4,660,539 59,300 276.37 120.50 43.6% 25,855
Oman 3,418,085 20,300 69.39 1.39 2.0% 00,406
Pakistan 174,578,558 2,600 453.90 48.11 10.6% 00,276
Panama 3,360,474 11,900 39.99 4.24 10.6% 01,261
Papua New Guinea 5,940,775 2,300 13.66 3.35 24.5% 00,564
Paraguay 6,995,655 4,100 28.68 3.44 12.0% 00,492
Peru 29,546,963 8,600 254.10 38.37 15.1% 01,299
Philippines 97,976,603 3,300 323.32 46.56 14.4% 00,475
Poland 38,482,919 17,800 685.00 231.53 33.8% 06,016
Portugal 10,707,924 21,700 232.36 85.97 37.0% 08,029
Qatar 833,285 121,400 101.16 2.23 2.2% 02,671
Romania 22,215,421 11,500 255.48 71.79 28.1% 03,232
Russia 140,041,247 15,200 2,128.63 785.46 36.9% 05,609
Rwanda 10,746,311 1,000 10.75 1.52 14.1% 00,141
Saint Lucia 160,267 10,900 1.75 0.40 23.1% 02,518
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 104,574 18,100 1.89 0.50 26.5% 04,797
Samoa 219,998 4,700 1.03 0.26 25.5% 01,199
São Tomé and Príncipe 212,679 1,400 0.30 0.05 17.4% 00,244
Saudi Arabia 28,686,633 20,300 582.34 30.86 5.3% 01,076
Senegal 13,711,597 1,700 23.31 4.48 19.2% 00,326
Serbia 7,379,339 10,400 76.75 26.17 34.1% 03,546
Seychelles 87,476 19,400 1.70 0.54 32.0% 06,208
Sierra Leone 5,132,138 900 4.62 0.48 10.5% 00,095
Singapore 4,657,542 50,300 234.27 30.46 13.0% 06,539
Slovakia 5,463,046 21,100 115.27 34.00 29.5% 06,225
Slovenia 2,005,692 28,200 56.56 22.23 39.3% 11,083
Solomon Islands 595,613 2,600 1.55 0.38 24.7% 00,642
South Africa 49,052,489 10,000 490.52 131.95 26.9% 02,690
Spain 40,525,002 33,700 1,365.69 509.40 37.3% 12,570
Sri Lanka 21,324,791 4,500 95.96 14.68 15.3% 00,689
Sudan 41,087,825 2,300 94.50 5.95 6.3% 00,145
Suriname 481,267 8,800 4.24 0.94 22.1% 01,945
Swaziland 1,337,186 4,400 5.88 2.34 39.8% 01,751
Sweden 9,059,651 36,800 333.40 165.70 49.7% 18,290
Switzerland 7,604,467 41,600 316.35 95.22 30.1% 12,522
Syria 21,762,978 4,700 102.29 10.94 10.7% 00,503
Tajikistan 7,349,145 1,800 13.23 2.18 16.5% 00,297
Tanzania 41,048,532 1,400 57.47 6.90 12.0% 00,168
Thailand 65,998,436 8,100 534.59 90.88 17.0% 01,377
Timor-Leste 1,131,612 2,400 2.72 2.98 109.7% 02,633
Togo 6,031,808 900 5.43 0.84 15.5% 00,140
Tonga 120,898 4,600 0.56 0.15 27.0% 01,242
Trinidad and Tobago 1,229,953 23,300 28.66 8.02 28.0% 06,524
Tunisia 10,486,339 8,000 83.89 12.50 14.9% 01,192
Turkey 76,805,524 11,200 860.22 279.57 32.5% 03,640
Turkmenistan 4,884,887 6,700 32.73 6.61 20.2% 01,353
Uganda 32,369,558 1,300 42.08 5.30 12.6% 00,164
Ukraine 45,700,395 6,400 292.48 111.44 38.1% 02,438
United Arab Emirates 4,798,491 41,800 200.58 2.81 1.4% 00,585
United Kingdom 61,113,205 35,400 2,163.41 843.73 39.0% 13,806
United States 307,212,123 46,400 14,254.64 4,019.81 28.2% 13,085
Uruguay 3,494,382 12,600 44.03 10.17 23.1% 02,911
Uzbekistan 27,606,007 2,800 77.30 16.23 21.0% 00,588
Vanuatu 218,519 4,800 1.05 0.19 17.8% 00,854
Venezuela 26,814,843 13,200 353.96 88.49 25.0% 03,300
Vietnam 88,576,758 2,900 256.87 35.45 13.8% 00,400
Yemen 22,858,238 2,500 57.15 4.06 7.1% 00,178
Zambia 11,862,740 1,500 17.79 2.86 16.1% 00,242
Zimbabwe 11,392,629 200 2.28 1.12 49.3% 00,099

By sorting the data from high to low for Tax Collections per Person, we find that the United States ranks 14th out of 179 nations, putting the U.S. into the top ranks for individual tax burden in the world.

That's despite the U.S. middle of the pack ranking for taxes as a percentage share of GDP per capita (adjusted for Purchasing Power Parity), where it comes in 54th in the world with an average tax percentage share of GDP of 28.2%.

Finally, we were surprised that the nation of Timor-Leste has a tax percentage share of GDP of 109%, which is likely elevated given the nation's recovery following the economic destruction and turmoil produced by the Indonesian invasion less than a decade ago. We'd be curious to see how that figure changes as the nation continues its economic recovery from the event.

Data Sources

We calculated the other figures using these data sources.

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