Social policies and data

Benefits and Wages: Statistics



Excel files last updated: March 2014


Benefit generosity


How does benefit income compare to earned income?  Net replacement rates, calculated taking tax-benefit regimes into account and considering the family as a whole, show the proportion of net in-work income that is maintained when someone is unemployed, and provide important insights when considering both benefit generosity and incentives to work:


An alternative perspective on benefit generosity is provided by Gross replacement rates which compare unemployment benefits received when not working to wages earned when employed


 Figure used in under Benefit Generosity

Work incentives


Does it pay to work?  When taking up a job or working more hours, a significant portion of these new earnings can be "taxed away", through imposition of income taxes combined with reductions in benefit entitlements. For parents, similar effects may also occur when children are entered in to childcare as tax and benefit policies combine to either reward or penalise the work efforts of families with young children. If such effective tax rates are high, they can create barriers to employment, thereby "trapping" families in low income situations:

Image on under work incentives

The Impact of Childcare costs data contains, for a selected range of families, OECD indicators of the net cost of childcare and their impact on work incentives for parents of young children. As analysis of the 2012 childcare data is on-going additional information related to the costs of childcare in 2012 will be posted on this website over the coming months.

Income adequacy


To what extent do tax-benefit regimes alleviate poverty risks? One way of looking at how countries' systems perform in this respect is to show how the level of minimum income benefits compare to poverty thresholds in terms of median household incomes. Another way is to ask to which extent minimum or low-wage earnings can raise family income above the poverty threshold :

Image on under income adequacy

Some net income estimates and their components – taxes and social security contributions paid, benefits received and labour earnings - for different family types and labour market situations, are now also available on OECD.STAT.




For further information: contact


Further statistics by the OECD Social Policy Division:


Related Documents


Tax and Benefit Systems: OECD Indicators

Benefits and Wages: Tax-Benefit calculator