The average salary reaches maximums since 2006, but 30% of wage earners earn less than 1,366 euros

The median salary rises to 1,757.

The average salary reaches maximums since 2006, but 30% of wage earners earn less than 1,366 euros

The median salary rises to 1,757.4 euros and 1.66 million workers earn less than 858 euros per month

The average monthly salary, in gross terms, rose 2.4% in 2021, to 2,086.8 euros, its highest figure since the series began in 2006, according to the decile of salaries prepared by the National Institute of Statistics ( INE) based on data from the Active Population Survey (EPA).

It is the fifth consecutive year in which the average salary has increased after it fell in 2016 for the first time in ten years. The increase in 2021 has moderated compared to that experienced in 2020, when it rose 2.8%.

According to Statistics data, 40% of wage earners (6.64 million) earned between 1,366.5 and 2,342.2 euros gross per month in 2021, while 30% (4.98 million people) obtained salaries of at least 2,342.2 euros per month and the remaining 30% (another 4.98 million employees) received a salary of less than 1,366.5 euros per month.

Among those 4.98 million wage earners who received the lowest wages, more than 3.3 million earned less than 1,166.49 euros gross per month in their main job, while 1.66 million earned less than 857.21 euros .

To compile this statistic, the INE ranks all wage-earners -16,601,500 people during the past year-- according to the amount of monthly salary received and divides them into 10 equal groups, with 10% of the workers in each group.

As a result, the median salary, which divides the total number of workers into two equal parts, those with a higher salary and those with a lower salary, stood at 1,757.4 euros gross per month in 2021, 3% more than in 2020 (51 euros more). This median salary is almost 330 euros less than the average salary of 2021 (2,086.8 euros).

With the advance registered in 2021, the median salary chains four consecutive years of promotions after having been reduced the previous three years. In 2014, the median salary was above 1,600 euros per month, but in 2015 the trend reversed and it was below 1,600 euros gross per month until 2018, when it began to pick up.


Considering the type of working day, 35.2% of full-time wage earners earned at least 2,342.2 euros per month in 2021 and 19.4% received less than 1,366.5 euros. On the contrary, 89.1% of part-time wage earners earned less than 1,366.5 euros per month and only 1% earned 2,342.2 euros or more.

The average gross salary of full-time workers reached 2,313.1 euros per month in 2021, almost three times more than part-time employees (830.4 euros), although these differences must take into account the gap in hours worked between both groups.

According to INE data, women, young people, people with a lower level of training, workers with less seniority in companies and those temporarily hired have the lowest salaries.

In women, four out of ten received a salary of less than 1,366.5 euros per month, compared to one in five men. Among young people under 25 years of age, the percentage that earns less than 1,366.5 euros per month reaches 63%, a figure that drops to 24.6% among wage earners who are 55 years of age or older. Overall, the average gross salary of young people was 1,234.9 euros per month in 2021, almost half that of those over 55 (2,348.5 euros).

The average female salary stood at 1,883.4 euros per month in 2021, above 1,852 euros in 2020, while the average salary for men increased in 2021 to 2,276.9 euros per month. In this way, the average salary for men is 20.9% higher than for women, a difference that has increased by almost 1.6 points compared to 2020, when this gap was 19.3%.

One of the reasons that, according to Statistics, explain the salary differences by sex is that women work in a greater proportion than men in part-time jobs, with temporary contracts, and in lower-paid branches of activity.

There is also a salary gap depending on the type of contract. Thus, the average monthly salary of permanent workers (2,251.8 euros in 2021) is 41.9% higher than that of temporary workers (1,586.2 euros). 45.3% of wage earners with a temporary contract earned less than 1,366.5 euros in 2021, compared to 25% of permanent workers who were in this same situation.

Among the factors that explain this wage inequality between temporary and permanent, the INE mentions the higher educational level of permanent contracts and the greater weight of temporary contracts in branches of activity "with a markedly seasonal nature" and lower remuneration.

By level of training, the average salary of wage earners with first-stage secondary education (1,353.8 euros per month) is considerably lower than that of those with higher education (2,606.3 euros), while, by seniority, those who have working in a company for ten or more years earn an average of almost 1,100 euros more than those who have been working for less than a year (2,555.6 euros compared to 1,456.2 euros).


The lowest wages were concentrated in 2021 in household activities such as employers of domestic staff (858.1 euros), hospitality (1,225.8 euros) and agriculture, livestock, forestry and fishing (1,352.7). According to the INE, this is partly due to the higher proportion of part-time jobs and temporary employment in these sectors.

On the contrary, the highest remunerations occurred in financial and insurance activities (3,583.2 euros on average per month); electricity and gas supply (3,227.7 euros) and information and communications (2,822.2 euros).


The INE indicates that 59.9% of workers in the public sector (including public companies) had a gross monthly salary of at least 2,342.2 euros in 2021, a percentage that drops to 22.3% in the case of the sector private.

Statistics underlines that this greater concentration of high salaries in the public sector is due to the higher percentage of wage earners with higher education, the type of occupation performed, the lower weight of part-time work and greater seniority.

Thus, the average gross salary in the public sector reached 2,807.1 euros per month last year, compared to 1,901.7 euros in the private sector. The first has fallen by 2.7% compared to 2020, while the average salary in the private sector has grown by 4.5%. By comparison, public employees earn 905 more than wage earners in the private sector.

Analyzing the data by region, those that presented the highest average salaries in 2021 were the Basque Country (2,452.9 euros), Madrid (2,368 euros) and Navarra (2,250.4 euros), while Extremadura (1,632.8 euros). , Andalucía (1,860.6 euros) and Murcia (1,875.2 euros) registered the lowest.