The 12 hardest-working cities in the world

Will Martin

Online business-to-business marketplace Expert Market has put together a ranking of the global cities where people clock in the most hours worked each year and have the worst so-called work-life balance.

The site compiled information on the biggest, most important cities globally, then ranked them by the average total hours worked each year, using data from Swiss banking group UBS.

We’ve divided the figure by 52 to give you an idea of how much you’d have to work all year to compete. (This calculation discounts holidays taken in the year.)

Workers in each city on the list work more than 40 hours a week on average, with people in the top-ranking city racking up more than 50 hours.

If that doesn’t sound like a lot, remember that our list discounts holiday. It also includes both full-time and part-time jobs, which brings down the average. By comparison, workers in London clock 33.5 hours a week, and those in New York average 35.5.

Check out the global cities where people work the most hours below.

T-11. Santiago, Chile — 40.03 hours a week: Workers in Chile’s capital work the third-longest hours of anyone in Latin America. That may not sound like much, but when you consider that they only take an average of 16.6 days off each year, it’s not hard to see why they clock an impressive 2081.6 hours worked per annum.

T-11. Cairo, Egypt — 40.03 hours: Cairo has a reputation as a busy, bustling metropolis, and its workers are suitably busy, clocking the same number of hours as people 7,950 miles away in Santiago.

10. Bogota, Colombia — 40.3 hours: Beating out their South American rivals, workers in the Colombian capital clock 2,096.3 hours a year, with just 15 days holiday.

9. Jakarta, Indonesia — 40.4 hours: The metro area of Indonesia’s capital is home to 30 million people, and those people put in the hours, working 9.99% more hours than the global average and taking only 12 days holiday a year.

8. Taipei, Taiwan — 41.2 hours: Workers on the island nation off the Chinese mainland clock in for 41.2 hours a week, or 2,140 a year, according to Expert Market’s data. That’s 11.6% higher than the global average.

7. Nairobi, Kenya — 42 hours: As one of Africa’s most important capital cities, Nairobi has a strong working culture, which translates into relatively long hours for workers, who clock 2,184 a year, 13.4% higher than the global average.

6. Dubai, United Arab Emirates — 42.04 hours: Dubai is best known as a playground for the rich with ridiculous hotels, amazing beaches and crazy nightlife. Look beyond that however, and there’s a pretty solid work ethic in the city. Workers do like a holiday though, taking an average of 30 vacation days a year.

5. Bangkok, Thailand — 42.1 hours: Another city more well known for its party scene and hedonism than its diligence, Bangkok’s citizens actually work the fourth-longest hours of anywhere in Asia, and fifth globally. They also take fewer than nine days holiday a year, the second-lowest number in any global city.

4. New Delhi, India — 42.6 hours: One of two Indian cities to feature on this list, the capital of the world’s second-most-populous nation is home to very diligent workers. Delhi’s citizens work 14.56% longer hours than the average around the world.

3. Mexico City, Mexico — 43.5 hours: The hardest working employees in the western world are in Mexico City, where people take an average of 17.3 days holiday a year, and work 16.3% longer than the global average.

2. Mumbai, India — 43.8 hours: As this picture shows, Mumbai is pretty busy and its residents are the second-hardest working on the planet. Mumbaikars clock an average of 2,276.6 hours a year in the office.

1. Hong Kong, China — 50.1 hours: Far in the lead, the hardest, or at least, longest-working people in any major city in the world call Hong Kong home. Home of the Asia headquarters of many of the world’s largest companies, people in the city work on average 27.4% more hours than the global average.

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