Average Monthly Income in Russia USD 291, Average Wage USD 437 (Rosstat Report)

Staff author: Adilia S.

Personal income of Russians shrank by 52.2% in January 2016 as compared to December 2015. According to the report by the state statistics body Rosstat, the monthly income in January averaged only 21365 rubles (about USD $291) though only a month ago it was 45212 rubles ($614).

End of the year bonuses and the long January holidays that limited paydays for contract workers are among the reasons for the sharp drop in the monthly income figures. December numbers are usually 30-35% higher than the average monthly income. January figures traditionally show 30-35% drop as compared with the yearly averages. However, 2016 December-January drop in monthly incomes was sharper than during previous years.

Real vs. Nominal Monthly Income in Russia

Real incomes in Russia decreased by 6.1% over the course of 2015 while the average nominal monthly wage increased by 3.1% to the level of 32122 rubles ($437).

Real vs. Nominal

Living standards in Russia: average monthly income, real income. Graphics: GKS.ru (click to enlarge).


Nominal income is the dollar/ruble amount of income. Simply put, it is the amount of money paid out in cash. Real income is the income of a person after taking into consideration the effects of inflation. It shows how much a person can buy on that amount of money. Theoretically, the amount of nominal income should be regularly adjusted according to the inflation level in the country, so that the person’s purchasing power stays on the same level.

Practically, the situation in Russia leaves much to be desired. In 2015 inflation in Russia reached the level of 12-15%. But nominal wages increased only by 3.1%. No wonder that real incomes decreased and keep going down.

Moreover, the research holding Romir adhere to the opinion that the official inflation values are way lower than the actual numbers. Experts believe that the actual inflation values could be up to 3 times higher than those showed by the state statistics.

Real vs. Nominal

Real disposable income in Russia, data by the state statistics body. Graphics: GKS.ru (click to enlarge).

Average monthly wages in Russia by industry (2015):

  1. Finance — 69480 rubles ($941)
  2. Mining — 63716 rubles ($863)
  3. Fishing, fish-farming — 46339 rubles ($627)
  4. State Administration and Defence; Social Security — 41786 rubles ($566)
  5. Real Estate — 39698 rubles ($537)
  6. Transport and Communications — 38758 rubles ($525)
  7. Manufacturing — 31839 rubles ($431)
  8. Household, Social and Personal Services — 30067 rubles ($407)
  9. Construction — 29887 rubles ($404)
  10. Healthcare and Social Services — 28035 rubles ($379)
  11. Education — 26888 rubles ($364)
  12. Hotels and Restaurants — 20486 rubles ($277)
  13. Agriculture, farming, hunting, forestry — 19455 rubles ($263)

Fear of Poverty

The amount of unpaid wages to Russians reached USD $58,8 million as of 1 February 2016. It is 21,3% more than the previous month.

Delayed wages are not an unusual thing in Russia, where people receive remuneration monthly, not weekly. Companies explain to the employees that they have no money at the moment and ask them to wait a little longer. Some companies may owe 2-4 month wages to employees. It starts with delaying wages for a week, within a few months it could be a delay for 2-3 months. Instead of getting paid once a month people are getting paid every 5-6 weeks and are being paid their salary from 2-3 months ago. The companies do not pay interest on unpaid wages.

It’s not only government employees that suffer from delayed remuneration. 70-80% of players in Russian soccer clubs do not get paid on time, Lenta.ru reported. It’s a country-wide epidemics. For the owners of the companies, delaying wages became another tool to maximize profits. Because the problem is so widespread, people don’t complain, as in another company the situation is just the same.

The unemployment rate in Russia is 5,8% for the total economically active population (7,58 million people). While the number is not excessively high, there is a sizable proportion of the population that do not register as unemployed due to miniscule benefits.

Russians are becoming increasingly concerned about the economic situation in the country. The research conducted by the Levada Center shows that the majority of people in Russia fear poverty (53%), economic crisis (49%), unemployment (35%). They consider the current economic crisis to be the most important threat to the future of the country.

The situation in 2016 strongly differs from the happy outlook of “the fat years” as they are called now, when oil prices were over USD $100/barrel. The years of expansion and development that everyone remembers are in a sharp contrast with today’s contracting economy of Russia.

Crude oil price chart 1950-2016

Crude oil price chart 1950-2016. 2008 and 2011-2014 were the years when Russia enjoyed oil prices over $100/barrel. Drop in oil prices sent Russia into an economic crisis.


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It appears from the chart that this has been a trend for quite a while with $140 being the upper limit of the scale. Between 1940 and 1970, its really grim Is oil Russia’s main export ? Notwithstanding my cheap crystal ball, do you (Elena) have a feel for any improvement ? Please excuse my ignorance….



can u plse tell me how much rubles required in simferopol for the famuly of 4 per month. also how much a schoolteacher gets paid per month.
waiting thank u.

Harley S
It is interesting that in this discussion does not take into account what an average cost of living is. This taken recently and compared to USA. Cost of living in Russia is 50.64% lower than in United States (aggregate data for all cities, rent is not taken into account). Rent in Russia is 60.83% lower than in United States (average data for all cities). Milk is about that same cost in the USA as it is in Russia $2.75-$3.00 a gal, yet if you smoke- a pack cost you $1.50 where as in the USA it is $4.50 – $5.00… Read more »

pshh bread is 3$ here.. for the decent kind..

Joe cusimano
Hi. I like your comments. At any time if you need to know the price of something just let me know. I live on long island ny. People are always trying to compair prices to get an idea whatbit coast to live in other countries. I live on long island wich is part of new tork state in the U.S.A Dollars Ok. Car insurance app from 1,800 to 5,000 per year and depending on your driving record and age Car payment can be from 250.00 to a 1,000.00 per month Price of car app from 25,000 to 100,00.00 depending on… Read more »

Elena, I have been writing a doctor-surgeon and she can’t pay to come to the states. How can I know she is not lying and just wants money for herself? I told her from the beginning I don’t have money to send and yet after 2 plus months writing she want over 700 dollars. What do you think about this. I would love to believe her but so many men are scammed and I can`t give it. What do I do?


how much models and actor make? Billboard ads and shopping commercials.

bill anderson

do models earn above average wages in Russia .?
my friend seems to be quite ok for funds… so was just wondering .


So WTF is Russia so bloody darn expensive for travelers?