100 countries offer more holiday days than Switzerland, ranking reveals

100 countries offer more holiday days than Switzerland, ranking reveals

When it comes to holidays, it can sometimes feel like they are over in a blink of an eye. Now, as the school holidays and the summer come to a close, a new ranking by has revealed that workers in Switzerland have grounds to be grouchy, with the alpine nation ranking joint 19th in the world, behind 100 other countries, for the number of mandatory holiday days offered each year.

Countries with the most holidays revealed

To create the study, analysed how much paid holiday is given to workers in 197 different countries around the world. To rank each nation, the company calculated how many mandatory days of paid leave are given each year - under legislation provided by the government - alongside the average number of public holidays.

In quite a weird twist, the top spot in the ranking was occupied by none other than Iran. The Islamic Republic offers its workers at least 26 days of mandatory paid leave a year, alongside 27 separate national holidays. One of the minnows of Europe, San Marino, came second with 26 days of mandatory paid leave and 20 paid public holidays. Somewhat surprisingly, the war-torn nation of Yemen rounded out the podium with 45 total paid vacation days.

Needless to say, nations with no mandatory paid leave rules found themselves rock bottom on the list. The worst nation in the world for holidays was the Federated States of Micronesia, with zero mandatory paid days off and just 9 public holidays. The United States of America and Nauru took second and third with just 10 public holidays each and no mandatory paid leave at all.

Switzerland ranks joint 19th for number of holidays

Sadly, it’s a long journey from the top of the podium to where Switzerland finds itself in the ranking, with the alpine nation placing joint 19th alongside the Netherlands, Germany and a number of other nations. On average, workers only benefit from 20 days of mandatory paid leave alongside an average of nine public holidays. In all, there are 100 countries around the world that offer more mandatory paid holidays than Switzerland.

However, this picture changes when we look at individual regions, with some Swiss cantons offering far more public holidays than others. For example, if Ticino was its own country, it would rank joint 13th with 35 days of holiday a year. By contrast, Canton Graubünden would rank 20th with just 28 days.

Nations with the most and fewest public holidays

In all, here are the countries that offer the most holidays every year:

  1. Iran (53)
  2. San Marino (46)
  3. Yemen (45)
  4. Andorra, Bahrain, Bhutan (44)
  5. Madagascar, Niger, Togo (43)
  6. Azerbaijan, Kuwait, Mali, Monaco, Peru, Russia, Turkmenistan (42)
  7. Algeria, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Georgia, Guinea, Maldives, Panama (41)
  8. Djibouti, Iceland (40)
  9. Cambodia, Comoros, Moldova, Oman (39)
  10. Austria, Iraq, Malta, Marshall Islands, Scotland (38)

By contrast, here are the nations that offer the fewest number of holidays to residents:

  1. Federated States of Micronesia (9)
  2. United States, Nauru (10)
  3. Palau (12)
  4. Kiribati (13)
  5. Mexico (14)
  6. China (16)
  7. Taiwan, Philippines, Nigeria, Lebanon (17)
  8. Tunisia, Singapore, India, Brunei (18)
  9. Thailand, Malaysia, Canada (19)
  10. Tanzania, Samoa, Fiji, Chile, Bahamas (20)

For more information, and to see how other countries faired on the list, check out the official study.

Thumb image credit: Roman Babakin /

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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