America is so bad at vacation that only one other country is worse—and it’s Micronesia

December 5, 2022, 7:25 PM UTC
Photo of an employee looking stressed at work.
The U.S. is the second-worst country in the world when it comes to the number of paid vacation days given to workers.
Thomas Trutschel—Photothek/Getty Images

Everyone needs a little R&R, and vacation days can be the way to fit that in. But Americans are seriously lacking the ability to take time to reset. 

In fact, the U.S. is the second-worst country in the world when it comes to the number of paid vacation days given to workers, according to a new report from career resource platform

The company analyzed data on laws governing required paid leave and paid public holidays annually in 197 countries. Countries were then ranked based on a combination of required days of paid leave, as well as paid public holidays.  

Only one country in the world, Micronesia (a chain of islands in the western Pacific Ocean), has less holiday time than the U.S. Americans get an average of 10 paid vacation days a year, which includes holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

Workers in Micronesia aren’t far behind, with just nine paid vacation days on average. Some of the other countries in the bottom 10 for vacation days include Mexico and China—with an average of 14 and 16 days of paid vacation, respectively. 

Meanwhile workers in Iran, San Marino, and Yemen—the three countries with the most paid vacation days given to workers—receive an average of 53, 46, and 45 paid days off, respectively.

For U.S. workers, an average of 10 vacation days is bad news for workers who are already suffering from burnout and anxiety. Around 48% of employees and 53% of managers say they’re burned out at work, according to research from Microsoft published this year. 

And the report’s author specifically points to a lack of vacation days as a stressor on workers.  

“The United States’ lack of paid vacation days negatively impacts work-life balance in many ways,”’s content team lead and author of the report, Lotte van Rijswijk, told CNBC. did not immediately respond to Fortune’s request for comment. 

But it’s not just vacation days that Americans lack. It’s all paid time off as well. The U.S. has zero days of required paid leave compared to countries like Monaco, where employees are required by law to receive 30 days of paid leave per year. The U.S. is the only developed country to have no required paid family leave. 

And in the U.S., some companies have taken note of the dearth of paid time off. For example, last month Spotify gave its employees a paid week off to recharge, in what it called “wellness week.” And some companies like Netflix, Oracle, and Zoom even offer unlimited paid time off.

Here are the 10 countries with the least paid vacation days, according to’s ranking. 

  1. Micronesia: nine days 
  2. Nauru: 10 days
  3. U.S.: 10 days 
  4. Palau: 12 days
  5. Kiribati: 13 days 
  6. Mexico: 14 days 
  7. China: 16 days
  8. Lebanon: 17 days 
  9. Nigeria: 17 days 
  10. Philippines: 17 days 

And here are the 10 countries with the most paid vacation days.

  1. Iran: 53 days 
  2. San Marino: 46 days 
  3. Yemen: 45 days 
  4. Andorra: 44 days 
  5. Bahrain: 44 days 
  6. Bhutan: 44 days 
  7. Madagascar: 43 days 
  8. Niger: 43 days 
  9. Togo: 43 days 
  10. Azerbaijan: 42 days 

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