If Santa were paid a salary in 2014, he would have made $139,924, according to a wage analysis done by, which creates a Santa Index each year.

That compares to $137,795 last year, which means Santa would have received a 1.5% raise.

The index comes up with an estimated salary by analyzing a list of Santa’s common tasks. It finds the closest matching occupation for each task and the average wages tied to each.

Read: Teach kids not to be greedy during holidays

As a result, it found Santa’s highest hourly wages would have come from running the workshop (industrial engineer) and piloting the sleigh (airline pilot). Meanwhile, his lowest-value tasks, in terms of average wage, would have been wrapping gifts (packers and packagers) and taking care of the reindeer (farm workers).

See the full list of tasks and their associated wages.

What do you think?

When asked how much Santa should be paid, poll respondents disagreed with the index’s findings. The two main camps were those who say he should be paid nothing (29%), and those who say he should be paid $1.8 billion (or roughly $1 dollar for every child under the age of 18 across the globe).

In between those two groups were people who say Santa should be paid less than $100,000 (17%), between $100,000 and $200,000 (16%), and more than $200,000 (9%).

If you’re still looking for gifts for friends and family—or haven’t yet sent off your Christmas list— says the gifts identified by poll respondents as the best they’ve ever received are:

  • diamond jewelry;
  • puppies;
  • peace and quiet while the kids play; and
  • a really nice umbrella.


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