By Mike Pomranz
Updated December 09, 2014
Credit: © iStockphoto

Santa Claus doesn’t earn a salary, mostly because he doesn’t really exist. Sorry, I should have given a disclaimer that this post should not be read by anyone under the age of 9. But that doesn’t mean we can’t figure out how much all his (imaginary) work is worth.

Each year, performs their “Santa Index,” looking at how much a theoretical Father Christmas would earn for all his labor. According to’s poll of 1,000 adults, respondents varied greatly in what they think Santa should earn. A logic-driven 29 percent believed the fat man shouldn’t make anything at all, possibly because the cost of living for an imaginary being isn’t that high. On the opposite end, “29 percent said Santa should earn $1.8 billion a year (roughly $1 for every child under age 15 in the world).” At that point, why not give him $1 trillion? Seriously. Why not?

Then there are those people who took the question painfully seriously: 17 percent said Santa should make less than $100,000, 16 percent said Santa should make between $100,000 and $200,000, and 9 percent said Santa should make over $200,000 (but, I’m assuming, less than the aforementioned $1.8 billion). I can only assume they took the time to calculate hours worked, average salaries in various countries around the world and the likely cost of health insurance for a man who consumes nothing but milk and chocolate chip cookies. These are definitely the people who are buying you socks for Christmas.

For what it’s worth, Insure looked into what they believe Santa should make based on wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They pegged his estimated salary at $139,924, up more than $2,000 from last year’s estimate. Real wages may not have gone up in the last 40 years, but apparently fictional ones do.