Living Wage Series - Canada - August 2017 - In CAD, per Month

The Living Wage is based on the concept that work should provide an adequate income to cover the necessary living costs of a family. WageIndicator calculates Living Wage for around 50 countries based on prices collected within the WageIndicator Cost of Living Survey. The Living Wage calculated by WageIndicator is composed of seven parts: food, housing, transport, health, education, tax and other costs.

WageIndicator presents Living Wages for several household types and working hours to respond to different demands for living wage information: Typical family Living Wage is a baseline estimate that respects the country specific conditions. Family includes two adults and the number of children is given by country specific fertility rate (1.6 children per woman). One parent is working full-time and the working hours of second parent are approximated by national employment rate (65% in 2017). Standard family Living Wage is estimated for a family composed of two adults and two children. One parent is employed full-time and the second parent works 4 days a week it means family employment rate is 1.8. Single-adult Living Wage represents an acceptable standard of living for a single individual working full-time with no dependents.

Expenditure and Living Wage calculation (monthly rates in CAD)

  Typical family   Standard family   Single-adult  
  from to from to from to
Food 1160 1320 1280 1460 320 365
Housing 770 770 770 770 700 700
Transport 164 184 164 184 82 92
Health 90 185 90 185 23 46
Education 120 200 120 200 0 0
Other costs 115 135 120 140 56 60
Total Expenditure 2419 2794 2544 2939 1181 1263
Net Living Wage 1423 1644 1413 1633 1181 1263
Gross Living Wage 1565 1808 1555 1796 1299 1390

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.

Family Living Wages (monthly rates in CAD)

There is not a single answer to what is the adequate cost of living. The result is complex, as the cost of living varies by household composition, location, and employment pattern. The following table presents the Living Wage estimates for a set of common household compositions and under different assumptions about working hours.

  from to
Typical family (two parents + 1.6 children, 1.7 working) 1570 1810
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 1560 1800
Two parents and two children, 2 working 1400 1620
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 1870 2160
Two parents and two children, 1 working 2800 3240
Two parents and three children, 1.7 working 1870 2150
Two parents and four children, 1.7 working 2090 2400
Single-adult without children, 1 working 1300 1390

Note: Results in the table are rounded.

Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in CAD)

Living Wages are presented in context with other wage indicators including minimum wage, poverty line, and various prevailing wages of workers. Table shows the development of income levels over two years.

7-12/20151-6/20167-12/20161-6/2017
  from to from to from to from to
Living Wage - Typical Family . . . . . . 1570 1810
Living Wage - Single Adult . . . . . . 1300 1390
Subjective living costs for 2+2 family . . . . . . 1910 2630
  . . . . . . . .
  . . . . . . . .
  . . . . . . . .

Note: Reported monthly earnings of workers in low-, medium-, and high-skilled occupations are obtained from the voluntary WageIndicator web surveys on work and wages over the last 36 months. Results in the table are rounded.

Living Wage model diet and food prices in CAD

The food expenditure is the main component of Living Wage and it is determined by the price of food basket. The food prices are taken from WageIndicator Cost of Living Survey which collects the actual prices of all items necessary to calculate the Living Wage. The composition of the food basket is taken from the national food balance sheets published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The food basket is scaled to 2,100 calories per person per day that is the nutritional requirement for good health proposed by World Bank (Handbook on poverty and inequality, 2009).

Food itemGrams per dayEnergy (kcal)Price per kilo fromto
Wheat, barley and cereals 154 424 4 5
Rice 22 87 2 3
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 161 228 10 11
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 44 356 . .
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 57 214 4 4
Maize and products 33 72 . .
Milk - Excluding Butter 330 124 4 4
Vegetables, Other 142 39 6 8
Potatoes and products 125 74 3 3
Butter, Ghee 14 114 10 10
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 16 60 . .
Cassava and products 1 1 4 4
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 23 31 50 2.5
Sunflowerseed Oil 1 8 . .
Fish products 40 24 16 18
Beer 101 42 4 9.1
Sweeteners, Other 27 61 . .
Beans 2 6 . .
Sweet potatoes 2 2 4 4
Bananas 27 16 1 1
Yams 1 1 . .
Apples and products 37 17 3 3
Tomatoes and products 33 7 6 6
Onions 16 5 3 3
Oranges, Mandarines 76 12 . .
Plantains 1 1 3 3
Roots, Other 0 1 4 4
Seeds and kernels 2 12 6 6.5
Wine 20 13 26.7 26.7
Cream 17 33 9 9
Olives (including preserved) 1 2 . .
Honey 1 4 . .
Citrus, Other 2 1 5 5
Lemons, Limes and products 9 1 4 4
Tea (including mate) 1 0 15 15
Grapefruit and products 4 1 5 5
Coffee and products 13 6 15 15

Data sources:

Living Wage FAQ.

WageIndicator Cost of Living Survey

World Bank Databank, Fertility rate – average births per woman in years 2010-2014

ILO, Estimated participation rate in 2017

FAO, Food balance sheet in 2013 

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