Living Wage Series - Canada - October 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 uses prices from the Cost of Living Survey to calculate Living Wage for 60 countries. The Living Wage is an approximate income needed to meet a family’s basic needs including food, housing, transport, health, education, tax deductions and other necessities.

The following table summarises the varying expenditure and income needs for the three commonly occurring family household compositions.

Expenditure and Living Wage calculation (monthly rates in Canadian Dollar)

  Typical family   Standard family   Single-adult  
  from to from to from to
Food 1120 1300 1240 1440 310 360
Housing 1210 1840 1210 1840 750 1100
Transport 165 185 165 185 83 92
Health 89 185 89 185 22 46
Education 120 205 120 205 0 0
Other costs 135 185 140 190 58 80
Total Expenditure 2839 3900 2964 4045 1223 1678
Net Living Wage 1670 2294 1647 2247 1223 1678
Gross Living Wage 1960 2690 1930 2630 1430 1970

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.

Family Living Wages (monthly rates in Canadian Dollar)

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 most common family household compositions and under different assumptions about working hours.

  from to
Typical family (two parents + 1.6 children, 1.7 working) 1960 2690
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 1930 2630
Two parents and two children, 2 working 1740 2370
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 2310 3160
Two parents and two children, 1 working 3470 4740
Two parents and three children, 1.7 working 2270 3050
Two parents and four children, 1.7 working 2490 3310
Single-adult without children, 1 working 1430 1970

Note: Results in the table are rounded.

Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in Canadian Dollar)

The Minimum Wage is a national legally binding obligation on employers which often make no reference to a living standard. Living Wage describes the adequate living standard. The common goal of the many living wage campaigns currently taking place all over the world is to lift Minimum Wages levels to those of the Living Wages. WageIndicator presents Living Wages jointly with Minimum Wages, aiming to raise awareness concerning the remaining differences in levels. Living Wages are presented in context with other wage indicators including prevailing wages of workers over recent years.

  2014 . 2015 . 2016 . 2017 .
  from to from to from to from to
Minimum wage . . . . 1764 1764 1806 1806
Living Wage - Single Adult 1460 1990 1520 2080 1500 2050 1430 1970
Living Wage - Typical Family 2110 2830 2160 2930 2100 2860 1960 2690
Real wage of low-skilled worker . . . . . . . .
Real wage of medium-skilled worker . . . . . . . .
Real wage of high-skilled worker . . . . . . . .

Note: Table shows the lowest monthly Minimum Wage in a country, when available. Reported monthly earnings of workers in low-, medium-, and high-skilled occupations are obtained from the voluntary WageIndicator web survey on work and wages. Results in the table are rounded.


Food basket and food prices in Canadian Dollar

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 2.5 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

WageIndicator Living Wage background:

The WageIndicator Living Wage is set to provide acceptable living standard to a family of a particular size. WageIndicator presents Living Wages for several household types and working hours which reflect the most frequently found real situations in which people have to make a living: 1. Typical family Living Wage is a baseline estimate that respects the country specific conditions. Typical family is comprised of two adults and the number of children is given by country specific fertility rate (the average number of children a woman is expected to have during her lifespan). One adult is working full-time and the working hours of second adult are approximated by national employment rate. The total income earned by two adults paid living wage is sufficient to reach adequate living standard. 2. Standard family Living Wage is estimated for a family composed of two adults and two children (referred to as family 2+2). Living wage is calculated under different assumptions about working hours. These include that both adults work full-time (family employment rate is 2), or at least one adult works part-time or half-time (family employment rate is 1.8 and 1.5), or one adult does not work at all (i.e. patriarchal model with family employment 1). Alternatives refer to trade-offs between leisure and work and define what living wage represents. In every case the total income earned by two adults paid living wage is sufficient to reach adequate living standard. 3. Extended family Living Wage includes family with three or four children. One adult works full-time and the work intensity of second parent is approximated by national employment rate. 4. Individual Living Wage represents an acceptable standard of living for a single individual working full-time.

Data sources: WageIndicator Cost of Living Survey, World Bank Databank Fertility rate 2010-2014, ILO Estimated participation rate in 2017, FAO Food balance sheet in 2013.

Cite this page: © WageIndicator 2017 - WageIndicator.org - Living Wage Series - Canada - October 2017 - In CAD, per Month