El Salvador - Living Wages, August 2017. Per Month in USD

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 (2 children per woman). One parent is working full-time and the working hours of second parent are approximated by national employment rate (69% 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 USD)

  Typical family   Standard family   Single-adult  
  from to from to from to
Food 250 340 248 340 62 85
Housing 100 150 100 150 75 93
Transport 30 50 30 50 15 25
Health 30 50 30 50 8 13
Education 40 100 40 100 0 0
Other costs 23 35 22 35 8 11
Total Expenditure 473 725 470 725 168 227
Net Living Wage 278 426 261 403 168 227
Gross Living Wage 309 473 290 447 186 251

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.

Family Living Wages (monthly rates in USD)

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 + 2 children, 1.7 working) 310 475
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 290 445
Two parents and two children, 2 working 260 400
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 350 535
Two parents and two children, 1 working 520 805
Two parents and three children, 1.7 working 350 530
Two parents and four children, 1.7 working 390 590
Single-adult without children, 1 working 185 250

Note: Results in the table are rounded.

Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in USD)

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
Minimum wage 118 . 118 . 118 . 200 .
Living Wage - Typical Family 350 515 305 485 310 490 310 475
Living Wage - Single Adult 215 310 200 270 200 280 185 250
Real wage of low-skilled worker 225 285 . . 150 260 285 315
Real wage of medium-skilled worker 305 415 315 450 320 440 325 425
Real wage of high-skilled worker 590 870 535 855 530 830 540 800

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 USD

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 103 334 2 2.7
Rice 24 86 .8 1
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 68 90 3 4.8
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 10 90 . .
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 91 324 .9 1
Maize and products 160 551 2 3
Milk - Excluding Butter 285 163 1.3 1.5
Vegetables, Other 99 26 2 3
Potatoes and products 33 23 1 1.2
Butter, Ghee 9 68 3 3
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 19 30 2 2.4
Pulses, Other and products 0 0 1.5 2
Cassava and products 15 13 1.8 2
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 22 28 25 1.7
Sunflowerseed Oil 1 11 . .
Fish products 15 12 3 4.5
Beer 52 19 2 4
Sweeteners, Other 3 10 .9 .9
Beans 40 134 1.2 1.9
Sweet potatoes 0 0 .5 .6
Bananas 15 9 1 1.5
Soyabeans 2 6 2 3.7
Apples and products 2 1 2 2.6
Tomatoes and products 34 8 1 2
Onions 10 4 1 1
Oranges, Mandarines 36 9 2 2
Plantains 30 25 1 1.5
Peas 0 0 2 2
Roots, Other 14 15 1 1
Seeds and kernels 1 7 3 6
Wine 1 1 7.7 10.6
Pineapples and products 1 1 . .
Cream 0 0 2 2.5
Citrus, Other 0 0 1 1
Lemons, Limes and products 2 0 1 2
Tea (including mate) 0 0 2 4
Grapefruit and products 0 0 1 1.5
Coffee and products 5 3 2 3.7

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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