Living Wages in Germany, per month in EUR

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 Euro)

  Typical family   Standard family   Single-adult  
  from to from to from to
Food 460 740 540 875 135 220
Housing 840 940 840 940 455 495
Transport 120 150 120 150 60 75
Health 20 60 20 60 5 15
Education 110 185 110 185 0 0
Other costs 78 105 82 110 33 40
Total Expenditure 1628 2180 1712 2320 688 845
Net Living Wage 1018 1363 951 1289 688 845
Gross Living Wage 1490 1990 1390 1880 1010 1240

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.

Family Living Wages (monthly rates in Euro)

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 + 1.4 children, 1.6 working) 1490 1990
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 1390 1880
Two parents and two children, 2 working 1250 1700
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 1670 2260
Two parents and two children, 1 working 2500 3390
Two parents and three children, 1.6 working 1690 2320
Two parents and four children, 1.6 working 1820 2530
Single-adult without children, 1 working 1010 1240

Note: Results in the table are rounded.

Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in Euro)

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 . . 1440 1440 1440 1440 1498 1498
Living Wage - Single Adult 820 1060 945 1180 955 1210 1010 1240
Living Wage - Typical Family 1270 1770 1420 1920 1430 1960 1490 1990
Real wage of low-skilled worker 1590 1960 1610 1990 1710 2100 1680 2050
Real wage of medium-skilled worker 1940 2420 1940 2420 2060 2540 2000 2480
Real wage of high-skilled worker 2700 3400 2750 3460 2840 3550 2830 3550

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 Euro

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 235 674 2.4 4
Rice 8 31 1 1
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 213 318 4 8
Milk - Excluding Butter 636 297 .6 .9
Vegetables, Other 167 46 1.6 2
Potatoes and products 151 103 1 1.5
Butter, Ghee 30 214 . .
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 30 42 1 1.7
Beer 231 113 3 5.8
Sweeteners, Other 29 104 . .
Bananas 29 18 . .
Apples and products 46 22 2 2.5
Tomatoes and products 47 10 2 3
Onions 15 5 .8 1.5
Oranges, Mandarines 38 12 1.8 2
Wine 56 39 6.7 6.7
Cream 16 30 2 2.5
Olives (including preserved) 2 4 . .
Honey 3 8 . .
Lemons, Limes and products 4 1 . .
Tea (including mate) 2 1 . .
Coffee and products 17 7 . .

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.

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