Living wage Series - India, October 2017 - In Indian Rupee, per Month

WageIndicator Living Wage Series - Wages in Context in 2017

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 Indian Rupee)

  Typical family   Standard family   Single-adult  
  from to from to from to
Food 6600 8250 5870 7330 1470 1830
Housing 6800 9290 6800 9290 4250 6500
Transport 1000 1600 1000 1600 500 800
Health 800 1500 800 1500 200 375
Education 2000 3500 2000 3500 0 0
Other costs 860 1210 825 1160 320 475
Total Expenditure 18060 25350 17295 24380 6740 9980
Net Living Wage 11288 15844 9608 13544 6740 9980
Gross Living Wage 12400 17400 10600 14900 7420 11000

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.

Family Living Wages (monthly rates in Indian Rupee)

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 + 2.5 children, 1.6 working) 12400 17400
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 10600 14900
Two parents and two children, 2 working 9510 13400
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 12700 17900
Two parents and two children, 1 working 19000 26800
Two parents and three children, 1.6 working 12900 18100
Two parents and four children, 1.6 working 14000 19400
Single-adult without children, 1 working 7420 11000

Note: Results in the table are rounded.

Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in Indian Rupee)

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 3562 3562 3562 3562 4160 4160 4160 4160
Living Wage - Single Adult 6780 10300 7320 10800 7420 11000 7420 11000
Living Wage - Typical Family 11900 17300 12400 17400 12400 17500 12400 17400
Real wage of low-skilled worker 9720 13300 8090 11000 8750 11900 7460 10300
Real wage of medium-skilled worker 14700 23000 14200 22200 14800 23000 13400 21400
Real wage of high-skilled worker 29300 46200 29800 47200 30300 48100 27200 44000

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 Indian Rupee

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 175 545 40 50
Rice 167 606 35 45
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 10 14 180 250
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 19 162 90 100
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 79 206 35 40
Maize and products 15 46 30 40
Milk - Excluding Butter 204 113 36 40
Vegetables, Other 150 36 40 60
Potatoes and products 59 40 20 25
Butter, Ghee 7 62 300 400
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 20 35 80 100
Pulses, Other and products 24 85 80 100
Cassava and products 13 11 30 40
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 6 9 40 46.7
Sunflowerseed Oil 2 19 90 100
Fish products 12 8 200 300
Beer 1 1 170 240
Sweeteners, Other 0 1 35 40
Beans 7 25 40 60
Sweet potatoes 2 2 20 30
Bananas 42 26 30 40
Soyabeans 1 4 50 80
Apples and products 4 2 100 120
Tomatoes and products 31 5 25 30
Onions 32 12 25 30
Oranges, Mandarines 11 3 50 70
Peas 3 11 40 60
Seeds and kernels 3 8 80 100
Wine 0 0 333 533
Pineapples and products 3 1 45 80
Cream 0 0 100 200
Olives (including preserved) 0 0 120 250
Honey 0 0 200 250
Citrus, Other 1 0 50 80
Lemons, Limes and products 4 1 50 70
Tea (including mate) 2 1 220 300
Grapefruit and products 1 0 60 80
Coffee and products 0 0 300 450

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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