Living wage Series - India, August 2017

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 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 (2.5 children per woman). One parent is working full-time and the working hours of second parent are approximated by national employment rate (60% 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 INR)

  Typical family   Standard family   Single-adult  
  from to from to from to
Food 6600 8390 5880 7480 1470 1870
Housing 6000 7500 6000 7500 4000 5630
Transport 1000 1500 1000 1500 500 750
Health 750 1500 750 1500 188 375
Education 2000 3500 2000 3500 0 0
Other costs 820 1120 780 1080 310 430
Total Expenditure 17170 23510 16410 22560 6468 9055
Net Living Wage 10731 14694 9117 12533 6468 9055
Gross Living Wage 11804 16163 10028 13787 7114 9961

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.

Family Living Wages (monthly rates in INR)

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 + 2.5 children, 1.6 working) 11800 16200
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 10000 13800
Two parents and two children, 2 working 9030 12400
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 12000 16600
Two parents and two children, 1 working 18100 24800
Two parents and three children, 1.6 working 12400 16900
Two parents and four children, 1.6 working 13400 18200
Single-adult without children, 1 working 7120 9960

Note: Results in the table are rounded.

Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in INR)

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 3562 . 4160 . 4160 . 4160 .
Living Wage - Typical Family 12300 16800 12300 16700 12500 16800 11800 16200
Living Wage - Single Adult 7990 10700 8000 10900 8100 10900 7120 9960
Real wage of low-skilled worker 8090 10500 8550 11600 8120 11200 8180 11500
Real wage of medium-skilled worker 14400 22900 15000 23400 14300 22500 13300 20700
Real wage of high-skilled worker 28600 44700 30600 48000 29100 46600 27000 42800

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 INR

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 9 800 47
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 24 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 0 373 533
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 65
Tea (including mate) 2 1 220 300
Grapefruit and products 1 0 60 80
Coffee and products 0 0 300 450

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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