Kenya - Living Wage Series, August 2017. In KES 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 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 (4.4 children per woman). One parent is working full-time and the working hours of second parent are approximated by national employment rate (81% 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 KES)

  Typical family   Standard family   Single-adult  
  from to from to from to
Food 22700 28800 14200 18040 3550 4510
Housing 14400 17500 14400 17500 8000 12500
Transport 5000 6000 5000 6000 2500 3000
Health 2000 5000 2000 5000 500 1250
Education 5000 4800 5000 4800 0 0
Other costs 2460 3110 2030 2570 730 1070
Total Expenditure 51560 65210 42630 53910 15280 22330
Net Living Wage 28644 36228 23683 29950 15280 22330
Gross Living Wage 34373 43473 28420 35940 18336 26796

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.

Family Living Wages (monthly rates in KES)

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 + 4.4 children, 1.8 working) 34400 43500
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 28400 35900
Two parents and two children, 2 working 25600 32400
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 34100 43100
Two parents and two children, 1 working 51200 64700
Two parents and three children, 1.8 working 30900 39100
Two parents and four children, 1.8 working 33400 42300
Single-adult without children, 1 working 18300 26800

Note: Results in the table are rounded.

Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in KES)

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 4854 . 5436 . 5436 . 5436 .
Living Wage - Typical Family 37700 48600 35200 49300 35800 47500 34400 43500
Living Wage - Single Adult 22600 29800 22000 29800 20500 28500 18300 26800
Real wage of low-skilled worker 13200 20200 13800 19400 12600 19300 12000 18300
Real wage of medium-skilled worker 23400 37400 21800 31700 22100 34400 22100 34300
Real wage of high-skilled worker 36700 61400 38900 59600 38200 62000 37800 61700

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 KES

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 104 282 100 100
Rice 35 119 100 120
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 43 77 400 450
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 15 133 130 172
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 122 166 100 120
Maize and products 203 645 55 70
Milk - Excluding Butter 253 159 50 70
Vegetables, Other 101 22 80 100
Potatoes and products 111 79 50 80
Butter, Ghee 2 18 250 283
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 11 24 150 170
Pulses, Other and products 12 41 75 100
Cassava and products 65 68 50 100
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 5 6 2270 130
Sunflowerseed Oil 1 5 150 275
Fish products 11 8 400 500
Beer 28 12 280 364
Sweeteners, Other 1 4 100 120
Beans 28 95 80 100
Sweet potatoes 62 61 50 60
Bananas 71 43 60 100
Soyabeans 1 2 100 240
Yams 1 1 68 100
Apples and products 1 0 180 285
Tomatoes and products 28 6 80 100
Onions 5 2 80 95
Oranges, Mandarines 7 2 120 200
Plantains 2 2 50 80
Peas 1 3 100 140
Roots, Other 1 1 60 65
Seeds and kernels 1 6 80 100
Wine 0 0 800 1000
Cream 1 2 120 180
Olives (including preserved) 0 0 250 400
Honey 1 2 350 500
Citrus, Other 6 2 75 100
Lemons, Limes and products 1 0 100 100
Tea (including mate) 5 2 150 230
Grapefruit and products 0 0 280 400
Coffee and products 0 0 300 400

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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