Living Wage Series - Kenya - January 2018 - In Kenyan Shilling, 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 uses prices from the Cost of Living Survey to calculate Living Wage in more than 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 Kenyan Shilling)

  Typical family Standard family Single-adult
  from-to from-to from-to
Food 22200-30000 13900-18800 3470-4690
Housing 15000-20000 15000-20000 7680-10900
Transport 5000-6000 5000-6000 2500-3000
Health 2000-5000 2000-5000 500-1250
Education 5000-5000 5000-5000 0
Other costs 2460-3300 2050-2740 705-990
Total Expenditure 51660-69300 42950-57540 14855-20830
Net Living Wage 28700-38500 23861-31967 14855-20830
Gross Living Wage 34400-46200 28600-38400 17800-25000

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.

Family Living Wages (monthly rates in Kenyan Shilling)

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.

Typical family (two parents + 4.4 children, 1.8 working) 34400-46200
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 28600-38400
Two parents and two children, 2 working 25800-34500
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 34400-46000
Two parents and two children, 1 working 51500-69100
Two parents and three children, 1.8 working 31000-41700
Two parents and four children, 1.8 working 33500-44900
Single-adult without children, 1 working 17800-25000

Note: Results in the table are rounded.

Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in Kenyan Shilling)

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.

  2015 2016 2017 2018
Minimum wage 4854 5436 6896 6896
Living Wage - Single Adult .-. .-. .-. 17800-25000
Living Wage - Typical Family .-. .-. .-. 34400-46200
Real wage of low-skilled worker 11000-16500 12600-19000 12800-19100 11900-17500
Real wage of medium-skilled worker 21800-34000 22000-34600 21700-33200 22100-33800
Real wage of high-skilled worker 37600-61700 37300-61800 38400-62400 37400-60400

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 Kenyan Shilling

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
Wheat, barley and cereals products 104 282 100-100
Rice 35 119 100-130
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 43 77 400-480
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 15 133 145-185
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 122 166 100-120
Maize and products 203 645 50-70
Milk - Excluding Butter 253 159 50-70
Vegetables, Other 101 22 70-100
Potatoes and products 111 79 50-80
Butter, Ghee 2 18 250-260
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 11 24 120-170
Pulses, Other and products 12 41 40-100
Cassava and products 65 68 50-100
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 5 6 117-125
Sunflowerseed Oil 1 5 160-300
Fish products 11 8 380-500
Beer 28 12 300-400
Sweeteners, Other 1 4 100-120
Beans 28 95 70-100
Sweet potatoes 62 61 50-100
Bananas 71 43 60-100
Soyabeans 1 2 200-240
Yams 1 1 99-170
Apples and products 1 0 180-280
Tomatoes and products 28 6 80-100
Onions 5 2 80-100
Oranges, Mandarines 7 2 100-150
Plantains 2 2 50-80
Peas 1 3 100-120
Roots, Other 1 1 60-100
Seeds and kernels 1 6 78-100
Wine 0 0 800-933
Cream 1 2 120-180
Olives (including preserved) 0 0 250-400
Honey 1 2 300-500
Citrus, Other 6 2 70-100
Lemons, Limes and products 1 0 100-100
Tea (including mate) 5 2 150-250
Grapefruit and products 0 0 400-430
Coffee and products 0 0 300-400

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.

Cite this page: © WageIndicator 2018 - - Living Wage Series - Kenya - January 2018 - In Kenyan Shilling, per Month