Living Wages in Sri Lanka by August 2017. In LKR, 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 (2.1 children per woman). One parent is working full-time and the working hours of second parent are approximated by national employment rate (56% 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 LKR)

  Typical family   Standard family   Single-adult  
  from to from to from to
Food 22200 29500 21640 28760 5410 7190
Housing 10000 15000 10000 15000 6000 11300
Transport 980 1850 980 1850 490 925
Health 2000 5000 2000 5000 500 1250
Education 3500 5000 3500 5000 0 0
Other costs 1940 2820 1910 2780 620 1040
Total Expenditure 40620 59170 40030 58390 13020 21705
Net Living Wage 25388 36981 22239 32439 13020 21705
Gross Living Wage 28180 41049 24685 36007 14452 24093

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.

Family Living Wages (monthly rates in LKR)

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 + 2.1 children, 1.6 working) 28200 41100
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 24700 36000
Two parents and two children, 2 working 22200 32400
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 29600 43200
Two parents and two children, 1 working 44400 64800
Two parents and three children, 1.6 working 31700 45800
Two parents and four children, 1.6 working 35700 51000
Single-adult without children, 1 working 14500 24100

Note: Results in the table are rounded.

Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in LKR)

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 6500 . 6500 . 6500 . 6500 .
Living Wage - Typical Family 33100 46500 33000 42600 31100 42600 28200 41100
Living Wage - Single Adult 17900 26900 19200 26600 17700 26700 14500 24100
Real wage of low-skilled worker 16300 22800 17900 23500 17500 23700 20300 29000
Real wage of medium-skilled worker 21300 32400 21900 30400 23000 32600 23600 35800
Real wage of high-skilled worker 33400 54000 36300 52500 38900 58500 38700 62900

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 LKR

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 87 223 120 160
Rice 254 899 78 90
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 17 21 500 700
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 7 64 250 265
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 131 246 100 110
Maize and products 12 38 200 300
Milk - Excluding Butter 81 53 110 180
Vegetables, Other 68 18 160 200
Potatoes and products 19 19 100 120
Butter, Ghee 0 2 300 500
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 169 256 300 400
Pulses, Other and products 16 55 200 600
Cassava and products 23 35 100 200
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 11 15 2620 150
Sunflowerseed Oil 0 1 . .
Fish products 60 49 400 500
Beer 14 7 400 636
Sweeteners, Other 1 3 110 120
Beans 2 8 180 200
Sweet potatoes 4 5 160 200
Soyabeans 0 0 200 300
Apples and products 2 1 240 330
Tomatoes and products 9 2 120 200
Onions 30 18 90 120
Oranges, Mandarines 3 1 200 255
Plantains 60 46 80 120
Peas 3 11 200 200
Roots, Other 0 0 100 100
Seeds and kernels 1 4 500 700
Wine 0 0 1330 2400
Cream 0 0 300 400
Olives (including preserved) 0 0 1500 1500
Lemons, Limes and products 1 0 100 150
Tea (including mate) 3 1 350 600
Grapefruit and products 0 0 140 200
Coffee and products 1 0 300 600

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 

Cite this page: © WageIndicator 2017 - WageIndicator.org - Living Wages in Sri Lanka by August 2017. In LKR, per Month