Living wage Series - Netherlands, August 2017

WageIndicator Living Wage Series - Wages in Context - Living Wages / Leefbaar Loon 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 (1.7 children per woman). One parent is working full-time and the working hours of second parent are approximated by national employment rate (63% 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 EUR)

  Typical family   Standard family   Single-adult  
  from to from to from to
Food 430 590 460 640 115 160
Housing 450 490 450 490 395 440
Transport 90 150 90 150 45 75
Health 75 160 75 160 19 40
Education 50 100 50 100 0 0
Other costs 55 75 56 77 29 36
Total Expenditure 1150 1565 1181 1617 603 751
Net Living Wage 719 978 656 898 603 751
Gross Living Wage 906 1232 827 1132 759 946

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.

Family Living Wages (monthly rates in EUR)

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 + 1.7 children, 1.6 working) 905 1230
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 825 1130
Two parents and two children, 2 working 745 1020
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 990 1360
Two parents and two children, 1 working 1490 2040
Two parents and three children, 1.6 working 1030 1410
Two parents and four children, 1.6 working 1120 1540
Single-adult without children, 1 working 760 945

Note: Results in the table are rounded.

Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in EUR)

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 1501 . 1525 . 1537 . 1552 .
Living Wage - Typical Family 900 1270 905 1260 895 1230 905 1230
Living Wage - Single Adult 735 940 760 955 740 920 760 945
Real wage of low-skilled worker 1430 1660 1410 1640 1410 1640 1500 1730
Real wage of medium-skilled worker 1710 2070 1730 2080 1750 2110 1810 2190
Real wage of high-skilled worker 2270 2850 2270 2860 2280 2870 2330 2940

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 EUR

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 153 444 2 2.5
Rice 5 19 1 1.5
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 166 279 6 8
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 26 233 1.5 2
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 78 277 1.2 2
Maize and products 5 11 2 2
Milk - Excluding Butter 628 309 .8 1
Vegetables, Other 110 40 1.6 2
Potatoes and products 167 111 1 2
Butter, Ghee 9 66 2 3
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 17 43 2.5 3.5
Pulses, Other and products 1 3 1.5 2
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 26 36 25 1.7
Sunflowerseed Oil 1 5 1 1.4
Fish products 41 32 9 12
Beer 98 48 3 6
Sweeteners, Other 3 7 1 1.3
Beans 1 2 1.3 2
Sweet potatoes 2 1 2 3
Bananas 11 8 1 1.7
Soyabeans 0 0 2 3
Yams 0 0 2.4 3.5
Apples and products 60 28 1.5 2
Tomatoes and products 46 11 1.5 2
Onions 3 1 1 1
Oranges, Mandarines 161 36 2 2.5
Plantains 2 1 1.5 2
Peas 2 5 1.1 2
Roots, Other 0 0 1 2
Seeds and kernels 0 5 3 4
Wine 38 26 5.3 6.7
Pineapples and products 8 3 . .
Cream 0 0 2 5
Olives (including preserved) 1 1 3.8 6
Honey 1 3 3 4
Citrus, Other 0 0 2 2.7
Lemons, Limes and products 4 1 2 2.5
Tea (including mate) 2 1 2.5 4.9
Grapefruit and products 15 2 2 3
Coffee and products 4 2 4 6

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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