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Uganda - Living Wage Series, October 2017. In UGX 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 for 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 Uganda Shilling)

  Typical family   Standard family   Single-adult  
  from to from to from to
Food 879700 1151700 445400 583100 111400 145800
Housing 250000 300000 250000 300000 193500 263100
Transport 170000 300000 170000 300000 85000 150000
Health 40000 100000 40000 100000 10000 25000
Education 100000 140000 100000 140000 0 0
Other costs 72000 99600 50300 71200 20000 29200
Total Expenditure 1511700 2091300 1055700 1494300 419900 613100
Net Living Wage 795632 1100684 586500 830167 419900 613100
Gross Living Wage 1018400 1408900 750700 1062600 537500 784800

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.

Family Living Wages (monthly rates in Uganda 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.

  from to
Typical family (two parents + 5.9 children, 1.9 working) 1018400 1408900
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 750700 1062600
Two parents and two children, 2 working 675700 956400
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 900900 1275100
Two parents and two children, 1 working 1351300 1912700
Two parents and three children, 1.9 working 790000 1109800
Two parents and four children, 1.9 working 868800 1212900
Single-adult without children, 1 working 537500 784800

Note: Results in the table are rounded.

Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in Uganda 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.

  2014 . 2015 . 2016 . 2017 .
  from to from to from to from to
Minimum wage . . . . . . . .
Living Wage - Single Adult . . . . . . 537500 784800
Living Wage - Typical Family . . . . . . 1018400 1408900
Real wage of low-skilled worker 189300 338700 . . 265100 389700 265400 430900
Real wage of medium-skilled worker 453800 757100 560200 991600 471300 860900 596200 1005400
Real wage of high-skilled worker 635000 1295700 918700 1944500 621700 1399500 858700 1777300

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 Uganda 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 fromto
Wheat, barley and cereals 49 136 4400 7000
Rice 13 46 3000 3500
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 38 85 10000 12000
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 17 150 . .
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 46 119 3500 4000
Maize and products 137 425 1500 1500
Milk - Excluding Butter 105 66 1500 2100
Vegetables, Other 60 13 2000 3000
Potatoes and products 11 8 2000 3250
Butter, Ghee 1 9 . .
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 11 57 . .
Pulses, Other and products 2 7 . .
Cassava and products 213 233 1100 1750
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 3 3 3000 3340
Sunflowerseed Oil 6 50 . .
Fish products 35 25 13000 16000
Beer 22 9 6000 7000
Sweeteners, Other 0 1 . .
Beans 64 215 2550 3500
Sweet potatoes 131 126 1500 2000
Bananas 41 25 2000 3000
Apples and products 0 0 2500 2500
Tomatoes and products 3 1 1470 3000
Onions 14 5 1650 3500
Oranges, Mandarines 2 0 2400 3000
Plantains 284 252 . .
Peas 0 2 4000 6000
Seeds and kernels 8 31 2 2
Wine 0 0 26700 40000
Cream 0 0 4500 5000
Coffee and products 0 0 6500 6500

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.


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