Living Wages in Zimbabwe, per month in ZWL - October 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 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 Zimbabwe Dollar)

  Typical family   Standard family   Single-adult  
  from to from to from to
Food 225 290 150 195 37 49
Housing 100 150 100 150 69 105
Transport 60 88 60 88 30 44
Health 50 95 50 95 13 24
Education 80 95 80 95 0 0
Other costs 26 36 22 31 7 11
Total Expenditure 541 754 462 654 156 233
Net Living Wage 285 397 257 363 156 233
Gross Living Wage 335 465 300 425 180 270

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.

Family Living Wages (monthly rates in Zimbabwe Dollar)

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 + 4 children, 1.9 working) 335 465
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 300 425
Two parents and two children, 2 working 270 385
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 360 510
Two parents and two children, 1 working 540 765
Two parents and three children, 1.9 working 305 435
Two parents and four children, 1.9 working 335 465
Single-adult without children, 1 working 180 270

Note: Results in the table are rounded.

Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in Zimbabwe Dollar)

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 . . . . . . 185 275
Living Wage - Typical Family . . . . . . 335 465
Real wage of low-skilled worker 160 235 235 315 215 305 190 265
Real wage of medium-skilled worker 380 630 395 645 380 570 360 615
Real wage of high-skilled worker 550 945 595 1040 585 935 515 920

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 Zimbabwe Dollar

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 109 311 2 2
Rice 28 104 1 1.7
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 56 92 4 5
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 23 198 1.5 1.8
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 81 267 1 1
Maize and products 263 761 .5 1
Milk - Excluding Butter 90 50 1.3 1.4
Vegetables, Other 39 10 1 2
Potatoes and products 11 8 1.5 2
Butter, Ghee 4 29 2 3
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 6 33 3 3
Pulses, Other and products 2 7 2 2
Cassava and products 43 47 1 1
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 5 6 1.7 2
Sunflowerseed Oil 9 81 . .
Fish products 8 5 3 4
Beer 58 25 2 3
Sweeteners, Other 2 7 1 1
Beans 6 20 1 2
Sweet potatoes 0 0 1 2
Bananas 18 10 1 1
Soyabeans 2 6 3 3
Apples and products 4 2 2 3
Tomatoes and products 5 1 1 1.5
Onions 1 1 1 1.5
Oranges, Mandarines 14 4 1 1.5
Peas 3 9 1 2
Roots, Other 0 0 1 1.5
Seeds and kernels 0 1 2 4
Wine 1 1 6.7 8
Cream 0 0 2 4
Olives (including preserved) 0 0 7 8
Citrus, Other 0 0 1.2 3
Lemons, Limes and products 3 1 1 2
Tea (including mate) 2 1 2 4
Grapefruit and products 1 0 3 3
Coffee and products 0 0 3 4

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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