Living Wage Series - Botswana - December 2018 - In Pula, 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 Pula)

  Typical family Standard family Single-adult
  from-to from-to from-to
Food 3880-5250 3170-4290 790-1070
Housing 2100-1980 2100-1980 1200-1170
Transport 60-115 60-115 30-58
Health 66-235 66-235 16-59
Education 80-235 80-235 0
Other costs 310-390 275-345 100-120
Total Expenditure 6496-8205 5751-7200 2137-2477
Net Living Wage 3419-4318 3195-4000 2137-2477
Gross Living Wage 3760-4750 3520-4400 2350-2730

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.


Family Living Wages (monthly rates in Pula)

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 + 2.9 children, 1.9 working) 3760-4750
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 3520-4400
Two parents and two children, 2 working 3170-3960
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 4220-5280
Two parents and two children, 1 working 6330-7920
Two parents and three children, 1.9 working 3810-4820
Two parents and four children, 1.9 working 4290-5470
Single-adult without children, 1 working 2350-2730

Note: Results in the table are rounded.


Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in Pula)

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 500 620 620 700
Living Wage - Single Adult 2810-3590 3280-3850 3250-3650 2350-2730
Living Wage - Typical Family 4720-5800 4680-5800 4530-5510 3760-4750
Real wage of low-skilled worker - - - -
Real wage of medium-skilled worker - - - -
Real wage of high-skilled worker - - - -

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.

Botswana Graph

Food basket and food prices in Pula

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 item Grams per day Energy (kcal) Price per kilo
Wheat, barley and cereals products 174 534 16-30
Rice 18 65 25-42
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 85 111 35-39
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 7 60 -
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 66 234 15-25
Maize and products 100 317 25-25
Milk - Excluding Butter 306 194 12-15
Vegetables, Other 86 26 10-20
Potatoes and products 33 23 9.5-15
Butter, Ghee 5 37 35-35
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 3 11 50-50
Pulses, Other and products 5 15 25-25
Cassava and products 0 0 2-2
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 5 7 17-17
Sunflowerseed Oil 23 199 -
Fish products 10 8 50-150
Beer (0.5 liter/pint) 97 47 16-24
Sweeteners, Other 15 35 25-25
Beans 9 31 20-20
Sweet potatoes 1 1 30-30
Bananas 2 1 11-20
Soyabeans 3 10 20-20
Apples and products 14 5 16-29
Tomatoes and products 7 1 15-25
Onions 7 3 14-20
Oranges, Mandarines 32 6 -
Plantains 8 6 25-25
Peas 1 2 30-30
Roots, Other 113 102 20-20
Seeds and kernels 0 0 50-65
Wine (bottle) 7 5 160-160
Cream 0 1 25-80
Olives (including preserved) 0 0 80-80
Citrus, Other 0 0 20-20
Lemons, Limes and products 7 1 20-20
Tea (including mate) 3 1 48-48
Grapefruit and products 0 0 20-20
Coffee and products 2 1 40-50


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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