Living Wage Series - Brazil - December 2018 - In Brazilian Real, 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 Brazilian Real)

  Typical family Standard family Single-adult
  from-to from-to from-to
Food 710-1010 745-1060 185-265
Housing 800-1220 800-1220 400-630
Transport 220-360 220-360 110-180
Health 150-300 150-300 38-75
Education 300-425 300-425 0
Other costs 110-165 110-170 37-57
Total Expenditure 2290-3480 2325-3535 770-1207
Net Living Wage 1347-2047 1292-1964 770-1207
Gross Living Wage 1550-2360 1490-2260 885-1390

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.


Family Living Wages (monthly rates in Brazilian Real)

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 + 1.8 children, 1.7 working) 1550-2360
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 1490-2260
Two parents and two children, 2 working 1340-2040
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 1790-2710
Two parents and two children, 1 working 2680-4070
Two parents and three children, 1.7 working 1710-2580
Two parents and four children, 1.7 working 1840-2780
Single-adult without children, 1 working 885-1390

Note: Results in the table are rounded.


Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in Brazilian Real)

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 788 880 937 954
Living Wage - Single Adult 920-1430 905-1340 865-1400 885-1390
Living Wage - Typical Family 1610-2410 1560-2270 1510-2330 1550-2360
Real wage of low-skilled worker 845-1140 895-1180 965-1260 1120-1520
Real wage of medium-skilled worker 1110-1570 1170-1610 1310-1810 1500-2180
Real wage of high-skilled worker 2140-3610 2290-3800 2550-4230 2880-4980

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.

Brazil Graph

Food basket and food prices in Brazilian Real

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 101 265 5-8
Rice 58 214 2.5-4
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 180 300 10-15
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 31 279 3-4
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 105 278 3.7-5.3
Maize and products 50 158 3.2-4
Milk - Excluding Butter 269 166 2.2-2.6
Vegetables, Other 48 12 3-4
Potatoes and products 32 21 3-4
Butter, Ghee 6 45 4-8
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 24 34 6-8.4
Pulses, Other and products 0 1 3-5
Cassava and products 65 56 3-3
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 16 22 3.3-4
Sunflowerseed Oil 1 6 4-5
Fish products 20 11 15-25
Beer (0.5 liter/pint) 121 43 7-10
Sweeteners, Other 1 4 1.9-3
Beans 29 97 4-4.7
Sweet potatoes 2 1 3-4
Bananas 52 33 2.5-3
Soyabeans 7 12 5-8
Yams 1 1 4-5.2
Apples and products 9 5 3.5-4.9
Tomatoes and products 33 7 4-5
Onions 12 5 2.5-3.5
Oranges, Mandarines 30 9 2-3
Peas 0 1 4-7
Roots, Other 0 0 3.1-5
Seeds and kernels 0 1 5.5-8.6
Wine (bottle) 3 2 17-27
Pineapples and products 18 7 -
Cream 0 0 3-9
Olives (including preserved) 1 1 9-9
Honey 0 1 10-15
Citrus, Other 0 0 3-4
Lemons, Limes and products 8 1 2-3
Tea (including mate) 4 1 5-8
Grapefruit and products 1 0 3-4.1
Coffee and products 6 3 5.9-8


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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