Living Wage Series - Brazil - September 2019- 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 70 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 BRL)

  Typical family Standard family Single-adult
  from-to from-to from-to
Food expenses 830-1180 895-1270 225-320
Housing expenses 835-1260 835-1260 420-620
Transport expenses 300-370 300-370 150-185
Healthcare expenses 180-300 180-300 45-75
Education expenses 200-400 200-400 0
Other expenses 115-175 120-180 42-60
Total Expenditure 2460-3685 2530-3780 882-1260
Net Living Wage 1538-2303 1406-2100 882-1260
Gross Living Wage 1770-2650 1620-2420 1020-1450

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.


Family Living Wages (monthly rates in BRL)

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 + 1.7 children, 1.6 working) 1770-2650
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 1620-2420
Two parents and two children, 2 working 1460-2180
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 1940-2900
Two parents and two children, 1 working 2910-4350
Two parents and three children, 1.6 working 1990-2960
Two parents and four children, 1.6 working 2170-3200
Single-adult without children, 1 working 1020-1450

Note: Results in the table are rounded.


Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in BRL)

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.

  2016 2017 2018 2019
Minimum wage 880 937 937 998
Living Wage - Single Adult 985-1470 1030-1460 1050-1550 1020-1450
Living Wage - Typical Family 1680-2580 1780-2630 1830-2780 1770-2650
Real wage of low-skilled worker 935-1250 955-1230 1130-1540 1150-1530
Real wage of medium-skilled worker 1170-1630 1290-1760 1440-2070 1510-2130
Real wage of high-skilled worker 2320-3880 2540-4150 2830-4890 2990-5060

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 BRL

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 4.5-7.7
Rice 58 214 2.5-3
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 180 300 11-15
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 31 279 3.9-4
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 105 278 3.2-5
Maize and products 50 158 3.2-4
Milk - Excluding Butter 713 439 2.5-3
Vegetables, Other 48 12 2-3
Potatoes and products 85 56 2.5-3
Butter, Ghee 6 45 5-12
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 24 34 7-7
Pulses, Other and products 0 1 3-4
Cassava and products 65 56 2.3-3.4
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 16 22 40-55
Sunflowerseed Oil 1 6 -
Fish products 20 11 18-29
Beer (0.5 liter/pint) 121 43 7-10
Sweeteners, Other 1 4 1.9-2.9
Beans 29 97 4-4.7
Sweet potatoes 2 1 2.5-4
Bananas 52 33 2.7-3
Soyabeans 7 12 5-8
Yams 1 1 5-5.2
Apples and products 24 12 4.5-5.5
Tomatoes and products 33 7 4-4
Onions 31 12 2.5-3.1
Oranges, Mandarines 30 9 2-3
Peas 0 1 6-7.2
Roots, Other 0 0 3-5
Seeds and kernels 0 1 5-8
Wine (bottle) 3 2 18-27
Pineapples and products 18 7 -
Cream 0 0 8-18.5
Olives (including preserved) 1 1 5-10
Honey 0 1 10-15
Citrus, Other 0 0 3-4.1
Lemons, Limes and products 8 1 2-3
Tea (including mate) 4 1 5-9
Grapefruit and products 1 0 2-3
Coffee and products 6 3 5-8


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.

WageIndicator useful links:

Publication Guzi, M., & Kahanec, M. (2019). Living Wage Globally. Amsterdam, WageIndicator Foundation
WageIndicator Wages in Context Map with the latest updates
All You Always wanted to Know about Living Wages