Living Wage Series - Cambodia - September 2019 - In Riel, 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 KHR)

  Typical family Standard family Single-adult
  from-to from-to from-to
Food expenses 657600-915900 571800-796500 143000-199100
Housing expenses 492000-800000 492000-800000 172400-304400
Transport expenses 40000-80000 40000-80000 20000-40000
Healthcare expenses 80000-100000 80000-100000 20000-25000
Education expenses 80000-150000 80000-150000 0
Other expenses 67500-102300 63200-96300 17800-28400
Total Expenditure 1417100-2148200 1327000-2022800 373200-596900
Net Living Wage 787278-1193445 737222-1123778 373200-596900
Gross Living Wage 858100-1300900 803600-1224900 406800-650600

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.


Family Living Wages (monthly rates in KHR)

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 + 2.6 children, 1.8 working) 858100-1300900
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 803600-1224900
Two parents and two children, 2 working 723200-1102400
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 964300-1469900
Two parents and two children, 1 working 1446400-2204900
Two parents and three children, 1.8 working 894500-1351500
Two parents and four children, 1.8 working 985400-1478100
Single-adult without children, 1 working 406800-650600

Note: Results in the table are rounded.


Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in KHR)

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 560000 612000 680000 709947
Living Wage - Single Adult - - - 406800-650600
Living Wage - Typical Family - - - 858100-1300900
Real wage of low-skilled worker - - - 618000-1288600
Real wage of medium-skilled worker - - - 1192600-1672400
Real wage of high-skilled worker - - - 1819900-2812600

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 KHR

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 7 22 -
Rice 376 1308 2000-2350
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 35 86 25000-30000
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 7 59 6500-6500
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 63 161 3000-3000
Maize and products 29 96 -
Milk - Excluding Butter 8 5 7750-8000
Vegetables, Other 88 20 4000-5000
Potatoes and products 0 0 4500-4500
Butter, Ghee 2 13 14000-16000
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 6 19 10000-10000
Pulses, Other and products 1 2 2500-3500
Cassava and products 60 60 -
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 3 4 5000-5000
Sunflowerseed Oil 0 0 15000-15000
Fish products 98 73 20000-26000
Beer (0.5 liter/pint) 77 38 4000-6060
Beans 11 38 10000-10000
Sweet potatoes 8 8 3000-3500
Bananas 25 16 2000-2000
Soyabeans 10 39 10000-10000
Apples and products 1 0 10000-12000
Tomatoes and products 0 0 4500-5000
Onions 0 0 3500-4000
Oranges, Mandarines 10 3 6500-6500
Peas 0 0 6000-8000
Roots, Other 5 5 3500-5000
Seeds and kernels 5 32 -
Wine (bottle) 0 0 26700-53300
Pineapples and products 4 1 2000-2220
Olives (including preserved) 0 0 8000-8000
Honey 0 0 50000-50000
Lemons, Limes and products 0 0 3000-4000
Coffee and products 1 0 15000-18000


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). Estimating Living Wage Globally. Amsterdam, WageIndicator Foundation
WageIndicator Wages in Context Map with the latest updates
All You Always wanted to Know about Living Wages