Living Wage Series - Colombia - December 2018 - In Colombian Peso, 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 Colombian Peso)

  Typical family Standard family Single-adult
  from-to from-to from-to
Food 410000-564100 420500-578600 105100-144600
Housing 583300-692600 583300-692600 340300-407500
Transport 139100-200000 139100-200000 69600-100000
Health 90000-100000 90000-100000 22500-25000
Education 100000-150000 100000-150000 0
Other costs 66100-85300 66700-86100 26900-33900
Total Expenditure 1388500-1792000 1399600-1807300 564400-711000
Net Living Wage 771389-995556 777556-1004056 564400-711000
Gross Living Wage 848500-1095100 855300-1104500 620800-782100

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.


Family Living Wages (monthly rates in Colombian Peso)

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 + 1.9 children, 1.8 working) 848500-1095100
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 855300-1104500
Two parents and two children, 2 working 769800-994000
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 1026400-1325400
Two parents and two children, 1 working 1539600-1988000
Two parents and three children, 1.8 working 922700-1197200
Two parents and four children, 1.8 working 990200-1290000
Single-adult without children, 1 working 620800-782100

Note: Results in the table are rounded.


Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in Colombian Peso)

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 644350 689455 737717 781242
Living Wage - Single Adult 615700-787400 559100-733500 618600-746500 620800-782100
Living Wage - Typical Family 864200-1130400 794900-1049500 853000-1065500 848500-1095100
Real wage of low-skilled worker 724100-883200 717100-852000 726100-871000 820900-988400
Real wage of medium-skilled worker 889100-1228500 913400-1208600 902100-1205300 971400-1289700
Real wage of high-skilled worker 1547100-2496800 1599900-2475100 1606300-2521800 1695800-2630200

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.

Colombia Graph

Food basket and food prices in Colombian Peso

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 66 183 2400-4000
Rice 59 221 1800-2500
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 114 185 7000-10000
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 30 272 5000-6000
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 124 434 2050-3000
Maize and products 64 197 1800-3000
Milk - Excluding Butter 230 139 2000-2200
Vegetables, Other 40 11 2000-3850
Potatoes and products 71 50 1500-2000
Butter, Ghee 3 22 3000-4500
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 6 10 5000-7000
Pulses, Other and products 3 11 2000-3100
Cassava and products 82 71 1500-2000
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 23 29 3000-3000
Sunflowerseed Oil 1 10 6000-8000
Fish products 13 9 10000-14000
Beer (0.5 liter/pint) 89 32 3600-5000
Sweeteners, Other 1 5 2000-3000
Beans 7 23 2500-3800
Bananas 22 14 1500-2000
Soyabeans 2 6 5200-6000
Yams 12 11 3000-3000
Apples and products 5 2 2500-4000
Tomatoes and products 31 6 2000-2400
Onions 19 8 1500-2500
Oranges, Mandarines 16 5 2000-2500
Plantains 113 102 1500-2000
Peas 4 12 3500-4000
Roots, Other 3 3 2000-3000
Seeds and kernels 0 0 5000-8000
Wine (bottle) 1 1 13300-24000
Pineapples and products 21 6 -
Cream 0 0 4000-6000
Olives (including preserved) 0 0 4000-6000
Honey 0 0 5000-6250
Citrus, Other 29 8 1500-3500
Lemons, Limes and products 5 1 1500-2000
Tea (including mate) 0 0 3000-3600
Grapefruit and products 0 0 2000-4000
Coffee and products 4 2 4600-6000


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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