Living Wage Series - Colombia - September 2019- 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 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 COP)

  Typical family Standard family Single-adult
  from-to from-to from-to
Food expenses 421600-579400 432400-594200 108100-148600
Housing expenses 571400-722200 571400-722200 333300-415900
Transport expenses 155000-240000 155000-240000 77500-120000
Healthcare expenses 90000-100000 90000-100000 22500-25000
Education expenses 100000-150000 100000-150000 0
Other expenses 66900-89600 67400-90300 27100-35500
Total Expenditure 1404900-1881200 1416200-1896700 568500-745000
Net Living Wage 826412-1106588 786778-1053722 568500-745000
Gross Living Wage 909100-1217300 865500-1159100 625400-819500

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.


Family Living Wages (monthly rates in COP)

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, 1.7 working) 909100-1217300
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 865500-1159100
Two parents and two children, 2 working 778900-1043200
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 1038600-1390900
Two parents and two children, 1 working 1557800-2086400
Two parents and three children, 1.7 working 989900-1328300
Two parents and four children, 1.7 working 1063300-1429200
Single-adult without children, 1 working 625400-819500

Note: Results in the table are rounded.


Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in COP)

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 689455 737717 781242 828116
Living Wage - Single Adult 559000-753600 569900-737100 604900-776600 625400-819500
Living Wage - Typical Family 841300-1141400 853200-1128300 885600-1168300 909100-1217300
Real wage of low-skilled worker 810700-1042200 814500-1007500 840500-1046200 901400-1108900
Real wage of medium-skilled worker 900500-1236700 916000-1212300 959500-1283100 1015400-1339500
Real wage of high-skilled worker 1538200-2469100 1582100-2455400 1636700-2563800 1769600-2737100

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 COP

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 1900-2600
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 114 185 9000-10900
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 30 272 5000-6800
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 179 626 -
Maize and products 64 197 -
Milk - Excluding Butter 230 139 2000-2000
Vegetables, Other 40 11 2150-4000
Potatoes and products 71 50 2000-2300
Butter, Ghee 3 22 -
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 6 10 5000-7000
Pulses, Other and products 3 11 3000-3500
Cassava and products 82 71 1500-2000
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 23 29 3000-3000
Sunflowerseed Oil 1 10 -
Fish products 13 9 11000-15000
Beer (0.5 liter/pint) 89 32 3600-5000
Sweeteners, Other 1 5 -
Beans 7 23 1800-2900
Bananas 22 14 2000-2400
Soyabeans 2 6 -
Yams 12 11 -
Apples and products 5 2 3000-4000
Tomatoes and products 31 6 2500-2750
Onions 19 8 1500-2400
Oranges, Mandarines 23 8 1900-2250
Plantains 113 102 2000-2000
Peas 4 12 -
Roots, Other 3 3 -
Seeds and kernels 0 0 5000-8000
Wine (bottle) 1 1 13300-24000
Pineapples and products 21 6 -
Cream 0 0 4000-5700
Olives (including preserved) 0 0 4000-6000
Citrus, Other 29 8 3500-3600
Lemons, Limes and products 5 1 1500-2000
Tea (including mate) 0 0 3000-3600
Grapefruit and products 0 0 3000-3000
Coffee and products 5 2 -


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