Living Wage Series - Germany - December 2018 - In Euro, 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 Euro)

  Typical family Standard family Single-adult
  from-to from-to from-to
Food 495-755 585-890 145-220
Housing 550-800 550-800 275-400
Transport 120-140 120-140 60-70
Health 94-220 94-220 24-55
Education 81-245 81-245 0
Other costs 67-110 71-115 25-37
Total Expenditure 1407-2270 1501-2410 529-782
Net Living Wage 879-1419 834-1339 529-782
Gross Living Wage 1290-2070 1220-1960 770-1140

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.


Family Living Wages (monthly rates in Euro)

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 + 1.4 children, 1.6 working) 1290-2070
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 1220-1960
Two parents and two children, 2 working 1100-1760
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 1460-2350
Two parents and two children, 1 working 2190-3520
Two parents and three children, 1.6 working 1510-2410
Two parents and four children, 1.6 working 1650-2630
Single-adult without children, 1 working 770-1140

Note: Results in the table are rounded.


Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in Euro)

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 1440 1440 1498 1498
Living Wage - Single Adult 750-1110 765-1100 765-1100 770-1140
Living Wage - Typical Family 1240-2010 1270-2000 1270-2000 1290-2070
Real wage of low-skilled worker 1620-2000 1660-2050 1610-1990 1660-2050
Real wage of medium-skilled worker 1940-2410 2030-2520 2120-2630 2020-2520
Real wage of high-skilled worker 2710-3390 2810-3510 2200-2930 2940-3730

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.

Germany Graph

Food basket and food prices in Euro

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 230 660 2.4-4
Rice 8 31 1-1.4
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 209 312 5-8
Milk - Excluding Butter 623 291 .6-.9
Vegetables, Other 163 45 1.6-2
Potatoes and products 148 101 1-1.5
Butter, Ghee 29 210 -
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 29 41 1-1.7
Fish products 30 32 -
Beer (0.5 liter/pint) 226 111 3-5.7
Sweeteners, Other 29 102 -
Bananas 29 18 -
Soyabeans 2 7 -
Apples and products 45 22 2-2.5
Tomatoes and products 46 10 2-2.8
Onions 15 5 .8-1.5
Oranges, Mandarines 38 11 1.8-2
Wine (bottle) 55 38 6.7-6.7
Pineapples and products 8 4 -
Cream 15 30 2-2.5
Olives (including preserved) 2 4 -
Honey 3 8 -
Lemons, Limes and products 4 1 -
Tea (including mate) 2 1 -
Coffee and products 16 7 -


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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