Living Wage Series - Guatemala - September 2019- In Quetzal, 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 GTQ)

  Typical family Standard family Single-adult
  from-to from-to from-to
Food expenses 1360-1840 1090-1470 270-365
Housing expenses 1400-2000 1400-2000 665-1000
Transport expenses 135-275 135-275 69-135
Healthcare expenses 300-500 300-500 75-125
Education expenses 350-650 350-650 0
Other expenses 175-265 165-245 54-81
Total Expenditure 3720-5530 3440-5140 1133-1706
Net Living Wage 2325-3456 1911-2856 1133-1706
Gross Living Wage 2510-3740 2070-3090 1230-1840

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.


Family Living Wages (monthly rates in GTQ)

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 + 3 children, 1.6 working) 2510-3740
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 2070-3090
Two parents and two children, 2 working 1860-2780
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 2480-3700
Two parents and two children, 1 working 3720-5550
Two parents and three children, 1.6 working 2510-3740
Two parents and four children, 1.6 working 2710-3990
Single-adult without children, 1 working 1230-1840

Note: Results in the table are rounded.


Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in GTQ)

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 2277 2417 2508 2742
Living Wage - Single Adult - - - 1230-1840
Living Wage - Typical Family - - - 2510-3740
Real wage of low-skilled worker 2930-3800 3100-4050 3260-4080 3170-3890
Real wage of medium-skilled worker 3010-4120 3190-4410 3340-4420 3260-4270
Real wage of high-skilled worker 4690-7560 4820-7820 5090-7940 4990-7680

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 GTQ

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


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