Living Wage Series - Guatemala - January 2018 - In Quetzal, per Month

WageIndicator Living Wage Series - Wages in Context - Living Wages - 2018

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 Quetzal)

  Typical family Standard family Single-adult
  from-to from-to from-to
Food 1160-1550 870-1170 220-290
Housing 1220-1800 1220-1800 630-900
Transport 200-320 200-320 100-160
Health 300-1500 300-1500 75-375
Education 500-1100 500-1100 0
Other costs 170-315 155-295 51-86
Total Expenditure 3550-6585 3245-6185 1076-1811
Net Living Wage 2088-3874 1803-3436 1076-1811
Gross Living Wage 2260-4190 1950-3710 1160-1960

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.


Family Living Wages (monthly rates in Quetzal)

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.

  from-to
Typical family (two parents + 3.3 children, 1.7 working) 2260-4190
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 1950-3710
Two parents and two children, 2 working 1750-3340
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 2340-4460
Two parents and two children, 1 working 3510-6680
Two parents and three children, 1.7 working 2210-4130
Two parents and four children, 1.7 working 2360-4330
Single-adult without children, 1 working 1160-1960

Note: Results in the table are rounded.


Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in Quetzal)

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 2201 2277 2417 2508
Living Wage - Single Adult .-. .-. .-. 1160-1960
Living Wage - Typical Family .-. .-. .-. 2260-4190
Real wage of low-skilled worker 2260-3080 2460-3190 2720-3680 2390-3180
Real wage of medium-skilled worker 2830-3860 3060-3980 3130-4210 3170-4360
Real wage of high-skilled worker 4690-7900 4920-7760 4890-7870 5000-8240

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 Quetzal

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 itemGrams per dayEnergy (kcal)Price per kilo
Wheat, barley and cereals products 92 259 7-10
Rice 14 47 4-5
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 69 89 20-25
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 16 142 12-15
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 116 410 5-9
Maize and products 213 731 2-2.6
Milk - Excluding Butter 114 68 8-10
Vegetables, Other 85 22 4-6
Potatoes and products 26 13 4-5
Butter, Ghee 3 21 7-10
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 8 20 .-.
Pulses, Other and products 7 23 .-.
Cassava and products 3 3 4-4
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 36 46 12-13
Sunflowerseed Oil 2 21 .-.
Fish products 3 2 20-30
Beer 27 10 16-20
Sweeteners, Other 2 6 .-.
Beans 30 100 5-5
Sweet potatoes 0 0 5-6
Bananas 13 8 5-6
Soyabeans 1 3 .-.
Apples and products 3 2 9-10
Tomatoes and products 36 8 3.5-5.5
Onions 18 7 4-5
Oranges, Mandarines 39 12 5-10
Plantains 7 5 5-7
Peas 0 1 16-16
Roots, Other 0 0 5.5-8
Seeds and kernels 3 15 15-24
Wine 1 0 67-93
Cream 1 2 9-15
Olives (including preserved) 0 1 .-.
Citrus, Other 1 0 2-4
Lemons, Limes and products 18 3 3.5-5
Tea (including mate) 0 0 15-15
Grapefruit and products 0 0 3-4
Coffee and products 8 4 25-38


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.