Living Wage Series - Bulgaria - January 2018 - In Bulgarian Lev, 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 Bulgarian Lev)

  Typical family Standard family Single-adult
  from-to from-to from-to
Food 435-515 495-590 125-145
Housing 330-500 330-500 190-285
Transport 100-100 100-100 50-50
Health 30-100 30-100 8-25
Education 50-60 50-60 0
Other costs 47-64 50-67 19-25
Total Expenditure 992-1339 1055-1417 392-530
Net Living Wage 620-837 586-787 392-530
Gross Living Wage 785-1070 745-1000 495-675

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.

Family Living Wages (monthly rates in Bulgarian Lev)

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 + 1.5 children, 1.6 working) 785-1070
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 745-1000
Two parents and two children, 2 working 670-900
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 895-1200
Two parents and two children, 1 working 1340-1800
Two parents and three children, 1.6 working 940-1250
Two parents and four children, 1.6 working 1050-1370
Single-adult without children, 1 working 495-675

Note: Results in the table are rounded.

Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in Bulgarian Lev)

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 380 420 460 510
Living Wage - Single Adult 515-715 530-735 485-665 500-675
Living Wage - Typical Family 880-1200 865-1190 770-1060 785-1070
Real wage of low-skilled worker 395-470 440-520 440-545 480-600
Real wage of medium-skilled worker 475-600 530-655 535-695 625-845
Real wage of high-skilled worker 655-825 730-920 735-975 925-1280

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 Bulgarian Lev

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 263 690 1.8-2
Rice 5 20 1.5-2
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 126 191 8-10
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 8 75 1.5-2.2
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 57 201 1.5-1.8
Maize and products 58 155 .-.
Milk - Excluding Butter 335 204 1.9-2
Vegetables, Other 91 16 1.3-2
Potatoes and products 59 38 .7-1
Butter, Ghee 14 104 11-12
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 6 14 5-7
Pulses, Other and products 1 4 .-.
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 18 25 2-2.2
Sunflowerseed Oil 19 170 2-3
Fish products 15 10 6-10
Beer 162 79 2-2.4
Sweeteners, Other 5 12 .-.
Beans 4 12 1.5-3
Sweet potatoes 0 0 1-2
Bananas 9 5 2.2-2.5
Apples and products 14 6 2-2
Tomatoes and products 41 8 2-2
Onions 13 5 .8-1
Oranges, Mandarines 16 5 10-10
Plantains 1 1 2.9-2.9
Peas 0 1 1-1.8
Roots, Other 0 0 1-1.5
Seeds and kernels 5 17 .-.
Wine 25 18 8-8
Cream 0 0 5-6.8
Olives (including preserved) 5 5 6.2-8
Honey 0 0 7.5-8.5
Lemons, Limes and products 4 1 3-4
Grapefruit and products 3 1 .-.
Coffee and products 12 5 10-15

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.