Living Wage Series - Myanmar - December 2018 - In Kyat, 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 Kyat)

  Typical family Standard family Single-adult
  from-to from-to from-to
Food 162200-202200 154500-192600 38600-48200
Housing 60000-80000 60000-80000 27900-34300
Transport 20000-24000 20000-24000 10000-12000
Health 8000-10000 8000-10000 2000-2500
Education 15000-20000 15000-20000 0
Other costs 13300-16800 12900-16300 3930-4850
Total Expenditure 278500-353000 270400-342900 82430-101850
Net Living Wage 154722-196111 150222-190500 82430-101850
Gross Living Wage 170200-215700 165300-209600 90700-112000

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.


Family Living Wages (monthly rates in Kyat)

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 + 2.2 children, 1.8 working) 170200-215700
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 165300-209600
Two parents and two children, 2 working 148700-188600
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 198300-251500
Two parents and two children, 1 working 297400-377200
Two parents and three children, 1.8 working 190000-240500
Two parents and four children, 1.8 working 214800-271400
Single-adult without children, 1 working 90700-112000

Note: Results in the table are rounded.


Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in Kyat)

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 76500 76500 76500 104000
Living Wage - Single Adult - - - 90700-112000
Living Wage - Typical Family - - - 170200-215700
Real wage of low-skilled worker - - - -
Real wage of medium-skilled worker - - - -
Real wage of high-skilled worker - - - -

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.

Myanmar Graph

Food basket and food prices in Kyat

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 19 56 700-1200
Rice 305 1034 469-587
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 93 192 4290-4900
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 16 144 1100-1230
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 39 127 735-919
Maize and products 9 29 -
Milk - Excluding Butter 72 42 800-1000
Vegetables, Other 140 39 500-1000
Potatoes and products 23 15 612-612
Butter, Ghee 3 25 -
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 28 69 1840-2050
Pulses, Other and products 23 81 1350-1840
Cassava and products 25 25 306-429
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 15 21 1200-1250
Sunflowerseed Oil 2 19 1500-2300
Fish products 125 80 2450-3060
Beer (0.5 liter/pint) 7 3 2200-3000
Beans 6 20 1000-1250
Sweet potatoes 2 2 429-612
Soyabeans 1 3 1230-1230
Onions 46 18 612-612
Plantains 37 26 -
Peas 3 9 1230-1840
Roots, Other 0 0 495-612
Seeds and kernels 4 19 600-600
Cream 0 0 1230-1840
Honey 0 0 5250-7500
Tea (including mate) 1 1 -
Coffee and products 3 1 -


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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