Living Wage Series - Namibia - December 2018 - In Namibia Dollar, 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 Namibia Dollar)

  Typical family Standard family Single-adult
  from-to from-to from-to
Food 6320-7670 4600-5580 1150-1400
Housing 1930-2560 1930-2560 3570-4710
Transport 435-600 435-600 215-300
Health 80-255 80-255 20-63
Education 90-250 90-250 0
Other costs 445-565 355-460 250-325
Total Expenditure 9300-11900 7490-9705 5205-6799
Net Living Wage 5471-7000 4161-5392 5205-6799
Gross Living Wage 6730-8610 5120-6630 6400-8360

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.


Family Living Wages (monthly rates in Namibia Dollar)

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 + 3.5 children, 1.7 working) 6730-8610
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 5120-6630
Two parents and two children, 2 working 4610-5970
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 6140-7960
Two parents and two children, 1 working 9220-11900
Two parents and three children, 1.7 working 6300-8080
Two parents and four children, 1.7 working 7170-9140
Single-adult without children, 1 working 6400-8360

Note: Results in the table are rounded.


Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in Namibia Dollar)

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 - - - -
Living Wage - Single Adult - - - 6400-8360
Living Wage - Typical Family - - - 6730-8610
Real wage of low-skilled worker - - - 2070-2790
Real wage of medium-skilled worker - - - 4030-7470
Real wage of high-skilled worker - - - 14900-25900

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.

Namibia Graph

Food basket and food prices in Namibia Dollar

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.

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