Living Wage Series - Nicaragua - September 2019 - In Cordoba Oro, 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 NIO)

  Typical family Standard family Single-adult
  from-to from-to from-to
Food expenses 3250-4480 3100-4260 775-1070
Housing expenses 2900-4500 2900-4500 1770-2520
Transport expenses 300-600 300-600 150-300
Healthcare expenses 500-1000 500-1000 125-250
Education expenses 550-1200 550-1200 0
Other expenses 375-590 365-580 140-205
Total Expenditure 7875-12370 7715-12140 2960-4345
Net Living Wage 4632-7276 4286-6744 2960-4345
Gross Living Wage 5010-7860 4630-7290 3200-4700

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.


Family Living Wages (monthly rates in NIO)

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, 1.7 working) 5010-7860
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 4630-7290
Two parents and two children, 2 working 4170-6560
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 5560-8740
Two parents and two children, 1 working 8330-13100
Two parents and three children, 1.7 working 5420-8430
Two parents and four children, 1.7 working 5930-9130
Single-adult without children, 1 working 3200-4700

Note: Results in the table are rounded.


Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in NIO)

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 3187 3624 3774 4176
Living Wage - Single Adult - - - 3200-4700
Living Wage - Typical Family - - - 5010-7860
Real wage of low-skilled worker 5290-6620 4980-6130 5320-6300 5810-7060
Real wage of medium-skilled worker 6530-8700 6140-8060 6600-8360 7030-9100
Real wage of high-skilled worker 8500-13300 8430-13000 9030-13400 9430-14300

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 NIO

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 70 199 24-40
Rice 97 328 15-26
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 71 112 80-110
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 21 186 40-40
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 84 307 12-20
Maize and products 153 524 18-40
Milk - Excluding Butter 190 113 20-25
Vegetables, Other 13 4 25-40
Potatoes and products 14 10 23-30
Butter, Ghee 3 19 100-100
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 7 31 -
Pulses, Other and products 0 0 38-38
Cassava and products 24 22 15-20
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 11 14 42-50
Sunflowerseed Oil 0 2 -
Fish products 11 7 100-150
Beer (0.5 liter/pint) 29 11 48-50
Sweeteners, Other 10 16 11-20
Beans 48 161 30-35
Sweet potatoes 0 0 15-15
Bananas 1 1 5-15
Soyabeans 0 0 45-50
Yams 0 0 70-70
Apples and products 33 6 40-60
Tomatoes and products 11 2 20-20
Onions 7 3 25-35
Oranges, Mandarines 13 2 25-30
Plantains 10 8 25-30
Roots, Other 11 10 41-50
Seeds and kernels 0 2 50-90
Wine (bottle) 0 0 200-200
Pineapples and products 20 6 -
Cream 0 0 40-69
Olives (including preserved) 0 0 300-300
Lemons, Limes and products 0 0 20-30
Grapefruit and products 0 0 80-80
Coffee and products 0 0 120-120


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