Living Wage Series - Rwanda - September 2019- In Rwanda Franc, 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 RWF)

  Typical family Standard family Single-adult
  from-to from-to from-to
Food expenses 224400-293900 149600-196000 37400-49000
Housing expenses 35000-40000 35000-40000 20000-25000
Transport expenses 20000-26100 20000-26100 10000-13100
Healthcare expenses 8590-21900 8590-21900 2150-5470
Education expenses 4900-28500 4900-28500 0
Other expenses 14700-20500 10900-15600 3480-4630
Total Expenditure 307590-430900 228990-328100 73028-97205
Net Living Wage 170883-239389 127217-182278 73028-97205
Gross Living Wage 241000-337500 179400-257000 103000-137100

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.


Family Living Wages (monthly rates in RWF)

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 + 4 children, 1.8 working) 241000-337500
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 179400-257000
Two parents and two children, 2 working 161400-231300
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 215300-308400
Two parents and two children, 1 working 322900-462600
Two parents and three children, 1.8 working 210200-297300
Two parents and four children, 1.8 working 241000-337500
Single-adult without children, 1 working 103000-137100

Note: Results in the table are rounded.


Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in RWF)

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 - - - -
Living Wage - Single Adult - - - 103000-137100
Living Wage - Typical Family - - - 241000-337500
Real wage of low-skilled worker - - 95200-126100 63900-112000
Real wage of medium-skilled worker - - 166200-259600 113100-235400
Real wage of high-skilled worker - - 277800-482500 265500-513100

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 RWF

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 59 175 1000-1800
Rice 23 81 800-1000
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 24 36 2000-2450
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 6 53 -
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 14 50 -
Maize and products 38 122 -
Milk - Excluding Butter 19 12 400-400
Vegetables, Other 119 25 450-500
Potatoes and products 267 191 200-265
Butter, Ghee 1 6 -
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 2 9 -
Cassava and products 262 268 -
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 0 1 1200-1200
Fish products 10 7 1950-2500
Beer (0.5 liter/pint) 15 7 1400-1460
Beans 92 308 -
Sweet potatoes 236 226 -
Bananas 750 450 200-250
Soyabeans 5 21 -
Yams 16 16 -
Apples and products 0 0 2500-3000
Tomatoes and products 29 5 500-700
Onions 3 1 500-500
Oranges, Mandarines 2 1 600-1200
Peas 6 19 -
Roots, Other 19 17 -
Seeds and kernels 0 0 1000-1000
Pineapples and products 19 5 -
Cream 0 0 1000-2000
Lemons, Limes and products 3 0 500-500


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). Living Wage Globally. Amsterdam, WageIndicator Foundation
WageIndicator Wages in Context Map with the latest updates
All You Always wanted to Know about Living Wages