Living Wage Series - Tanzania - September 2019- In Tanzanian Shilling, 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 TZS)

  Typical family Standard family Single-adult
  from-to from-to from-to
Food expenses 462500-602700 260600-339600 65200-84900
Housing expenses 140000-200000 140000-200000 64300-129900
Transport expenses 41600-60000 41600-60000 20800-30000
Healthcare expenses 80000-100000 80000-100000 20000-25000
Education expenses 50000-80000 50000-80000 0
Other expenses 38700-52100 28600-39000 8510-13500
Total Expenditure 812800-1094800 600800-818600 178810-283300
Net Living Wage 451556-608222 333778-454778 178810-283300
Gross Living Wage 578000-778500 427200-582100 228900-362600

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.


Family Living Wages (monthly rates in TZS)

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 + 5.1 children, 1.8 working) 578000-778500
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 427200-582100
Two parents and two children, 2 working 384500-523900
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 512700-698500
Two parents and two children, 1 working 769000-1047800
Two parents and three children, 1.8 working 475900-645500
Two parents and four children, 1.8 working 524500-708900
Single-adult without children, 1 working 228900-362600

Note: Results in the table are rounded.


Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in TZS)

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 65000 65000 65000 65000
Living Wage - Single Adult - - - 228900-362600
Living Wage - Typical Family - - - 578000-778500
Real wage of low-skilled worker 266400-446900 282700-452700 254200-457100 261200-455200
Real wage of medium-skilled worker 371600-620300 376900-624500 331900-583700 323700-566300
Real wage of high-skilled worker 644900-1020800 634200-988400 559000-955700 571300-951600

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 TZS

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 72 213 2000-2000
Rice 57 201 1800-2000
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 31 50 7000-10000
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 14 121 2500-3500
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 44 99 2000-2000
Maize and products 158 515 500-1500
Milk - Excluding Butter 109 58 1500-2000
Vegetables, Other 93 22 1500-2000
Potatoes and products 60 42 1500-2000
Butter, Ghee 2 20 -
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 38 115 -
Pulses, Other and products 21 70 1500-2000
Cassava and products 197 138 1500-1500
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 2 2 3000-4000
Sunflowerseed Oil 5 42 4000-4750
Fish products 15 12 7000-9000
Beer (0.5 liter/pint) 22 10 5000-6970
Sweeteners, Other 0 1 2000-2000
Beans 35 119 1800-2000
Sweet potatoes 126 121 1500-2000
Bananas 103 62 2000-2210
Yams 0 0 2000-2000
Apples and products 1 0 4000-5000
Tomatoes and products 21 4 2000-2500
Onions 8 3 2000-2000
Oranges, Mandarines 19 6 1500-2000
Plantains 30 27 1000-1500
Peas 0 0 1500-2000
Seeds and kernels 6 15 1500-2500
Wine (bottle) 0 0 13300-16700
Pineapples and products 18 6 -
Cream 0 0 2400-5500
Olives (including preserved) 1 2 2000-4500
Honey 2 5 5000-11000
Citrus, Other 2 1 1500-2000
Lemons, Limes and products 1 0 500-1000
Tea (including mate) 0 0 4000-6000


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