Living Wage Series - Netherlands - September 2019 - In Euro, 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 EUR)

  Typical family Standard family Single-adult
  from-to from-to from-to
Food expenses 400-545 435-585 110-145
Housing expenses 730-900 730-900 485-590
Transport expenses 140-180 140-180 70-90
Healthcare expenses 100-150 100-150 25-38
Education expenses 60-100 60-100 0
Other expenses 71-94 73-96 34-43
Total Expenditure 1501-1969 1538-2011 724-906
Net Living Wage 938-1231 854-1117 724-906
Gross Living Wage 1180-1550 1080-1410 910-1140

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.


Family Living Wages (monthly rates in EUR)

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 + 1.7 children, 1.6 working) 1180-1550
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 1080-1410
Two parents and two children, 2 working 970-1270
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 1290-1690
Two parents and two children, 1 working 1940-2540
Two parents and three children, 1.6 working 1300-1710
Two parents and four children, 1.6 working 1390-1830
Single-adult without children, 1 working 910-1140

Note: Results in the table are rounded.


Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in EUR)

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 1525 1552 1578 1616
Living Wage - Single Adult 780-1030 790-1010 820-1060 910-1140
Living Wage - Typical Family 1070-1450 1090-1450 1100-1470 1180-1550
Real wage of low-skilled worker 1420-1650 1440-1670 1540-1780 1640-1880
Real wage of medium-skilled worker 1720-2090 1780-2150 1840-2210 1910-2290
Real wage of high-skilled worker 2230-2800 2280-2850 2350-2920 2430-3020

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 EUR

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 153 444 2-2.4
Rice 5 19 1-1.5
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 166 279 6-8
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 26 233 -
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 78 277 1-1.7
Maize and products 5 11 2-2.5
Milk - Excluding Butter 628 309 .8-1
Vegetables, Other 110 40 .9-1.1
Potatoes and products 167 111 1-1.5
Butter, Ghee 9 66 2-3
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 17 43 2-4.4
Pulses, Other and products 1 3 1.8-2
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 26 36 1.3-1.7
Sunflowerseed Oil 1 5 1-1.2
Fish products 41 32 8-12
Beer (0.5 liter/pint) 98 48 1.6-1.8
Sweeteners, Other 3 7 1-1
Beans 1 2 1.2-2
Sweet potatoes 2 1 2-2.5
Bananas 11 8 1-1.9
Soyabeans 0 0 3-4.5
Yams 0 0 2-4
Apples and products 60 28 1.5-2
Tomatoes and products 46 11 1.8-2.2
Onions 3 1 1-1.3
Oranges, Mandarines 161 36 2-2.5
Plantains 2 1 1.5-2
Peas 2 5 1.9-2.2
Roots, Other 0 0 1-1.5
Seeds and kernels 0 5 3-4
Wine (bottle) 38 26 5.3-6.7
Pineapples and products 8 3 2.2-2.2
Cream 0 0 4-7
Olives (including preserved) 1 1 4-6
Honey 1 3 3-4.5
Citrus, Other 0 0 2-2
Lemons, Limes and products 4 1 2-2
Tea (including mate) 2 1 3-5
Grapefruit and products 15 2 2-3
Coffee and products 4 2 4-5


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