Living Wage Series - Vietnam - January 2018 - In Dong, per Month

Living wages, Wages in context - Vietnam

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 Dong)

  Typical family Standard family Single-adult
  from-to from-to from-to
Food 3806000-5162300 3806000-5162300 951500-1290600
Housing 2500000-3360000 2500000-3360000 1264700-1694100
Transport 200000-300000 200000-300000 100000-150000
Health 500000-1000000 500000-1000000 125000-250000
Education 1000000-1500000 1000000-1500000 0
Other costs 400300-566100 400300-566100 122100-169200
Total Expenditure 8406300-11888400 8406300-11888400 2563300-3553900
Net Living Wage 4670167-6604667 4670167-6604667 2563300-3553900
Gross Living Wage 5183900-7331200 5183900-7331200 2845300-3944800

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.


Family Living Wages (monthly rates in Dong)

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.

  from-to
Typical family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 5183900-7331200
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 5183900-7331200
Two parents and two children, 2 working 4665500-6598100
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 6220700-8797400
Two parents and two children, 1 working 9331000-13196100
Two parents and three children, 1.8 working 5799900-8166900
Two parents and four children, 1.8 working 6416100-9002500
Single-adult without children, 1 working 2845300-3944800

Note: Results in the table are rounded.


Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in Dong)

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 2150000 2400000 2580000 2760000
Living Wage - Single Adult 2889300-4011500 2794700-4297400 2800000-4005200 2845300-3944800
Living Wage - Typical Family 5170900-7027500 4916300-7525600 4910900-7200800 5183900-7331200
Real wage of low-skilled worker 6295200-6981300 4759400-5365100 4457400-5040600 4893500-5372100
Real wage of medium-skilled worker 5464600-7089900 5640400-7792100 5502600-7476500 5472400-7280100
Real wage of high-skilled worker 7409100-1.02e+07 8175100-1.19e+07 7699700-1.10e+07 7641200-1.08e+07

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 Dong

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 itemGrams per dayEnergy (kcal)Price per kilo
Wheat, barley and cereals products 23 63 15000-22000
Rice 313 1098 12000-15000
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 129 342 90000-130000
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 6 56 35000-40000
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 44 77 17000-19000
Maize and products 21 65 20000-30000
Milk - Excluding Butter 35 21 25000-30000
Vegetables, Other 308 71 13000-20000
Potatoes and products 8 6 13000-15000
Butter, Ghee 5 38 .-.
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 22 59 50000-50000
Pulses, Other and products 3 9 50000-55000
Cassava and products 18 17 10000-11000
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 8 12 27500-30000
Sunflowerseed Oil 0 0 50000-70000
Fish products 71 41 60000-80000
Beer 28 13 20000-24000
Sweeteners, Other 1 2 18000-19000
Beans 4 12 15000-15000
Sweet potatoes 11 10 15000-17000
Bananas 40 25 12000-15000
Soyabeans 12 48 28000-28000
Apples and products 2 1 35000-52500
Onions 11 4 15500-20000
Oranges, Mandarines 12 3 25000-30000
Wine 0 0 160000-200000
Pineapples and products 12 3 12000-20000
Cream 0 0 40000-65000
Olives (including preserved) 0 0 200000-202000
Honey 0 0 160000-200000
Lemons, Limes and products 0 0 15000-20000
Tea (including mate) 2 1 100000-200000
Grapefruit and products 10 2 40000-40000
Coffee and products 0 0 120000-200000


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.