Living Wage Series - Vietnam - September 2019 - In Dong, 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 VND)

  Typical family Standard family Single-adult
  from-to from-to from-to
Food expenses 3758100-5161300 3758100-5161300 939500-1290300
Housing expenses 2521000-3750000 2521000-3750000 1428600-2000000
Transport expenses 200000-380000 200000-380000 100000-190000
Healthcare expenses 500000-1000000 500000-1000000 125000-250000
Education expenses 1000000-1500000 1000000-1500000 0
Other expenses 399000-589600 399000-589600 129700-186500
Total Expenditure 8378100-12380900 8378100-12380900 2722800-3916800
Net Living Wage 4654500-6878278 4654500-6878278 2722800-3916800
Gross Living Wage 5166500-7634900 5166500-7634900 3022300-4347700

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.


Family Living Wages (monthly rates in VND)

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 children, 1.8 working) 5166500-7634900
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 5166500-7634900
Two parents and two children, 2 working 4649900-6871400
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 6199800-9161900
Two parents and two children, 1 working 9299700-13742800
Two parents and three children, 1.8 working 5774800-8470400
Two parents and four children, 1.8 working 6383100-9305900
Single-adult without children, 1 working 3022300-4347700

Note: Results in the table are rounded.


Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in VND)

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 2400000 2580000 2760000 2920000
Living Wage - Single Adult 2853800-4222000 3105800-4393500 2994700-4368500 3022300-4347700
Living Wage - Typical Family 4809400-7407300 5060300-7586000 5122200-7668100 5166500-7634900
Real wage of low-skilled worker 5819200-7963900 5588900-7318900 5794300-8137500 6777200-9181100
Real wage of medium-skilled worker 5737100-7818800 5810100-7580500 5906700-8267500 6993100-9411400
Real wage of high-skilled worker 7870700-1.14e+07 7648300-1.06e+07 7997800-1.19e+07 9285400-1.33e+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 VND

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 23 63 15000-20000
Rice 313 1098 13000-16000
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 129 342 95000-120000
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 6 56 -
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 44 77 -
Maize and products 21 65 -
Milk - Excluding Butter 35 21 30000-30000
Vegetables, Other 308 71 12000-20000
Potatoes and products 8 6 -
Butter, Ghee 5 38 -
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 22 59 50000-54000
Pulses, Other and products 3 9 20000-50000
Cassava and products 18 17 -
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 8 12 25000-30000
Fish products 71 41 60000-80000
Beer (0.5 liter/pint) 28 13 20000-30000
Sweeteners, Other 1 2 18000-19000
Beans 4 12 15000-20000
Sweet potatoes 11 10 -
Bananas 40 25 15000-20000
Soyabeans 12 48 -
Apples and products 2 1 45000-60000
Onions 11 4 16000-20000
Oranges, Mandarines 12 3 -
Wine (bottle) 0 0 160000-200000
Pineapples and products 12 3 -
Cream 0 0 40000-80000
Olives (including preserved) 0 0 160000-202000
Tea (including mate) 2 1 -
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.

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