Living Wage Series - Bulgaria - December 2018 - In Bulgarian Lev, per Month

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You are looking at an archive page of WageIndicator Living Wages. This data is not comparable with recent data provided by WageIndicator. This is due to revised data cleaning procedures adopted by WageIndicator and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the cost of living globally. Moreover, the national data shown does not reflect the regional data that is used for Living Wage implementation.

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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 Bulgarian Lev)

  Typical family Standard family Single-adult
  from-to from-to from-to
Food 430-515 490-585 125-145
Housing 200-480 200-480 115-275
Transport 66-100 66-100 33-50
Health 100-150 100-150 25-38
Education 50-50 50-50 0
Other costs 42-65 45-68 15-25
Total Expenditure 888-1360 951-1433 313-533
Net Living Wage 555-850 528-796 313-533
Gross Living Wage 705-1080 670-1010 400-675

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.


Family Living Wages (monthly rates in Bulgarian Lev)

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 + 1.5 children, 1.6 working) 705-1080
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 670-1010
Two parents and two children, 2 working 605-910
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 805-1220
Two parents and two children, 1 working 1210-1820
Two parents and three children, 1.6 working 860-1260
Two parents and four children, 1.6 working 960-1390
Single-adult without children, 1 working 400-675

Note: Results in the table are rounded.


Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in Bulgarian Lev)

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 380 420 460 510
Living Wage - Single Adult 425-690 400-660 395-675 400-675
Living Wage - Typical Family 785-1150 705-1070 705-1080 705-1080
Real wage of low-skilled worker 395-475 440-520 440-545 545-740
Real wage of medium-skilled worker 475-600 530-655 535-695 625-860
Real wage of high-skilled worker 655-830 735-925 735-975 975-1440

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.

Bulgaria Graph

Food basket and food prices in Bulgarian Lev

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 263 690 1.8-2
Rice 5 20 1.5-2
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 126 191 8-10
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 8 75 1.5-2.2
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 57 201 1.5-1.8
Maize and products 58 155 -
Milk - Excluding Butter 335 204 2-2
Vegetables, Other 91 16 1.2-2
Potatoes and products 59 38 .7-1
Butter, Ghee 14 104 8-10.8
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 6 14 5-7.5
Pulses, Other and products 1 4 2-4
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 18 25 2-2.2
Sunflowerseed Oil 19 170 2-3
Fish products 15 10 6-10
Beer (0.5 liter/pint) 162 79 2.2-2.4
Sweeteners, Other 5 12 -
Beans 4 12 4-5
Sweet potatoes 0 0 1-2
Bananas 9 5 2.2-2.5
Apples and products 14 6 2-2
Tomatoes and products 41 8 2-2.3
Onions 13 5 .8-1
Oranges, Mandarines 16 5 9-10
Plantains 1 1 2.5-2.9
Peas 0 1 2.5-4
Roots, Other 0 0 1-1.5
Seeds and kernels 5 17 3.5-4
Wine (bottle) 25 18 8-8
Cream 0 0 5-7
Olives (including preserved) 5 5 6-8
Honey 0 0 7.5-9
Lemons, Limes and products 4 1 3-4
Grapefruit and products 3 1 -
Coffee and products 12 5 10-15


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.

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