Living Wage Series - Bulgaria - September 2019 - 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.

Interested to implement WageIndicator's Living Wages in your organisation's compensation and benefits, using data that is updated every quarter? Learn about the database options and rates and the countries and regions covered. For academic use, data on Living Wages and the cost of living can be acquired for free.

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 BGN)

  Typical family Standard family Single-adult
  from-to from-to from-to
Food expenses 495-600 565-690 140-170
Housing expenses 255-400 255-400 150-225
Transport expenses 80-100 80-100 40-50
Healthcare expenses 100-125 100-125 25-31
Education expenses 50-50 50-50 0
Other expenses 49-64 53-68 18-24
Total Expenditure 1029-1339 1103-1433 373-500
Net Living Wage 686-893 613-796 373-500
Gross Living Wage 870-1140 780-1010 475-635

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.


Family Living Wages (monthly rates in BGN)

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, 1.5 working) 870-1140
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 780-1010
Two parents and two children, 2 working 700-910
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 935-1220
Two parents and two children, 1 working 1400-1820
Two parents and three children, 1.5 working 1060-1370
Two parents and four children, 1.5 working 1190-1520
Single-adult without children, 1 working 475-635

Note: Results in the table are rounded.


Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in BGN)

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 420 460 510 560
Living Wage - Single Adult 465-580 460-610 475-625 475-635
Living Wage - Typical Family 865-1070 860-1100 875-1120 870-1140
Real wage of low-skilled worker 605-785 645-850 745-995 840-1170
Real wage of medium-skilled worker 565-755 645-880 720-995 890-1320
Real wage of high-skilled worker 810-1140 920-1310 1040-1480 1300-1980

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 BGN

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 285 745 1.6-1.9
Rice 5 21 1.6-2
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 126 192 8-10
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 9 76 1.5-2
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 57 204 -
Maize and products 58 156 -
Milk - Excluding Butter 337 205 1.9-2
Vegetables, Other 92 17 1-1.6
Potatoes and products 60 38 .8-1
Butter, Ghee 15 112 -
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 6 15 -
Pulses, Other and products 1 4 -
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 19 27 24-28
Sunflowerseed Oil 20 183 -
Fish products 16 11 -
Beer (0.5 liter/pint) 164 80 2.4-3.9
Sweeteners, Other 5 12 -
Beans 4 12 3-5
Sweet potatoes 0 0 1-2
Bananas 9 6 2.3-2.5
Apples and products 14 6 2-2
Tomatoes and products 41 8 1.6-2
Onions 14 6 .8-1
Oranges, Mandarines 16 5 -
Plantains 1 1 -
Peas 0 1 -
Seeds and kernels 5 17 4-4
Wine (bottle) 27 20 -
Cream 0 0 8-10
Olives (including preserved) 5 6 -
Lemons, Limes and products 4 1 4-4.5
Grapefruit and products 3 1 -
Coffee and products 13 6 -


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



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