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

  Typical family Standard family Single-adult
  from-to from-to from-to
Food expenses 495-635 565-725 140-180
Housing expenses 810-825 810-825 420-435
Transport expenses 120-140 120-140 60-70
Healthcare expenses 79-220 79-220 20-55
Education expenses 78-265 78-265 0
Other expenses 79-105 83-110 32-37
Total Expenditure 1661-2190 1735-2285 672-777
Net Living Wage 1038-1369 964-1269 672-777
Gross Living Wage 1520-2000 1410-1860 980-1140

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 + 1.5 children, 1.6 working) 1520-2000
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 1410-1860
Two parents and two children, 2 working 1270-1670
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 1690-2230
Two parents and two children, 1 working 2540-3340
Two parents and three children, 1.6 working 1720-2260
Two parents and four children, 1.6 working 1850-2430
Single-adult without children, 1 working 980-1140

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 1440 1498 1498 1553
Living Wage - Single Adult 980-1160 950-1040 935-1080 980-1140
Living Wage - Typical Family 1550-2110 1470-1870 1460-1930 1520-2000
Real wage of low-skilled worker 1550-1850 1660-1990 1750-2120 1790-2180
Real wage of medium-skilled worker 1920-2390 1980-2490 2210-2790 2320-2970
Real wage of high-skilled worker 2860-3590 3080-3920 3400-4360 3490-4510

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 201 577 2-2.5
Rice 10 38 1-2
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 182 273 6.5-8.8
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 75 265 -
Milk - Excluding Butter 1427 666 .6-.7
Vegetables, Other 143 39 .8-1
Potatoes and products 339 232 .7-1
Butter, Ghee 26 184 -
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 67 95 14-16
Fish products 26 28 -
Beer (0.5 liter/pint) 279 137 -
Sweeteners, Other 25 89 -
Bananas 25 15 1.5-1.5
Soyabeans 2 6 -
Apples and products 103 50 2-2
Tomatoes and products 56 12 1.8-2.3
Onions 18 7 .8-1
Oranges, Mandarines 86 26 1.5-2.2
Wine (bottle) 48 33 -
Pineapples and products 7 4 -
Cream 13 26 6-10
Olives (including preserved) 2 3 -
Honey 2 7 -
Lemons, Limes and products 3 1 -
Tea (including mate) 1 1 -
Coffee and products 20 9 -


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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