Living Wage Series - Kenya - December 2018 - In Kenyan Shilling, 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 Kenyan Shilling)

  Typical family Standard family Single-adult
  from-to from-to from-to
Food 22900-30300 14300-18900 3570-4730
Housing 15000-17500 15000-17500 6500-8440
Transport 5600-6500 5600-6500 2800-3250
Health 3000-5000 3000-5000 750-1250
Education 5000-10000 5000-10000 0
Other costs 2570-3470 2150-2900 680-885
Total Expenditure 54070-72770 45050-60800 14300-18555
Net Living Wage 30039-40428 25028-33778 14300-18555
Gross Living Wage 36100-48500 30000-40500 17200-22300

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.


Family Living Wages (monthly rates in Kenyan Shilling)

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 + 4.4 children, 1.8 working) 36100-48500
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 30000-40500
Two parents and two children, 2 working 27000-36500
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 36000-48600
Two parents and two children, 1 working 54100-73000
Two parents and three children, 1.8 working 32600-43800
Two parents and four children, 1.8 working 35000-47200
Single-adult without children, 1 working 17200-22300

Note: Results in the table are rounded.


Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in Kenyan Shilling)

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 4854 5436 6896 6896
Living Wage - Single Adult 15800-22100 15700-20600 15700-21400 17200-22300
Living Wage - Typical Family 34400-47000 33700-45400 34700-47500 36100-48500
Real wage of low-skilled worker 12100-18300 12600-19400 12500-19200 12400-18900
Real wage of medium-skilled worker 22400-34400 21600-33600 22200-34600 21600-33000
Real wage of high-skilled worker 37800-61200 37800-62500 38300-63100 36900-59700

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.

Kenya Graph

Food basket and food prices in Kenyan Shilling

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 104 282 100-100
Rice 34 119 100-125
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 43 77 400-480
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 15 133 128-167
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 122 166 100-120
Maize and products 203 645 50-70
Milk - Excluding Butter 253 159 54-70
Vegetables, Other 101 22 80-100
Potatoes and products 111 79 50-80
Butter, Ghee 2 18 250-400
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 11 24 150-170
Pulses, Other and products 12 41 120-200
Cassava and products 65 68 50-100
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 5 6 117-125
Sunflowerseed Oil 1 5 160-300
Fish products 11 8 385-500
Beer (0.5 liter/pint) 28 12 300-400
Sweeteners, Other 1 4 100-120
Beans 28 95 80-100
Sweet potatoes 62 61 50-100
Bananas 71 43 60-100
Soyabeans 1 2 200-240
Yams 1 1 99-200
Apples and products 1 0 180-280
Tomatoes and products 28 6 80-100
Onions 5 2 80-100
Oranges, Mandarines 7 2 100-150
Plantains 2 2 50-80
Peas 1 3 100-170
Roots, Other 1 1 60-100
Seeds and kernels 1 6 90-100
Wine (bottle) 0 0 800-933
Pineapples and products 4 2 -
Cream 1 2 150-250
Olives (including preserved) 0 0 250-400
Honey 1 2 325-500
Citrus, Other 6 2 70-100
Lemons, Limes and products 1 0 100-100
Tea (including mate) 5 2 150-250
Grapefruit and products 0 0 400-430
Coffee and products 0 0 300-400


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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