© Christian Dubovan / Unsplash / Domaine public
In its recent publication on the links between work and social cohesion, statistics service Statec evaluated the minimum income required to live comfortably in the Grand Duchy.
The question is deceptively simply: how much do you need to earn every month in order to afford a decent living in Luxembourg?
A couple of year ago, Luxembourg's statistics service Statec carried out a study that dove into the question whether or not the generic at-risk-of-poverty rate calculated by the European Union also made sense in Luxembourg, where living costs are known to be comparatively high. The same rate makes it possible to calculate the minimum required to live decently. Statec set the threshold at 65% of the national median disposable income (after social transfers). The EU set the threshold at 60%.
Since 2016, Statec has deepened its analysis to give a concrete estimate of the income required to live comfortably in the Grand Duchy. They took into account factors like average rent prices, political developments (think free transport and school books for young people, service vouchers,...) and the costs of indispensable goods and service .
The minimum you need to live comfortably in 2019? €2,100
In June 2019, an income of more than €2,100 was required for a single person to face his or her expenses and live comfortably in Luxembourg. The "reference budget of a single man and a single woman," Statec explains, amounts to €2,115 and €2,105 respectively. Housing already constitutes half of the budget, well ahead of food and travel-related costs.
The reference budget does not increase in proportion to the number of people living in a household. In other words, a childless couple does not need twice as much as a single person to live decently in Luxembourg. Rather than more than €4,000, a couple needs €2,912 per month. A single parent needs a similar income: €2,842 per month.
Unsurprisingly, the required income increases when a couple has children. In 2019, a family of two adults and two children needed around €4,213 to live decently. This estimate takes into account the general increase of prices.
Statec also noted that the minimum wage for single adults and single parents cannot always cover basic needs, even if individuals in question receive social benefits.
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