The Living Income Community of Practice defines living income as:
"The net annual income required for a household in a particular place to afford a decent standard of living for all members of that household."
"Elements of a decent standard of living include: food, water, housing, education, healthcare, transport, clothing, and other essential needs including provision for unexpected events".
The video on the left explains the concept and all of it's components in more detail.
The concept of living income goes a step beyond traditional notions of poverty alleviation that are concerned with basic subsistence and survival. It puts a strong emphasis on the idea of decency and earning enough income to live comfortably.
When thinking about income, as opposed to wages, it is important to recognise that the income that a household earns can come from multiple sources. In the case of smallholder farmers for example, income can be earned through off farm business and remittances as well as from crop sales.
This income needs to cover the costs of decent living for it to be considered a living income.
Calculating the cost of a decent standard of living in a particular place, therefore, gives you a living income benchmark. Click here to learn how one might go about calculating such a benchmark and click here to learn about the applications of such a benchmark.