Anker Living Wage and Living Income Research Institute


To engage in and disseminate high quality research, analysis, and training related to living wage and living income (based on the Anker methodology) to inform and influence companies, empower working people, and shape public policy, thereby helping to enhance quality of life and sustainable livelihoods for working people and their families everywhere.


Working people and their families everywhere have a decent standard of living.


Our Work

Who We Are


The Anker Research Institute…

Estimates credible, widely accepted, and internationally comparable living wages and living incomes for countries and locations.

Engages in and publishes action-oriented research to create knowledge with an international perspective on topics related to living wages and living incomes, as well as livelihoods, poverty, and wages.

Advises standards organizations, companies, NGOs, trade unions, and governments on how to measure prevailing wages, how to determine whether a living wage is being paid, and how to close living wage gaps.

Informs, influences and shapes the public debate on wages, livelihoods, and poverty, with the ultimate goal to promote justice and sustainability in global trade.

Improves the ability of trade unions and working people everywhere to bargain for and attain higher wages and incomes through the provision of information and knowledge.

Disseminates as a free public good the Institute’s research outputs and living wage and living income estimates.

Our Work

Anker Living Wage and Living Income Benchmark Methodology

The Anker Research Institute is best known for its robust methodology for measuring living wages and living incomes. One aspect of its work is conducting studies to continuously expand the number of countries and locations for which a full Anker Benchmark study is available and to update all published benchmark estimates every year. The Anker Methodology is recognized as a “gold standard” by many organizations, including Fairtrade International, Rainforest Alliance, Social Accountability International (SAI), ISEAL, Aquaculture Stewardship Council, Bonsucro, Fair Trade USA, Union for Ethical BioTrade, IDH the Sustainable Trade Initiative, RSPO, Living Income Community of Practice, Tiffany and Co., Patagonia,  and many others. Learn more.

Research Issues

The Institute also conducts research that explores the drivers of income inequality and areas where wage improvement efforts will have the greatest impact, including on vulnerable groups such as migrant and gig workers, gender pay gaps, in-kind benefits as a component of living wages, minimum wage policies, and workers in lower tiers of global supply chains.

Anker National Reference Values

The Reference Value methodology for estimating country-level living wages and living incomes (for rural or urban areas) enables the Institute to provide estimates more quickly than the full Anker Benchmark methodology, but still produces internationally comparable values that are easily updated every year. Learn more.

Anker Sub-National Estimates

Sub-national estimates are an extension of the Anker Research Institute Benchmark and National Reference Value methodologies. They provide location-specific living wage and living income estimates. Sub-national estimates use secondary data analysis and comparisons between locations within a country to adjust the Institute’s existing living wage and living income Benchmarks and National Reference Values.

Who we are

The Anker Research Institute includes a global network of researchers and research institutions in many countries around the world with the goal of generating knowledge to improve the living standards of working people and their families to a decent level throughout global supply chains. The Institute is led by Richard Anker and Martha Anker, and is currently hosted by Social Accountability International (SAI) in New York, USA.

The Anker Research Institute is a founding member of the Global Living Wage Coalition (GLWC) and works closely with the GLWC’s Action Network in a unique knowledge-action partnership to improve the effectiveness of living wage strategies and to generate wage improvements worldwide.

Support the Institute

The Anker Research Institute has begun a Living Wage and Income Corporate Sponsors Program to make it possible for the Anker Research Institute to continue providing its groundbreaking research on living wages and sustainable livelihoods as a public good to improve the living standards of workers and their families to a decent level throughout global supply chains. Sponsors provide a tax-deductible annual gift to the Institute that helps sustain its general and research operations. In appreciation for their support, Corporate Sponsors receive recognition of their impact, access to exclusive webinars and events, and a space to interact with one another regarding living wages and incomes.