Standards of living detailed guide for Victoria III

After learning how to work properly with GDP and how to maintain/increase prestige sustainably, I came across another problem in my playing. And that is that my citizens are dissatisfied because they have low standards of living. I’ve read a few articles on other sites and I believe I can present this better – welcome to a complete guide to living standards.

If you need quick help on how to have bigger standards of living click on the 🌳 icon below and it will take you to the correct section of the article.

If you need more help I have also written a detailed article on how to increase GDP, how improve prestige of your country, article about obligations and how effective colonize more province.

What are living standards and why are they in Victoria III?

From the perspective of a game developer and redactor, I see this part as something that is necessary in a game like Victoria III. Because if resources were only consumed on the factory or market side, there would be virtually no shortage of resources. The living standards provide a “consumption” that limits how many resources are in the game, making the overall process more complex and the game not easy for us players.

How bad can it be? I haven’t had any luck here yet. 🙃

Fortunately, the developers showed a screenshot before the game was released in which we can see what resources you need to provide for your inhabitants and unfortunately for us (players) your inhabitants need practically everything. It looks awfully simple in this picture, but the reality is a bit more complicated…

Developers shared diagram of resident’s needs

… reality in the game and what pops are missing can be found in the detail of needs, where you can see what resources they buy, how much they cost and how much the item contributes to their costs.

If we talk about their costs you have it so, every person works somewhere and for that he receives a wage and with the wage he earns in the game he has to pay his costs. The principle of the market is essential here. If a group of people manage to pay for everything then it’s fine and they will be happy, but otherwise we can expect problems ( they will migrate – change jobs – buy less stuff).

How to find out the current level of living standards?

You can find the detail if you click on the “standard of living” icon. I showed where to go with the mouse in the picture below. You can also see your average standard (underlined in red). You can also look at the different population groups (orange square) and also the long-term trend (green square).

In case you want to see the detail of how each group stands, you need to go to the number of the specific group. As you can see above there are always 2 numbers for each population group. One is the actual (the one on the left) and the other is the minimum expected (the one on the right).

The closer you get to the minimum expected number, the more dissatisfied your residents will be. In order to know what you can improve to improve their standards of living, you need to go to the detailed number below which you have more detail…

The essential information is that 11% of that group of people live below the minimum – so they don’t even reach the basics they need to be happy. It can also be deduced that my residents pay about 17% in taxes on their income, which can be a big cut from their wages and it might make sense to consider reducing taxes.

Another important piece of information is that this population group pays +9.1% of the standard cost for raw materials. If you hover over the number, you will find out what goods they have to buy, how much they cost and how much it contributes to their costs…

… in this case you can see that the group is paying an inordinate amount of money for wood, fabric, services and groceries. Here it would make sense to try to increase production and reduce their costs. In addition, it can be seen that the group pays more for clothing, liquor, tobacco, furniture, and everything has a greater than 5% share of their costs – we can optimize this as well.

And the last piece of information from the pop-up above is that 84.8% of the people in that group work in subsistence building and that is the thing that limits the maximum amount of standards that those residents get.

🌳 How to effectively raise living standards in Victoria III?

The first step is to properly analyse what causes the lack of living standards. Don’t just look at one number (such as the price of raw materials) it may seem like a simple thing, but realistically living standards are affected by many things and you need to keep track of them all.

  1. Give all the people a job at a good wage
  2. Get the raw materials that cost your people a lot of money and make them cheaper
  3. Work efficiently with taxes and government wages
  4. Solve the basic problems that residents have

Step 1: Give all the people a job at a good wage

The first step is that you minimize all the subsistence buildings because they earn just enough to keep the inhabitants from dying, but you can’t work with them properly because they pay for their needs and that’s it. As you can see below the output from one farm is small and therefore it is clear that people cannot have a higher level of satisfaction.

That’s why you want to employ them all somewhere where they will earn you goods that you can then work with somehow. That should be your main task in managing the crisis.

Step 2: Get the raw materials that cost your people a lot of money and make them cheaper

One of the details that went into finding out the above is what raw materials citizens are overpaying for. You want to make these raw materials cheaper as soon as possible. Either you can use the market to try to solve this problem faster or you can build individual buildings that produce the raw materials (this is more sustainable).

If you decide to invest in new buildings you must be careful not to upset the rest of your economy. So, for example, above I found that I have expensive wood. So it would make sense for me to build a logging camp in which I will have the lath creation turned off so more wood will enter the economy…

… but you already know these basic principles, don’t you?

Step 3: Work efficiently with taxes and government wages

Raising taxes is always one of the ways to go if you are short of money in your coffers. After all, you can see how it helped me here, but every tax costs something…

… so I’ve made an overview here so you can see what you get when you raise taxes from the basic rate to higher levels.

  • High Taxes
    • +0,85 land tax
    • +8,5 % income tax
    • +42,5% consumption tax rate
    • -5 legitimacy
    • +25% Radical from standard of livings problems
  • Very High Taxes
    • +1 land tax
    • +10 % income tax
    • +50% consumption tax rate
    • -10 legitimacy
    • +50% Radical from standard of livings problems

This means that if you have problems with standards so by having higher taxes you will create more radical people in case they don’t meet the standards and this can have a negative impact on your government.

If you cut taxes from the “middle” you will have fewer radicals, but you will have less income and the whole situation will be harder to manage. Fortunately, you can always see what effect it will have on your income. Think carefully about this step.

Step 4: Solve the basic problems that residents have

With the previous points you have solved perhaps most of the problems that concern the economy and should bring about a rise in living standards. Maybe I’ll just end with a reminder that you still want to read all the information the game tells you at the end about whether your citizens are happy or not…

… they may want you to change some law that today leads to discrimination against these citizens, or they may work in inefficient factories for low wages while they can work in better jobs for more money. Now you should manage everything, and I am going to look for other complex mechanics that I want to describe here.

I'm Martin, the main creator of this site. I love city builders, transport, and war strategy games. So I create this site to share my love with others! Let's make Tycoon games great again!