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World bank, 2016
Poverty headcount ratio at $3.65 a day (2017 PPP) (% of population)
Population below international poverty line

Equivalent to 1,500 Bangladeshi taka per worker per month.
WageIndicator Foundation, 2022

per month
National minimum wage

Equivalent to 23,254 Bangladeshi taka per worker per month (Dhaka city).
Global Living Wage Coalition, 2022

per month
Urban living wage
World bank, 2019
Employment in agriculture (% of total employment) (modeled ILO estimate)
Agricultural workforce
World bank, 2021
Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value added (% of GDP)
Agriculture share of GDP

ITUC Global Rights Index, 2022
No guarantee of rights

very high
Risk to workers' rights


Bangladesh has a population of over 166 million people,[1] with nearly 63% of inhabitants living in rural areas.[2] Approximately 39%[3] of the population is employed in the agricultural sector, which accounts for nearly 12% of the nation’s GDP.[4]

Agriculture supports the majority of the population, with many smallholder households operating in the informal economy.[5] Smallholders make up the majority of farmers in Bangladesh, a group that has a disproportionately high poverty rate compared to the national average. Bangladesh and its farmers are particularly vulnerable to climate change as most of the nation is less than 5 meters above sea level, which significantly predisposes them to flooding.[6]

Rice is the largest commodity in production in Bangladesh, followed by potatoes, maize, sugar cane and fresh milk.[7] In terms of export, the top commodities are jute, non-alcoholic beverages, vegetable oil, cotton waste and potatoes.[8]

  1. ^ World Bank. (2021).
  2. ^ World Bank. (2019).
  3. ^ World Bank. (2021).
  4. ^ World Bank. (2019).
  5. ^ CGAP. (2016). National Survey and Segmentation of Smallholder Households in Bangladesh.
  6. ^ IFAD. (2018). Smallholder Agriculture Competitiveness Project (SACP).
  7. ^ FAOSTAT. (2020).
  8. ^ FAOSTAT. (2020).


Minimum wage

The minimum wage in Bangladesh varies by sector and skill level. The minimum wage for general workers is 1,500 Bangladeshi taka (14 EUR) per month.[1] The garment industry is a significant contributor to the nation’s economic growth.[2] Yet, many workers in Bangladesh are employed in the informal sector were minimum wage regulations and labour laws are difficult to enforce.[3]

Living Wage

The Global Living Wage Coalition has developed 2 Living Wage Benchmarks for urban Bangladesh based on the Anker methodology. One estimate is for Dhaka city, and the other for Dhaka's surrounding satellite cities and districts, while both focus on garnment workers.

In Bangladesh, the garment industry employs over 4 million workers, an estimated 65% of whom are women.[4] The living wage for workers living in Dhaka city is 23,254 Bangladeshi taka (239 EUR) per month, while the estimated living wage for satellite cities surrounding Dhaka is 19,255 Bangladeshi taka (198 EUR) per month. Both benchmarks are based on a family of 4 with 1.58 workers.[5] These living wage estimates are more than twice the minimum wage designated for the garment industry in Bangladesh.

  1. ^ WageIndicator Foundation. (2021).
  2. ^ Global Living Wage Coalition. (2016).
  3. ^ U.S. Department of State (2019).
  4. ^ U.S. Department of State. (2018).
  5. ^ Global Living Wage Coalition (2021). Living Wage Update: March 2021Dhaka, Bangladesh and Satellite Cities.

What's happening


Country study in the garment industry

Country study report looking at labour law and labour conditions in the garment industry in Bangladesh. Fair Wear Foundation, 2018.


The economic lives of smallholder farmers

An analysis of smallholder farmer incomes based on household data from nine countries. FAO, 2015.


Living Wage Benchmark, Urban Bangladesh

Living wage estimates for Dhaka city and for the satellite cities and districts surrounding Dhaka, in urban Bangladesh, with context on the garment industry.


Fair Wear Foundation Wage Ladder

The Fair Wear Foundation Wage Ladder is an easy-to-use online tool that allows the wages paid at any factory to be compared against a range of wage benchmarks.


Labour Minute Costing Calculators

Fair Wear’s Labour Minute Costing Calculators allow brands and factories to calculate labour costs based on a transparent methodology for costing/pricing of goods.

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