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Congo, Democratic Republic

World bank, 2020
Poverty headcount ratio at $2.15 a day (2017 PPP) (% of population)
Population below international poverty line

Equivalent to 7,075 Congolese francs per worker per day, or 172,630 Congolese francs per month. 
WageIndicator Foundation, 2024

per month
National minimum wage

Equivalent to 486,979 Congolese francs for a typical family in rural Democratic Republic of Congo per month.
Global Living Wage Coalition, 2023

per month
Rural living income
World bank, 2022
Employment in agriculture (% of total employment) (modeled ILO estimate)
Agricultural workforce
World bank, 2022
Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value added (% of GDP)
Agriculture share of GDP

ITUC Global Rights Index, 2023
Systematic violation of rights.

Risk to workers' rights


The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has a population of approximately 99 million people.[1] A slight majority of population live in rural areas 53%[2], while 46%[3] live in urban areas. Agriculture is a major source of employment for the country, accounting for 56% of the workforce.[4] The sector represents 17% of the national GDP.[5] The country is plagued by poverty, with almost 80% of its population living below the poverty line, earning less than USD 2.15 a day.

The DRC is the second largest country in the African continent, and its forest is considered one of the two "lungs of the world", along with the rainforests of the Amazon. So far, 10 million of the country’s 80 million hectares of arable land are cultivated, which suggests a potential for growth. In rural areas, family farming guarantees food and nutritional security for millions of Congolese. However, small producers face difficulties in accessing inputs, markets and evacuating their products to marketing and processing centers, due to poor road conditions and the lack of a fair and remunerative price. These restrictions affect the development of family farming in rural areas.[6] Still recovering from a series of conflicts that broke out in the 1990s, rural young people flee rural poverty, tension, and conflict for the outskirts of cities in search of work. The agricultural sector, however, is still key for the country's economy as it employs more than half of the national workforce.[7]

The top produced commodities in DRC are cassava, plantains, maize, sugar cane, and palm oil fruit.[8] The top exported commodities in terms of quantity are wheat bran, cocoa beans, palm oil, rubber and green coffee.[9] 

  1. ^ World Bank (2022).
  2. ^ World Bank (2022).
  3. ^ World Bank (2022).
  4. ^ [4] World Bank (2022).
  5. ^ World Bank (2022).
  6. ^ FAO. Family Farming Knowledge Platform.
  7. ^ IFAD. Country Profiles: Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  8. ^ FAOSTAT (2021).
  9. ^ FAOSTAT (2021).


Minimum Wage

The minimum wage in DRC is set by law at 7,075 Congolese Francs (2.3 EUR) per worker per day or 172,630 Congolese Francs (57 EUR) per worker per month, based on 24.4 working days.[1] The minimum wage is above the poverty line, but in practice most businesses are not in compliance with this minimum wage and face few penalties. Due to lack of monitoring or enforcement mechanisms, rest periods and premium pay for overtime are often disrespected. It is estimated that in the DRC approximately 90% of laborers working in agriculture, as well as other informal pursuits, deal with hazardous or exploitative working conditions without employers facing penalties.[2] 

  1. ^ Wage Indicator Foundation (2024). Minimum Wage-Congo.
  2. ^ U.S. Department of State. 2019 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Living income

The Global Living Wage Coalition has developed a Living Income reference value for rural Democratic Republic of Congo based on the Anker methodology.

The Anker Living Income Reference Value for 2023 in rural DRC is estimated at 486,979 Congolese Francs (161 EUR) per month. This value represents the amount a typical family in rural DRC needs to cover the monthly cost of a basic but decent standard of living. The living income estimate is higher than the income of a family which earns the national minimum wage. The study highlights further analysis and quality-assured studies are still needed to measure more precisely living income gaps for specific rural locations in DRC.[1] 

  1. ^ Global Living Wage Coalition (2023). Anker Living Income Reference Value: Rural Democratic Republic of Congo.

What's happening


Living Income Reference Value, Rural Democratic Republic of Congo

Living income estimate for a typical family in rural Democratic Republic of Congo to cover the monthly cost of a basic but decent standard of living.


Democratic Republic of Congo: Jobs Diagnostic

The report analyses the main challenges - at macro, firm, and household levels - that the country faces in creating jobs, specifically inclusive jobs for women and youth.

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