Poverty headcount ratio at $3.20 a day (2011 PPP) (% of population)
Different minimum wages for the 4 economic zones.
Equivalent to 4,618,167 Vietnamese dong per worker per month (Economic Zone 4).
Global Living Wage Coaltion, 2020
Equivalent to 7,446,294 Vietnamese dong per worker per month.
Global Living Wage Coalition, 2020
Employment in agriculture (% of total employment) (modeled ILO estimate)
Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value added (% of GDP)
Vietnam has a population of nearly 96.5 million people, with 63% of the population living in rural areas. The urban population has been steadily increasing since the early 1990s, with 37% of the current population living in cities. The agricultural sector is the country’s main employer, with more than a third of the population employed in agriculture, a sector that accounts for nearly 14% of the country’s GDP.
In Vietnam, nearly 40% of the land is agricultural land, the majority of which is dedicated to rice production. Smallholders account for 89% of farmers in Vietnam, with the average family farm cultivating 0.4 hectares. Despite small land sizes and low rates of mechanization, farms are typically highly productive, with Vietnam having the highest on-farm labour productivity among all Asian countries. The shift to intensive agricultural practices has resulted in the use of large amounts of fertilizer, with 97% of smallholders using some type of fertilizer. High yields may be attributed to fertilizer use, however, such fertilizers have increased environmental detriments and are cost intensive.
Rice is the top commodity in Vietnam, both in terms of production and export quantity. In terms of export value, rice, coffee, and cashew nuts are the top three commodities, respectively, and all three represent nearly identical export values.
The government mandated minimum wage in Vietnam varies by region, ranging from 3,070,000 Vietnamese dong (108 EUR) to 4,420,000 (156 EUR) Vietnamese dong per month. However, labour laws are not always effectively enforced in Vietnam, where overtime is a recurrent problem in most factories. Specifically, in the informal economy, low incomes and exceeding working hours prevail.
The Global Living Wage Coalition provides two living wage benchmarks; one benchmark for rural Vietnam which focuses on the livelihoods of workers in the seafood processing industry and a benchmark for urban Vietnam, which focuses on the garment industry. Both wages are based on a family of 4 with 1.87 workers in rural Vietnam and 1.78 workers in Ho Chi Minh city, urban Vietnam.
The living wage estimate for rural Vietnam is 4,618,167 Vietnamese dong (163 EUR) per month.  This estimate is an updated version, to account for inflation in the country, of a previous living wage benchmark estimate that was derived from research in the Soc Trang and Thai Binh provinces. In these areas the majority of the population is rural and aquaculture, specifically the shrimp industry, is highly valuable to the provincial economy. Shrimp processing plays an important role in rural Vietnam, where many rural households are dependent on this economic activity to sustain their livelihoods. The current minimum wage in the rural areas of Soc Trang and Thai Binh provinces is 3,070,000 Vietnamese dong (108 EUR) per month. Consequently, the estimated living wage in these regions is approximately 35% higher than the general minimum wage established in these rural areas. 
The living wage for urban Vietnam, specifically in Ho Chi Minh City, is estimated at 7,446,294 Vietnamese dong (262 EUR) per month. This living wage estimate is the updated version of a previous estimate based on research concerning workers in the garment and textile industry in the districts of Binh Tan, Thu Duc and Cu Chi. Garment and textile is one of Vietnam’s largest industries and employs 2.5 million workers directly and another 2 million indirectly in supporting industries. Young women make up a large majority of the garment labor force as the account for more than 80% of the workforce in the sector. Although the garment industry has been a major contributor to the nation’s economic growth, according to the original living wage benchmark in the region, the prevailing monthly wages for garment workers are almost one third below the estimated living wage.