Decent Wages in Bangladesh - October 2017 - Per month in BDT

The Living Wage is based on the concept that work should provide an adequate income to cover the necessary living costs of a family. WageIndicator uses prices from the Cost of Living Survey to calculate Living Wage for 60 countries. The Living Wage is an approximate income needed to meet a family’s basic needs including food, housing, transport, health, education, tax deductions and other necessities.

The following table summarises the varying expenditure and income needs for the three commonly occurring family household compositions.

Expenditure and Living Wage calculation (monthly rates in Taka)

  Typical family   Standard family   Single-adult  
  from to from to from to
Food 4890 6480 4660 6170 1170 1540
Housing 4100 5400 4100 5400 2460 3450
Transport 1000 2000 1000 2000 500 1000
Health 900 1500 900 1500 225 375
Education 1000 2000 1000 2000 0 0
Other costs 595 870 585 855 215 320
Total Expenditure 12485 18250 12245 17925 4570 6685
Net Living Wage 7344 10735 6803 9958 4570 6685
Gross Living Wage 8080 11800 7490 11000 5030 7360

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.

Family Living Wages (monthly rates in Taka)

There is not a single answer to what is the adequate cost of living. The result is complex, as the cost of living varies by household composition, location, and employment pattern. The following table presents the Living Wage estimates for a set of most common family household compositions and under different assumptions about working hours.

  from to
Typical family (two parents + 2.2 children, 1.7 working) 8080 11800
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 7490 11000
Two parents and two children, 2 working 6740 9860
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 8980 13200
Two parents and two children, 1 working 13500 19700
Two parents and three children, 1.7 working 8710 12700
Two parents and four children, 1.7 working 9510 13700
Single-adult without children, 1 working 5030 7360

Note: Results in the table are rounded.

Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in Taka)

The Minimum Wage is a national legally binding obligation on employers which often make no reference to a living standard. Living Wage describes the adequate living standard. The common goal of the many living wage campaigns currently taking place all over the world is to lift Minimum Wages levels to those of the Living Wages. WageIndicator presents Living Wages jointly with Minimum Wages, aiming to raise awareness concerning the remaining differences in levels. Living Wages are presented in context with other wage indicators including prevailing wages of workers over recent years.

  2014 . 2015 . 2016 . 2017 .
  from to from to from to from to
Minimum wage 1500 1500 1500 1500 1500 1500 1500 1500
Living Wage - Single Adult . . . . . . 5030 7360
Living Wage - Typical Family . . . . . . 8080 11800
Real wage of low-skilled worker . . . . . . 3080 4650
Real wage of medium-skilled worker . . . . . . 3390 5290
Real wage of high-skilled worker . . . . . . 4850 8900

Note: Table shows the lowest monthly Minimum Wage in a country, when available. Reported monthly earnings of workers in low-, medium-, and high-skilled occupations are obtained from the voluntary WageIndicator web survey on work and wages. Results in the table are rounded.


Food basket and food prices in Taka

The food expenditure is the main component of Living Wage and it is determined by the price of food basket. The food prices are taken from WageIndicator Cost of Living Survey which collects the actual prices of all items necessary to calculate the Living Wage. The composition of the food basket is taken from the national food balance sheets published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The food basket is scaled to 2,100 calories per person per day that is the nutritional requirement for good health proposed by World Bank (Handbook on poverty and inequality, 2009).

Food itemGrams per dayEnergy (kcal)Price per kilo fromto
Wheat, barley and cereals 42 132 40 70
Rice 411 1494 30 40
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 11 17 140 380
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 15 134 85 92.5
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 22 62 40 40
Maize and products 2 7 . .
Milk - Excluding Butter 52 32 55 60
Vegetables, Other 39 12 30 40
Potatoes and products 111 79 25 30
Butter, Ghee 1 7 700 800
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 2 4 100 120
Pulses, Other and products 9 31 100 120
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 5 8 80 80
Fish products 46 30 200 250
Beans 1 3 30 40
Sweet potatoes 4 3 20 25
Bananas 11 7 . .
Soyabeans 1 5 . .
Apples and products 2 1 120 130
Tomatoes and products 4 1 60 100
Onions 22 9 40 45
Oranges, Mandarines 2 1 130 150
Peas 6 21 40 60
Roots, Other 0 0 20 30
Cream 0 0 120 150
Olives (including preserved) 0 0 30 30
Honey 0 0 300 400
Tea (including mate) 1 1 255 300

WageIndicator Living Wage background:

The WageIndicator Living Wage is set to provide acceptable living standard to a family of a particular size. WageIndicator presents Living Wages for several household types and working hours which reflect the most frequently found real situations in which people have to make a living: 1. Typical family Living Wage is a baseline estimate that respects the country specific conditions. Typical family is comprised of two adults and the number of children is given by country specific fertility rate (the average number of children a woman is expected to have during her lifespan). One adult is working full-time and the working hours of second adult are approximated by national employment rate. The total income earned by two adults paid living wage is sufficient to reach adequate living standard. 2. Standard family Living Wage is estimated for a family composed of two adults and two children (referred to as family 2+2). Living wage is calculated under different assumptions about working hours. These include that both adults work full-time (family employment rate is 2), or at least one adult works part-time or half-time (family employment rate is 1.8 and 1.5), or one adult does not work at all (i.e. patriarchal model with family employment 1). Alternatives refer to trade-offs between leisure and work and define what living wage represents. In every case the total income earned by two adults paid living wage is sufficient to reach adequate living standard. 3. Extended family Living Wage includes family with three or four children. One adult works full-time and the work intensity of second parent is approximated by national employment rate. 4. Individual Living Wage represents an acceptable standard of living for a single individual working full-time.

Data sources: WageIndicator Cost of Living Survey, World Bank Databank Fertility rate 2010-2014, ILO Estimated participation rate in 2017, FAO Food balance sheet in 2013.

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