Living Wage Series - Bangladesh - September 2019 - In Taka, per Month

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 in more than 70 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 BDT)

  Typical family Standard family Single-adult
  from-to from-to from-to
Food expenses 6360-7900 6200-7710 1550-1930
Housing expenses 7000-8890 7000-8890 2800-3950
Transport expenses 2000-2400 2000-2400 1000-1200
Healthcare expenses 1350-2000 1350-2000 340-500
Education expenses 1200-2000 1200-2000 0
Other expenses 895-1160 890-1150 285-380
Total Expenditure 18805-24350 18640-24150 5973-7960
Net Living Wage 11753-15219 10356-13417 5973-7960
Gross Living Wage 12900-16700 11400-14800 6570-8760

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.


Family Living Wages (monthly rates in BDT)

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.

Typical family (two parents + 2.1 children, 1.6 working) 12900-16700
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 11400-14800
Two parents and two children, 2 working 10300-13300
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 13700-17700
Two parents and two children, 1 working 20500-26600
Two parents and three children, 1.6 working 13900-18000
Two parents and four children, 1.6 working 15100-19400
Single-adult without children, 1 working 6570-8760

Note: Results in the table are rounded.


Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in BDT)

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.

  2016 2017 2018 2019
Minimum wage 1500 1500 1500 1500
Living Wage - Single Adult 5600-8010 6550-8690 6370-8520 6580-8760
Living Wage - Typical Family 11500-15600 12900-16600 12700-16400 12900-16700
Real wage of low-skilled worker - - - -
Real wage of medium-skilled worker - - - -
Real wage of high-skilled worker - - - -

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 BDT

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 item Grams per day Energy (kcal) Price per kilo
Wheat, barley and cereals products 42 132 40-80
Rice 519 1889 44-48
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 14 22 220-350
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 15 134 85-95
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 22 62 40-40
Maize and products 2 7 -
Milk - Excluding Butter 52 32 60-65
Vegetables, Other 50 15 20-25
Potatoes and products 140 99 19-22
Butter, Ghee 1 7 600-800
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 2 4 100-120
Pulses, Other and products 9 31 110-120
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 6 10 900-960
Fish products 46 30 200-250
Beans 1 3 30-40
Sweet potatoes 4 3 20-28
Bananas 11 7 42-58
Soyabeans 1 5 85-100
Apples and products 2 1 130-150
Tomatoes and products 5 1 30-40
Onions 28 11 32-40
Oranges, Mandarines 2 1 120-130
Peas 6 21 50-60
Roots, Other 0 0 20-30
Pineapples and products 3 1 22-33
Cream 0 0 150-250
Olives (including preserved) 0 0 30-30
Honey 0 0 300-400
Lemons, Limes and products 1 0 44-56
Tea (including mate) 1 1 260-300
Coffee and products 0 0 300-438


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.

WageIndicator useful links:

Publication Guzi, M., & Kahanec, M. (2019). Estimating Living Wage Globally. Amsterdam, WageIndicator Foundation
WageIndicator Wages in Context Map with the latest updates
All You Always wanted to Know about Living Wages