Minimum wage in Bangladesh has increased over the years but the country is still far behind many developing economies in Asia, such as Malaysia, Vietnam and Sri Lanka.
Bangladesh has been placed in 86th position among 144 countries in Countryeconomy's minimum wage index.
Country economy provides international macroeconomic data on a variety of subjects such as GDP, unemployment, minimum wage, interest rates and public debt.
The minimum monthly wage in Bangladesh was set at $97.2 in 2018, up from $66.4 in 2013. This marks a 46.39 percent increase in five years.
The Maldives ($261.42 in 2019) has the highest minimum wage in South Asia, and Australia ($2,389.9 in 2018) in the whole world.
Increasing minimum wage has varying effects on economy as well as personal life. A 2018 study published in the American Economic Review said increases in the minimum wage reduce employment in the long run, but lead to fewer employment opportunities for low-skilled workers.
In 2016-17, 60.8 million people were employed in Bangladesh.
The Gross Domestic Product per capita in Bangladesh was $4364.05 (current USD) in 2018, when adjusted by purchasing power parity (PPP).
PPP is a metric to compare economic productivity and standards of living between countries. PPP compares currencies of different countries through a 'basket of goods' approach.
Maldives leads SAARC states in minimum wage
In terms of minimum wage, Bangladesh is ahead of India, Sri Lanka and Nepal among South Asian Countries, with Sri Lanka having the lowest minimum wage.
Pakistan ($152.7 in 2017) and the Maldives ($261.42 in 2019) are the two SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation) countries where the minimum wage is higher than Bangladesh.
The Maldives boasts the highest minimum wage in South Asia and is ranked 47th, which is the highest ranking among SAARC nations.
However, its minimum wage increased by only 7.85 percent from 2010 to 2019. On the contrary, Pakistan saw its wage go up by slightly less than 50 percent from 2013 to 2017.
Malé pricier than Dhaka
The minimum wage in the Maldives is around 169 percent higher than that in Bangladesh, resulting in higher living expenses.
For example, house rent in the Maldivian capital, Malé, is 81.54 percent higher than that in Dhaka, while restaurant meal prices are 47.27 percent higher.
Basic utilities, such as electricity and water, cost 82.13 percent more in Malé than in Dhaka.
Australia pays the highest in world
Australia, which has long been at the forefront of minimum wages, now has the world's highest minimum wage ($2,389.9).
Australia last ranked number 1 in purchasing power in the early 2000s, but lost its top spot following the global financial crisis a decade ago.
Australia is followed by Luxembourg, a small western European country, where people are paid $2,371.4.
The UK ranks eighth while the United States has been outside the top 10 since 2013.