Livelihood Strategies and Poverty

  • Motiur Rahman
  • Noriatsu Matsui
  • Yukio Ikemoto


The concept of livelihood strategy has been discussed, defined and interpreted differently in the literature by different authors and researchers, since a large number of people continues to have a low level of living despite considerable economic growth or development in the developing countries. Some researchers have defined “livelihood strategy” as means of support or sustenance of life. Others have described it as means of securing the necessities of life. In the present context livelihood strategy is used as a choice of the main occupation of an individual through which he/she earns income for his/her livelihood. Generally, the main occupation of the household head that provides the main source of income of the household is considered to be the main livelihood strategy. Many household heads have more than one occupation. Therefore the occupation which provides the highest share of the total income is considered to be the primary occupation, while the occupation which provides the second highest share of income is regarded as secondary occupation. The primary occupation of the household head is often productive and cash-earning livelihood activities. But the occupation of household head varies with the variation in the economic condition of the household. For instance, agriculture and business are common livelihood activities in non-poor households. This is because these activities need more material resources that are not available to poor households. Again performance of jobs in the government and non-government offices and earning international remittance require education and professional skills that are more likely to be possessed by non-poor households because of monetary investment in education and acquiring skills. On the other hand, agricultural labour, non-agricultural labour, petty business, rickshaw/van pulling are more common livelihood activities among poorer households. None of these activities requires substantial material resources, but they all involve wage labour possessed by poor households as well.


Labour Market Food Insecurity Household Head Poor Household Child Labour 
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  1. Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (2005) Report of the household income and expenditure survey 2004. BBS Planning Division, Ministry of Planning, DhakaGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Motiur Rahman
    • 1
  • Noriatsu Matsui
    • 2
  • Yukio Ikemoto
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Statistical Research and TrainingUniversity of DhakaDhakaBangladesh
  2. 2.Faculty of EconomicsTeikyo UniversityHachioji, TokyoJapan
  3. 3.Institute for Advanced Studies on AsiaThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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