This study estimates ex ante poverty and vulnerability of households in Bangladesh using Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) data in 2005. Our results show that poverty is not same as vulnerability as a substantial share of those currently above the poverty line is highly vulnerable to poverty in the future. The study finds that those without education or agricultural households are likely to be the most vulnerable. The geographical diversity of vulnerability is considerable, for example, vulnerability in coastal division, i.e., Chittagoan Division is almost double to that of Dhaka and almost four times higher than Khulna Division. It is suggested that ex ante measures to prevent households from becoming poor as well as ex post measures to alleviate those already in poverty should be combined in evaluating poverty. For the chronic poor who lack economic assets, priority should be given to reduction of consumption fluctuations and building up assets through a combination of protective and promotional programmes. Access to financial services, for example, though micro credit programmes, might help poor households build up assets as it smoothes income and consumption, enables the purchase of inputs and productive assets, and provides protection against crises.