Comprehensive studies that employ larger data sets to explore the degree and conditions under which households depend on mangrove ecosystems account for only a negligible number in Asia's context. We contribute to these lacunae by analysing households' livelihood dependence on the Sundarbans of Asia. Specifically, we seek to: (i) appraise the livelihood strategies around the Sundarbans, (ii) analyse the conditions and determinants of household dependence on the Sundarbans, and (iii) explore perceptions surrounding livelihood dependence. An extensive survey of 1188 directly and indirectly dependent households drawn from 35 villages was conducted using structured interviews to address these topics. Twenty focus group discussions complemented this data. Using logistic regression, we analysed household dependence as a function of socioeconomic attributes. We suggest that socioeconomic factors have a substantial relationship with resource extraction and, therefore, policy prescriptions should focus on coordinating less-extractive diversification activities such as ecotourism to reduce the impact on the Sundarbans.