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Bangladesh Reduced Number of Poor by 16 million in a Decade

22/06/2013 12:36 (305 Day 17:46 minutes ago)

The FINANCIAL -- Bangladesh witnessed steady and continuous decline in the number of poor people over the decade—from nearly 63 million in 2000 to 47 million in 2010, according to the World Bank Group.

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Despite a growing population, the number of poor people declined by 26 percent in 10 years. Poverty declined by 1.7 percentage points per year. The series of external shocks that affected Bangladesh in 2007 and 2008 did not significantly slow down the speed of poverty reduction, according to the World Bank Group.

 

During the period 2000-2010 poverty reduction was closely linked to the growth in labor income and changes in demographics. Labor income, both formal and informal, was the dominant factor in higher incomes and lower poverty rates. Fertility rates have been steadily dropping over the last several decades which have resulted in lower dependency ratios and more income per-capita.  The second half of the 2000s saw an escalation of real rural wages but the growth of urban real wages was lackluster, says the report.


‘Against the odds, Bangladesh lifted 16 million people out of poverty in the last 10 years and also reduced inequality; that is a rare and remarkable achievement.’ said Johannes Zutt, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh. ‘Bangladesh now needs to help a growing population of young adults to obtain the skills and education needed to find productive work and to participate fully in Bangladesh's social and political life. The World Bank remains committed to working with the Government to help all Bangladeshis escape poverty and share in the country's growing prosperity," Zutt added.

 

While overall improvement in wellbeing can seen across all regions, poverty continues to be a daunting problem with about 47 million people still living in poverty and 26 million people in extreme poverty, the World Bank Group says.

 

“For sustained poverty reduction, Bangladesh needs coordinated multi-sectoral action. To maintain steady growth in income, it will be necessary to promote investments to raise agricultural productivity and also to promote more jobs in manufacturing and service sector.” said Dean Jolliffe, Senior Economist, World Bank and co-author of the report.

A growing share of women in the labor force contributed to poverty reduction, but further increasing their participation remains a challenge. The labor force participation rate of women, though increased from 25 percent to about 35 percent over the decade, still remains low by international standards, according to the World Bank Group. 

 

 

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