Bangladesh

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Europeans began to set up trading posts in the area of Bangladesh in the 16th century; eventually the British came to dominate the region and it became part of British India. In 1947, West Pakistan and East Bengal (both primarily Muslim) separated from India (largely Hindu) and jointly became the new country of Pakistan. East Bengal became East Pakistan in 1955, but the awkward arrangement of a two-part country with its territorial units separated by 1,600 km left the Bengalis marginalized and dissatisfied. East Pakistan seceded from its union with West Pakistan in 1971 and was renamed Bangladesh. A military-backed, emergency caretaker regime suspended parliamentary elections planned for January 2007 in an effort to reform the political system and root out corruption. In contrast to the strikes and violent street rallies that had marked Bangladeshi politics in previous years, the parliamentary elections finally held in late December 2008 were mostly peaceful and Sheikh Hasina Wajed was elected prime minister. About a third of this extremely poor country floods annually during the monsoon rainy season, hampering economic development." [1]

Contents

Economy

Bangladesh's economy has grown 5 to 6 percent every year despite political instability, poor infrastructure, corruption, insufficient power supplies, and slow implementation of economic reforms. Bangladesh remains a poor, overpopulated, and inefficiently-governed nation. More than half of the GDP come from the service sector, however agriculture is still strong with 45% of the population employed in that field due to rice being the most important product. [2]

Poverty

Bangladesh has made significant progress in reducing poverty and improving the lives of its citizens. In the 1990s, Bangladesh experienced a strong, sustained economic growth, but also the government investment in the areas of health, education, social safety nets, and support for micro-credit programs, which provide poor people with loans for the creation of small business enterprises. Poverty in Bangladesh shrank by 9% and GDP increased by 5% during this time. Bangladesh is found to be one of the world's poorest countries, as it ranks third, only behind that of China and India. (5) [3]

In only a little over three decades as an independent country, Bangladesh has made significant progress in reducing poverty and improving the lives of its people. However, nearly half of its population of 135 million still live below the poverty line—as measured by income, consumption, and ability to meet basic human needs—making Bangladesh one of the poorest countries in the world.

Poverty reduction in the 1990s was due in large part to strong, sustained economic growth, but another significant factor was government investment in the areas of health, education, social safety nets, and support for microcredit programs, which provide poor people with loans for the creation of small business enterprises.

Continuation of this progress is facing daunting challenges, however. Incomplete national reforms in areas such as health, electricity, and banking, and increasing losses by government-owned enterprises, are threatening both government budgets and national economic growth. A lack of public confidence in the integrity and efficiency of the country's political and administrative institutions is hindering healthy economic activity, and a population growth rate which remains unsustainable is threatening to erode past progress.

For Bangladesh to continue on its current path of reducing poverty and improving living conditions, it will need to sustain macroeconomic growth at levels higher than in the past; reform public institutions; improve social services; and make stronger efforts to increase participation in the economy by the country's poorest people.

reference "Poverty in Bangladesh: Building on Progress." Nov. 2003. Web. 24 Apr. 2012. <http://www.worldbank.org/bd.>.

Bangladesh poverty gap index.jpg [4]

Inequality

Inequality in Bangladesh had increased over the years, especially in areas where income has grown faster than others. Had recent growth been more broad-based, the cumulative decline in poverty would have been much greater than the nine percentage point drop. In 2000, among the poorest 20 percent of the population, four out of five owned less than half an acre of land, and landlessness has been increasing in rural Bangladesh. [5] The gini coefficient for Bangladesh is 33.2 in 2005.[6]

A gini evaluation of Bangladesh's income evaluation at the national level can be found by clicking the following link...Media:gini.png. This table contains the information on the percentages of households in various deciles income shares from 1983-84 to 2000 at the national level in Bangladesh. From the Table it can be found that the relative share of income of the percentage of households with lowest 5 percent declined over the years, from 1.17 percent in 1983-84 to 0.67 percent in 2000. On the other hand, the relative share of income of the percentage of households with the highest 5 percent increased during the periods, from 18.30 percent in 1983-84 to 30.66 percent in 2000, which clearly indicates that inequality in income distribution has been rising over the periods. Analysis of data also reveals that between 1995-96 and 2000, income attributable to the poorest 10 percent of the population declined further from 2.24 percent to 1.84 percent. Conversely, the control on the income by the richest 10 percent of the population increased from 34.68 percent to 40.72 percent. Further, up to deciles 4 income bracket the households’ share of income decreased from 18.95 percent in 1983-84 to 13.70 percent in 2000 whereas the last 2 deciles’ i.e. 20 percent households’ income share increased from 43.38 percent in 1983-84 to 55.02 in 2000. [7]

References

  1. CIA. "The World Facebook: Bangladesh." Https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/bg.html. 11 Apr. 2012
  2. CIA. "The World Factbook: Bangladesh." Https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/bg.html. 11 Apr. 2012
  3. World Bank. "Poverty in Bangladesh: Building on Progress." Http://www.worldbank.org.bd/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/SOUTHASIAEXT/BANGLADESHEXTN/0,,contentMDK:20175689~pagePK:141137~piPK:217854~theSitePK:295760,00.html. Nov. 2003.
  4. http://sedac.ciesin.org/theme/health/maps/gallery/set/povmap-small-area-estimates-poverty-inequality
  5. World Bank. "Poverty in Bangladesh: Building on Progress." Http://www.worldbank.org.bd/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/SOUTHASIAEXT/BANGLADESHEXTN/0,,contentMDK:20175689~pagePK:141137~piPK:217854~theSitePK:295760,00.html. Nov. 2003.
  6. "The World Facebook: Bangladesh." Https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/bg.html. 11 Apr. 2012
  7. http://bdeconassoc.org/userfiles/pdf/4%20Economic%20Growth%20and%20Income%20Inequality%20in%20Bangladesh.pdf

5 - Rural poverty in Bangladesh. Retrieved April 23, 2012 from http://www.ruralpovertyportal.org/web/guest/country/home/tags/bangladesh

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