Poverty assessment for Bangladesh

[Creating Opportunities and Bridging the East-West Divide]

 Bangladesh represents a success story among developing countries. Poverty incidence, which was as high as 57 percent at the beginning of the 1990s, had declined to 49 percent in 2000. This trend accelerated subsequently, reducing the poverty headcount rate to 40 percent in 2005. The primary contributing factor was robust and stable economic growth along with no worsening of inequality. Respectable GDP growth that started at the beginning of the 1990s continued into the new millennium and averaged above 5 percent annually between 2000 and 2005. Inequality, as measured by the Gini coefficient of consumption, remained stable between 2000 and 2005.
2. Recent shocks to the Bangladeshi economy in the form of natural disasters and rising food
priaces have partially dampened the rapid progress in reducing poverty. The year 2007 saw two natural disasters - floods and a devastating cyclone within a few months of each other. Another significant shock has been the steep rise in food prices, including the main staple, rice, which has revealed the risk posed by global price volatility for a net food-importing country like Bangladesh. Estimates in this report suggest the impact of the food price shock has likely negated some (but not all) of the reduction in poverty brought about by economic growth between 2005 and 2008.
3. The average annual rate of poverty reduction in Bangladesh during 2000-2005 was the
second-highest among South Asian countries for a comparable period. This was partly due to GDP growth that compared well with the region along with stable consumption inequality. The pace of poverty reduction in Bangladesh is however much lower than in faster-growing East Asian countries like China, Thailand and Vietnam, which underscores the importance of higher growth for achieving even faster reduction in poverty. i
4. The reduction in consumption poverty was also accompanied by impressive gains in other
indicators of well-being. For example, the country is on course to meet the year 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for infant and child mortality and has already met the MDG of gender parity in primary and secondary schooling. A vibrant civil society that includes a large non-government organization (NGO) sector has aided in human development</p>

Date and language
Jan 2008

Corporate Author

Agris Subject Categories: 
Development economics and policies
Agrovoc terms: 
Physical Location: 
FPMU Documentation Center
Classification Number: 
O-2008-03 [2 copies]
Other information
Printed resource
<p>[World Bank Report No. 44321-BD]</p>

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