Population and Development in Bangladesh - Poverty Essay Example

This paper touches on scale and development of Bangladesh - Population and Development in Bangladesh introduction. A brief overview is shown the relationship between population change and development. Population is the center point of any kind of development and planning of a nation. It is well known that population size; population growth, fertility, mortality and Development are interrelated to each others.

Population is the key factor in development now and historically. Bangladesh is one of the least developed countries of the world. Bangladesh remains poor, overpopulated and not too much efficient-governed nation. The economy has grown at the rate of 5-6% per year since 1996 despite inefficient state owned enterprises ,delays in exploiting resources, insufficient power supplies and slow implementation of economic reforms(ADB:2003) . Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. As a developing nation Bangladesh a bear the characteristics is that low per capita income. In addition people in developing countries usually have poor health and short life expectancy, have low levels of literacy and suffer from malnutrition. Today, Bangladesh with a growth rate 1.37 %( Source BBS census: 2011), 1.8 To 2.0 million people are being added to the total population every year. This does not end here. The projection shows that the population is likely to grow up to 222 million around 2051, and stabilize at 250 million by 2081, if even fertility level is achieved by the year 2015.So population is important concern for our country. The area of our country only 1, 47, 570 square kilometers, here near about 150 or 160 million people living, with occupying 1015 people per square kilometers(source :BBS Census 2011).In 1971 Bangladesh got independent from Pakistan. The country starts with a lot of problem various obstacles in its development process .Population has almost doubled since independence. On the other side the life here people often has been shaped tragedy. Poverty becomes a common specter of our country. Population when became resources it geared to development. Population is a centre issue of development for sustained economic growth and welfare of society as they are composite we cannot think them about isolation. Demographic consideration like population size, structure, composition, consumption as well the whole life.


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There is an important relation population and development .The population always created pressure on development activities. The result of large population impacts on per capita income, price of commodity etc.

On the analysis f the trend of population increases in Bangladesh, it will be seen that indeed a population explosion has taken place in this small country. In this table it is found that in 1901 there was population of only 2.89 cores in the Bangladesh territory. During the period of 1901 to 1951 the rate of population growth is slow. But it is found that from the year 1961, the rate of population growth become high. As per available data the highest growth rate was 2.48 in 1974. After that growth rate gradually started decreasing and reached at 1.37 in 2011. In 1961 the population of Bangladesh was 5.52 cores. But only in 30 years it was doubled and reached about 11.15 crore in 1991.The area remains constant but population increasing day by day.

Table : Population Trends of Bangladesh. Year| Total population(in million)| Growth rate (%)|
1901| 2.89| 0.90|
1911| 3.16| 0.94|
1921| 3.33| 0.64|
1934| 3.56| 0.74|
1941| 4.20| 1.70|
1951| 4.19| 0.50|
1961| 5.52| 2.26|
1974| 7.64| 2.48|
1981| 8.99| 2.35|
1991| 11.5| 2.04|
2001| 12.93| 1.48|
2011| 14.97| 1.37|

(Source: BBS)

Future Growth
Effects of lower fertility and mortality are very much helpful for society development. High mortality rate affect on development. The benefits of development help to improvement in health condition and lower level of mortality outcome of it.

If we consider these trends, our population will continue to grow for quite some time before level of stability is reached. Before that happens, we have to pass carefully through this uncertain path. Our policies and strategies require some fine tuning because we strove to reach the current position, any type of laxity and we will lose our grip on the situation. We are dealing here with more than we can afford. We cannot stop population from going overnight. If the Growth rate of population will be reduced to 1.15% from 1.42% and every year there will be an addition of more than 20 lakh people.

Following this trend of population, in 2050 the population of Bangladesh is projected to reach as high as 22 crore. We have to concentrate the policy level and strategy for control our population size.

Total Fertility Rate (TFR) that is defined as the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime if (1) she w ere to experience the exact current age-specific fertility rates (ASFRs) through her lifetime, and (2) she were to survive from birth through the end of her reproductive life, which is obtained by summing the single-year age-specific rates at a given time, is falling and according to 2011 BDHS statistics it is 2.3. It is believed that replacement level fertility which is fertility just enough to replace an area’s population.

In its latest triennial review of the list of Least Developed Countries in 2006, the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations used the following three criteria for determining the new list, as proposed by the Committee for Development Policy: * Gross national income per capita

* Human assets index (HAI):
(a) The percentage of population and undernourished
(b) The mortality rate for children aged five years or under
(c) The gross secondary school enrolment ration
(d) The adult literacy rate.
* Economic vulnerability index (EVI):
(a) Population size
(b) Remoteness;
(c) Merchandise export concentration
(d) Share of agriculture, forestry and fisheries in gross domestic product
(e) Homelessness owing to natural disasters
(f) Instability of agricultural production
(g) Instability of exports of goods and services
HDI status
The HDI (Human Development Index) provides a composite measure of basic dimension: health, education and income.

Table : Bangladesh’s HDI trends based on consistent time series data, Year| Life expectancy at birth| Expected years of schooling | Mean years of schooling| GNI per capita (2005 PPP$) | HDI value | 1980 | 55.2| 4.4| 2| 649| 0.312|

1985| 56.9| 4.5| 2.4| 715| 0..333|
1990| 59.5| 5| 2.9| 762| 0.361|
1995| 62.1| 6| 3.3| 860| 0.397|
2000| 64.7| 7| 3.7| 1003| 0.433|
2005| 66.9| 8| 4.2| 1220| 0.472|
2010| 68.6| 8.1| 4.8| 1631| 0.508|
2011| 68.9| 8.1| 4.8| 1701| 0.5111|
2012| 69.2| 8.1| 4.8| 1785| 0.515|
(Source: World Bank report, 2013)
Bangladesh ranked 146 out of 187 countries in the human development progress in the world, said the Human Development Report (HDR)- ‘The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World’ identified Bangladesh as
belonging to a group of highlighted 18 countries in the world which have seen rapid progress in human development. “On all the three key fronts -life expectancy, education and economic prosperity -that count in the human development index, and for many more social indicators, Bangladesh’s performance has been extremely strong. The HDR-2013 also identified key weaknesses for Bangladesh and other emerging economies, largely led by poverty and gender disparity, compounded by the impacts of climate change.

Gender development
The Gender Inequality Index (GII) reflects gender-based inequalities in three dimensions – reproductive health, empowerment, and economic activity. Bangladesh has a GII value of 0.518, ranking it 111 out of 148 countries in the 2012 index. In Bangladesh, 19.7 percent of parliamentary seats are held by women, and 30.8 percent of adult women have reached a secondary or higher level of education compared to 39.3 percent of their male counterparts. For every 100,000 live births, 240 women die from pregnancy related causes; and the adolescent fertility rate is 68.2 births per 1000 live births. Female participation in the labor market is 57.2 percent compared to 84.3 for men.

In comparison Pakistan and Nepal are ranked at 123 and 102 respectively on this index

Education and Skill development
Education is remains the key issue of development activities. Education and skills are both needed in today’s world and Bangladesh needs to adequate investment in this regard. Investment in this sector is a good business for government for bright future of attention.

Challenges in family planning program
Family planning program must be implemented successfully to minimize the population problem to a great extent. For its success following measures be taken (a) Supply of wholly reliable birth control method to the people needed; (b) Necessary trainings about the effective use of these methods (c) Mass propaganda through various media to popularize the programme;
(d) Inclusion the family planning programme in educational curriculum. Bangladesh has achieved success in family planning programs against the backdrop of low literacy rate, low status of women, low income and so on. Despite this, one must note that due to past high fertility and falling mortality rates, Bangladesh’s population has a tremendous growth potential built into its age structure. So, population continues to remain as the most pressing challenge towards development as well as one of the major causes of poverty in Bangladesh. The Government has recognized that a massive population forms an obstacle to economic development, and has developed the National Population Policy which seeks to reduce fertility to replacement level by 2015. This requires a further TFR decline of 0.5 children per couple. But even at replacement fertility, the country will be adding two million annually to the population, and many in the population field, feel that the decline needs to be greater (i.e., to TFR 1.7), projected to have substantial benefits across many sectors. It will not fall any lower, so all future population growth will be determined entirely by the fertility level. Replacement level of fertility by 2016 at the earliest is the priority vision of the Government. In line with this vision present TFR of 2.5 children per woman (in 2010) needs to be reduced to 2.0 children per woman to attain net Reproductive Rate (NRR) =1 by 2016. To achieve replacement level of fertility by 2016, corresponding CPR has to be increased to 74% by mid-2016 from 61.7% (in 2010). Early marriage and motherhood is very common in Bangladesh. Two in three women marry before the legal age of marriage, which is 18 and one in three women starts child bearing before age 20 (BDHS 2007).

Age Structure and its relationship Development
In early stages of economic development, population growth may simultaneously stimulate by economic development. Sustaining that economic momentum in the short run may have little to do with population growth. It is more dependent upon things like political stability, organizational efficiency, and other cultural and economic factors. However, to reach high levels of income in the long run almost certainly requires that the rate of population growth slow substantially. Thus the relationship between population growth and economic development changes in rough accordance with
the stage of the demographic transition through a country is passing .The single most important demographic element is the structure, rather than the total population size. Age structure creates an opportunity of demographic dividend for our country. The ‘demographic dividend’ leads to opportunities for growth in output per capita due to increasing proportion of working-age group in total population, increasing the ratio of producers to consumers. Although the demographic transition creates the demographic dividend, it also brings significant challenges with it. Among these are the areas of education, health, nutrition, ageing, inequality, housing, food, social and political unrest, status of women, and employment. The potential gains from the “demographic dividend” will be at risk due to continuing poverty and poor living standards. It should be noted that demographic dividend is not prearranged. Rather it is an opportunity provided by the age structural transition. Meeting future challenges depends on ability to take advantage of the window of opportunity offered for a plausibly tiny period for once in a life-time with pertinent economic and social policies. Economic returns are not the sole function of demographic dividend. Three interconnected mechanisms are responsible for demographic dividend, resulting in economic return: Labor Supply, Savings, and Human Capital.

Figure:Age stucture of Bangladesh

(Source: Journal Health Population Nutrition. 2008 September; 26(3): 261–272)
Protecting the environment
Population growth is linked with environment of a country. Ensuring environmental sustainability as a MDG is already a challenge. Dhaka is one of the most polluted cities. Tree covers are disappearing, wildlife facing extinction. Protecting the environment is becoming more and more difficult.

International Migration
In the present word globalization opened huge opportunities for international migration. Bangladesh is highly dependent on its labor Migration. It is the key issue that contributes in our whole economy. Migration from Bangladesh is increasing day by day. In 2011 the total number
568062 whereas in 2012 it was 607798 compared to 2011, 2012 has experienced 6.99 % growth in Migration.

This is difficult to find out the actual number of the migrants, there is no scope to think that all the 8.3 million migrants who went abroad from 1976till today. The highest destination country UAE 35.45%.Oman is the second highest 28.02%.Singapore is 9.65% or total workers in 2012.

Table: Skill level of Migrants Skill level| Percentage of Total Migrants|
Professional| 0.21|
Skilled| 40.34|
Semi Skilled| 5.06|
Less Skilled| 54.39|
(Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training database 2012)
In 2012 Bangladesh received US$ 14.17 billion as remittance compared to the growth 15.13% .In 2012 remittance is equivalent to 10% of national income.
Uncontrolled urbanization
The unplanned urbanization is creating hazards situation especially in Dhaka city.
Scarcity of basic human needs
Monga or seasonal food insecurity is not a new phenomenon in rural Bangladesh. Economic backwardness is the main cause for scarcity of basic needs. Increasing population is concerning point for providing the basic rights of our country. This is the challenging issue in coming days.

Challenges in Health Sector
The concept of development is more evident and close relation between development and human rights. The right access to health facilities should be central component of development programming. Thus of the eight Millennium Development Goals subsequently developed to reflect the objectives agreed upon in the millennium Declaration in 2000.These goals are The Millennium Development Goals are eight international development goals that all 193 United Nations member states and at least 23 international
organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015. The goals are: 1. Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger,

2. Achieving universal primary education,
3. Promoting gender equality and empowering women
4. Reducing child mortality rates,
5. Improving maternal health,
6. Combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases,
7. Ensuring environmental sustainability, and
8. Developing a global partnership for development
Goals 4, 5 and 6 directly deal with health and others deals with underlying determinants of health. Bangladesh is achieving success in improving in maternal health and reducing child mortality rates. The Maternal Mortality Ratio was 322 in 2001 that was 194 in 2010. (MMR) is the annual number of female deaths per 100,000 live births from any cause related to or aggravated by pregnancy or its management (excluding accidental or incidental causes).The issue of HIV has not serious not for Bangladesh. Serious concern is the threat of HIV/AIDS. Prevalence is still low, <.1%, but w e are vulnerable to an epidemic because of having almost an open border with countries suffering from a HIV/AIDS epidemic, and we lack facilities everywhere to check transfused blood for HIV. To protect ourselves from the looming danger of HIV/AIDS will be a major challenge in the coming decades. Poverty Situation

One of the basic economic problems of our country is the existence of poverty. Here the demand for goods in the market is less because low income of the people and consequently the investment is very low. Employment opportunity is less due to low investment.

As a poor country Bangladesh face great obstacles in combining the four elements of progress-labor, capital, resources and innovation. In addition, countries find that the difficulties reinforce each other in a vicious cycle of poverty.

Figure: The
vicious cycle of poverty
Low savings and Investment

Low pace of capital Accumulation
Low average Income

Low Productivity

The situation of poverty is reflected HIES survey of Bangladesh. It report that 31.5 %( HIES: 2010) population is living in poverty. World Bank report (2013) that Bangladesh reduced 1.5 crore in last decade (2001-2010).

Table: Situation of Poverty by Division wise Division| In 2010| In 2005|
Barisal| 39.4| 52.0|
Chittagong| 26.2| 34.0|
Dhaka| 30.5| 32.0|
Khulna| 32.1| 45.7|
Rajshai| 35.7| 51.2|
Rangpur| 42.3| Not applicable|
Sylet| 28.1| 33.8|
National| 31.5| 40.0|
(Source: Household Income Expenditure Survey,2010)
We should follow the suggestion reaching a better situation.

1. Integration of health and family planning programs.

2. Population issues have taken a backseat for some time. These need to be brought back to the forefront. A vigorous public awareness campaign should be launched regarding this.

3. A coordinated and collaborative approach between public and private sector is essential.

4. Population, poverty and development are related, so issues regarding these must be dealt together.

5. National population policy needs revision and strengthening.


Development can be seen, it is argued here, as a process of expanding the real freedoms that people enjoy”
——- Amartya Sen

Since people are the centre place of development, planning should be conceived at the local level, for and by the people. Specific emphasis should be placed on growth and investment by both private and public sector as a vehicle for economic growth and alleviation of poverty. T here appears to exist are relative lack of commitment to population management through converting the raw population into Human capital. The number of people, the speed of growth, the quality of life, the pressures on them, etc. are influenced by environmental, economic, political and social conditions. People influence these conditions by the decisions they take. Therefore, we need to take the population issue as a central point for national development to face the population challenges.

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