A new report from the World Bank shows that Bangladesh has made great strides in reducing poverty since the year 2000. According to the report, the nation has reduced the number of people living in poverty by 26% in only 10 years. This reduction in poverty occurred even with a growing population. In total, the number of people living in poverty was reduced from 63 million in 2000 to 47 million in 2010.
The reduction of poverty in Bangladesh is credited to two factors. The first is an increase in labor income. Rural wages have increased since 2000, lifting millions out of poverty. The second is a decrease in fertility rates. As more Bangladeshis choose to have fewer children, there are “lower dependency ratios and more income-per-capita.”
While the World Bank applauds the successes of poverty reduction in Bangladesh, a number of factors must be accomplished in order to lift the remaining 47 million impoverished Bangladeshis above the poverty line. The World Bank believes that investment in agriculture is essential since 72% of all Bangladeshis live in rural areas. Promoting jobs in manufacturing and the service sector is also critical for sustainable poverty reduction.
In addition to focusing on industry-specific growth, the World Bank recommends increasing female participation in the labor force. Women currently make up only 35% of Bangladeshi workers. As more women join the workforce, a family can earn more income and lessen the risk of living in poverty.
– Jordan Kline