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Harnessing the Demographic Dividend in Bangladesh

Sameh El-Saharty, Karar Zunaid Ahsan and John F. May

No 93554, Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP) Knowledge Briefs from The World Bank

Abstract: Bangladesh has made significant economic progress and remarkable strides in many areas of human development. The last three-year trend in gross domestic product was an upturn of more than 6 percent a year, which is equal to some of the best performing Asian economies. Despite its economic growth, 32 percent of the population still lives below the poverty line and about 40 percent are underemployed. On the other hand, life expectancy and literacy levels have increased, child immunization rates are sustained above 90 percent, and maternal mortality ratio declined sharply. Bangladesh?s 2011 population, estimated at 149.8 million, is expected to increase by about 50 million by 2050. The country?s annual growth rate is 1.37 percent but the population momentum due to the youthfulness of the age structure is expected to be partially offset by the continued pace of declining fertility especially if fertility declines for a period of time below the replacement level of about 2.1 children per woman. Accelerating the decline in fertility could reduce population growth in absolute numbers by one-twelfth by the mid-21st century. Declining fertility will hinge on the successful implementation of different health policy measures, which include increasing the supply and access to FP methods. The stabilization of the population will depend ultimately on the population momentum and the continued decline in the fertility rate.

Keywords: demographic; human development; economic development; population; growth; fertility; family planning (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 4 pages
Date: 2014-11
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