Bangladesh Human development


Bangladesh is a relatively small country located in western Asia, bordered by mainly India and a small proportion on Myanmar. Its large population of 150 million people makes it one of the most population dense countries in the world. Its natural irrigation makes it a very fertile land therefore allowing quality agriculture and growth of crops and textiles.

Economic Information & data

  • Size: 56,000 miles squared
  • Population: 156.6 million
  • Population density: 2,400 (12th highest)
  • Gdp: $150 Billion (USD)
  • $957 (USD) per capita
  • Unemployment rate: 4.3%
  • Inflation rate: 5.6%
  • Main export: Textiles (90%)

Development information

  • HDI: 0.57, Medium human develop (142nd)
  • Average income: 1,300
  • Gini coefficient: 32.1 (Better than Canada's)
  • Literacy rate: 61.5%
  • Infant mortality: 3.3%
  • HIV infection rate: 0.7%


Life expectancy is a good indicator of how developed a country is. LEDCs will tend to have low life expectancies because of the lack of access to healthcare and the fewer infrastructures built to stop and cure diseases. On the other hand, MEDCs will have a higher life expectancy due to more developed healthcare. This is shown by looking at the graph. Bangladesh's life expectancy is a lot lower than Italy's at 66 years in 2006 compared to 82 for Italy. However, the life expectancy in Bangladesh is rising at a faster rate than in Italy. In the 25 year that the graph shows. Bangladesh improved its life expectancy by approximately 20 years. Italy's however only improved by 9 years. With the same amount of money invested in both countries healthcare, the life expectancy in Bangladesh will likely be much more affected than in Italy. This can be explained by the fact that as healthcare in a country improves, the simpler diseases (malaria) are cured more easily. However, the more complex diseases (Cancer, HIV) are harder to treat.

Literacy rate is reflective of the standard of education within a country. MEDCs will have a much higher education rate than Bangladesh. Especially with a country like Italy which provides free education all the way from pre-school through to post grad. The increase in education in Bangladesh however is incredibly steep.

The child mortality is usually reflective of the improvement in the health system in a country. Once again. Bangladesh shows an absolutely tremendous improvement in child mortality going from about 200 children death per thousand down to 60. Italy's child mortality also improves but only by around 10 children death per thousand.

Domestic factors and economic development


Bangladesh has enormously invested in and subsidised education since its independence. The rise in primary education for both women and men has tremendously increased. The NGOs played a major role in this progress process. Without the state’s schools, clinics and cash-transfer schemes, other interventions would not work. It is the things which NGOs do, though, that make Bangladesh’s way of fighting poverty unique. The current government budget for education is of 2.1 billion which is approximately 1.4 of the country's gdp. This is much higher than most countries in the surrounding area and explains the outstanding increase in literacy rate. Surprisingly, Bangladesh has also managed to increase the rate of woman who receive education in a country that has a very large muslim population. Bangladesh has created two types of employment within its undergraduate educational system. Bangladesh's students can therefore either choose to attend the Technical Education System or the Madrasah Education System. In the Madrasah Education System there are two systems. One, called the "Quomi" Madrasah system is privately owned and funded[7] and is run according to the Deobandi system of Islamic education, which rejects the rational sciences.[8] The other, called the “Alia” madrasah system, is privately owned but subsidized by the government (the government spends 11.5% of its education budget on alia madrasahs, paying 80% of teacher and administrator solaries). In the Technical Education System, after obtaining a Diploma-in-Engineering degree (four year curriculum) from the institutes listed below, students can further pursue their educational career by obtaining a bachelor's degree from Engineering & Technology Universities. This system therefore allows for better economic development as students can specialise in course offering a high degree of education such as engineering programs. These courses therefore allow


Part of Bangladesh's success in developing so rapidly is due to the use of microcredit. A microcredit is the lending of a small amount of money at a low or no interest to countries in the developing world. What might seem like a small amount of money to a person in the developed world can be months of salary for people in LEDCs. This credit therefore allows the borrowers to invest in capital and entrepreneurs can create businesses where they see incentive. Developing countries with poor populations have a lot more incentive for new businesses since there is a lot less structure than in MEDCs. Micro credits helped Bangladesh develop, the Grameen bank is considered to be one the first bank to have given micro credits in the world. The bank of america also agreed to lend 3..7 million in non profit loans. Since these credits are usually small amounts of money, thousands of people could get affected by a loan which will seem like nothing to bank of america.

Women Empowerment

Women empowerment in Bangladesh has greatly improved within the last few decades. Considering that Bangladesh is a muslim country that is considered to be quite underdeveloped, the women empowerment situation is quite encouraging.However there are still many issues. Around Bangladesh, it is women and girls who are disproportionately affected by poverty and discrimination. Half of the population (women) cannot contribute to their family's and community's economic development. A great resource goes untapped. But women are an important part of the solutions needed to truly overcome poverty. They play a key role in navigating their family and their community to a better life.


Imports: Bangladesh imports about 9.6 billion worth of cotton and other textiles.

Bangladesh's exports mainly consists of textiles. According to the Observatory of Economic Complexity, 90% of Bangladesh's exports only come from textile related goods. This represents 30.1B out of the 33.5B worth of goods exported by the country. We know that the clothing industry is huge in Bangladesh, there are many sweatshop issues within the country. A large proportion of Bangladesh imports consist cotton. This cotton is used to create the many textile goods that are then exported.

We can therefore assume that Bangladesh would be highly dependant on the price of textiles because it makes up such a high proportion of their imports. Textile prices over the last few years have fluctuated quite a bit, cotton prices especially rose in 2011 with a peak at 200 cents a pound. However, this rise in cotton prices did not influence the gdp. The graph below shows the average price of cotton over the last ten years compared to Bangladesh's gdp growth rate.

In 2010, a perfect constellation of events fueled another historic price rise. Gradually tightening stocks, an unexpected freeze in China’s cotton producing areas, a historic flood in Pakistan and a ban on exports from India all caught buyers off guard.

In the 2014/15 season Bangladesh surpassed China to become India's top buyer of the fibre as the world's biggest consumer began cutting import quotas to stimulate demand for domestic cotton after it halted a state stockpiling programme. This would therefore mean that India would be more interested in trading with Bangladesh and the rise in prices might have not affected the country too much because of the fact that India is a close trading partner to Bangladesh. The range of exports for Bangladesh is however quite narrow. Obviously the textile industry is quite safe and it will not disappear within the next few decades which makes it a secure industry for Bangladesh to be dependant on.


Bangladesh is one of the fastest developing countries in the world. Its very fertile agricultural land have provided it with the ability to be one of the countries in the world with the highest population density in the world. This has however also caused the country to be quite poor with an average gdp of only $950 usd per capita. Bangladesh was the first country to use microcredit in the world and it was tremendously beneficial. Micro credit allowed the country to develop economically and socially at a faster rate than any other countries in the world over the last 40 years. Education and Woman empowerment have also been a priority for the country. The fact that micro credits were only given to woman allowed woman empowerment to increase by a lot in a country that is muslim. Bangladesh has however been a victim of MEDCs abusing their cheap labour through sweatshops and textile production. 90% of Bangladesh's exports are textiles which has lead Bangladesh to be quite dependant on cotton prices and India, the biggest cotton exporter to Bangladesh.



Bangladesh has several bilateral and multilateral associates to collect foreign aid from. These include multilateral sources like World Bank, ADB, UN, European Union, IDB and also bilateral sources like Japan, China, UK and India. These sources have played a vital role in the socio-economic and infrastructural development of Bangladesh by providing assistance.

The data above shows both the ODA and Humanitarian aid given to bangladesh from 2004 to 2013. Although the data fluctuated quite significantly, the general trend shows an increase. Humanitarian aid has increased in 2007 and 2008 before decreasing again. ODA has increased, although decreasing quite significantly from 2010 to 2012, it was highest in 2013 with a total ODA of 2,634 million.

In terms of debt relief, the Bangladeshi government pays currently more than $1.5 billion a year in external debt service to rich countries and multilateral institutions like the World Bank. This is the reason as to why Japan has, since 2005, been giving debt relief to Bangladesh.


The World Investment Report 2016, released today by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) showed that Bangladesh registered 44 percent growth in receiving record breaking FDI of $ 2.235 billion in 2015. According to the report, country's power, gas and petroleum sector received highest FDI of $ 574 million followed by textile and wearing $ 443 million, telecommunication $ 255 million and banking $ 310 million. In 2014, the FDI receipt of power, gas and petroleum sector was only $ 50 million.

The chart clearly shows the very large increase in FDI into bangladesh, FDI has nearly increased by 250%.

Debt in Bangladesh

Bangladesh's debt is currently standing at $169 per capita. It recorded a government debt equivalent to 27.20 percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product in 2016. Government Debt to GDP in Bangladesh averaged 39.45 percent from 1995 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 50 percent in 2002 and a record low of 27.20 percent in 2016.

Bangladesh's debt has gone done drastically over the past ten years. This can be explain by the fact that the country is both trying to pay back its debt but also getting a lot of debt relief, especially from countries like japan who recently gave a Bangladesh 1.6B in debt relief

Furthermore, Canada plans to spend $80 million on development projects in Bangladesh over the next two to three years. The country likewise won a $1.6 billion debt relief package from Japan. Bangladesh received a pair of good news: first, the Canadian International Development Agency declared it as the agency's only focus country in Asia, and, second, Japan vowed to forgive $1.6 billion of the South Asian nation's debts. Canadian High Commissioner David Sproule told the Bangladeshi Daily Star Sunday that CIDA plans to raise its annual budget for Bangladesh from $52 million to as much as $80 million over the next two to three years, with its agenda focusing on the areas of health, education, governance and private sector development. Meanwhile, Tokyo hinted that it may invest $1.4 billion in the Padma Bridge project, which, Dhaka believes, would prompt other funding agencies to take part in the venture. According to Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Morshed Khan, "if [Bangladesh] gets the Japanese assistance, other donors like ADB (the Asian Development Bank) and the World Bank would extend their support to this project. Canada plans $80 m annual aid for Bangladesh.


In conclusion, there are a variety of factors that have contributed to the development Bangladesh. Wether it is through an improvement in the educational system, woman empowerment, or the invention and application of the microcredit, Bangladesh has set up its government expenses and budget in order to create development. In terms of trade the country mainly imports cotton from india which does not make it dependant on US cotton. It is better for Bangladesh to be dependant on cotton from India regardless since Bangladesh is more or less already dependant on the country due to geographical reasons. FDI in Bangladesh has experienced a steep increase in FDI with a peak in 2015. Bangladesh registered 44 percent growth in receiving record breaking FDI of $ 2.235 billion in 2015.


Created with images by JKDs - "Tanguar Haowr!" • D-Stanley - "Goyain River at Jaflong" • DFAT photo library - "Mim Roushan is 30 years old and has three children. Mim's most recent child was born at a BRAC delivery centre in Koral slum. Mim's oldest child Rotan prepares to leave for school at a BRAC primary school." • Yahoo Inc - "Dr. Muhammad Yunus" • Sampreety - "temple sunset travel" • DFID - UK Department for International Development - "1 March 2011, Dubai: Tents and blankets being loaded, bound for the Tunisia/Libya border"

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