Extreme poverty rate comes down to 11.3%

Dhaka, 14 May 2019 – The country’s extreme poverty rate came down to 11.3 per cent while the poverty rate to 21.8 per cent in 2018, according to the latest data of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS). The rates were calculated based on the findings of the Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES)-2016.

The HIES 2016 findings showed that Bangladesh’s poverty rate as per the upper poverty line came down to 24.3% in 2016 which had been 40% in 2005. The poverty rate in 2016 as per the lower poverty line or people living in extreme poverty came down to 12.9% which was had been 25.1% in 2005.

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“According to the growth elasticity model, the poverty rate as per upper vpoverty line was 21.8 percent while the poverty rate as per lower poverty line was 11.3 percent in 2018,” said HIES Project Director Dr Dipankar Roy. According to the previous HIES 2010, the poverty rate at national level in the country was 31.5 percent with high poverty rate at the rural level having 35.2 percent while 21.3 percent at the urban level.

The HIES 2016 also showed that the extreme poverty rate came down to 12.9 percent at national level with highest 14.9 percent at the rural level while the lowest 7.6 percent at the urban level. As per the HIES 2010, the extreme poverty rate was 17.6 percent at the national level with the highest 21.1 percent at the rural level and the lowest 7.7 percent at the urban level.

The HIES 2016 was done in a very large sample of 2,304 primary sampling units (PSUs) comprising 46,076 households. Thus, HIES 2016 covered nearly four times higher sample than 2010. The field operation was done during April 2016 through March, 2017. The first HIES Survey in the country was conducted during the fiscal year 1973- 74.

Among the key HIES 2016 Survey findings, it was found that the monthly income of the households increased to Taka 15,988 in 2016 from Taka 11,479 in 2010. Similarly, monthly household expenditure increased to Taka 15,715 in 2016 from Taka 11,200 in 2010. There exists variation in income between rural and urban areas of the country. The standard of living of households improved in 2016 compared to 2010. The wall materials of households with durable materials increased, brick/cement wall increased from 25.12 percent in 2010 to 30.50 percent in 2016.

Substantial increase in access to electricity is observed in 2016. It increased from 55.26 percent in 2010 to 75.92 percent in 2016. The use of mobile phone increased from 63.7 percent in 2010 to 92.5 percent in 2016. The literacy rate increased from 57.9 percent in 2010 to 65.6 percent in 2016. Female literacy rate increased from 54.8 percent in 2010 to 63.4 percent in 2016.

The access to social safety net which contributes in poverty reduction increased substantially during the 2010-2016. The households and programme beneficiaries under different social safety net programmes were 24.6 percent in HIES 2010, whereas it increased to 27.8 percent at the household level and 28.7 percent at the individual level in HIES 2016.

In case of school enrollment aged 6-10 years, the enrollment rate among the poor increased to 90.2 percent in 2016 which was 78.33 percent in 2010. The enrollment rate among the non-poor also increased to 95 percent in 2016 which was 89 percent in 2010. Besides, the per capita per day food intake of pulses, vegetables, fish, meat, egg, increased in 2016 compared to 2010 period.