Poverty rate has dropped to 24.3 percent: BBS survey

Bangladesh’s poverty rate has dropped 7.2 percentage points to 24.3 percent in six years, according to a survey by the country’s statistical agency.

Staff Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 18 Oct 2017, 05:06 AM
Updated : 18 Oct 2017, 05:06 AM

The initial findings of the 2016 Household Income and Expenditure Survey were announced at the BBS Conference Centre on Tuesday in the presence of Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal.

The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics conducted the survey between April 2016 and March 2017. The previous survey was done in 2010.

According to the latest survey results, the poverty rate in rural areas was 26.4 percent, while urban poverty was 18.9 percent. The current rate of extreme poverty is 12.9 percent, compared to 17.6 percent six years ago.

The poverty rate in the 2010 survey was 31.5 percent. In rural areas, the poverty rate was 35.2 percent and in urban areas 21.3 percent.”

Rajashree Paralkar, World Bank’s acting country director for Bangladesh, praised the country’s poverty alleviation efforts and said: “The number of people living below the poverty line has decreased by 50 percent in the past 16 years.”

“The poverty rate will not fall with the same swiftness it used to,” said Planning Minister Kamal. “This is because there are fewer people living in poverty.”

Dipankar Roy, project director of the Household Income and Expenditure Survey 2016, presented the initial findings from the study.

Roy highlighted that the population had increased its non-food expenditure for the first time. This was a ‘key indicator of development’, he said.

Non-food expenditure rose from 45.11 percent in the 2010 survey to 52.30 percent in the 2016 survey.

The latest survey also found that average monthly income stood at Tk 15,945. In rural areas, the monthly income was Tk 13,353, while it was Tk 22,565 in urban areas. In 2010, the average monthly income was Tk 11,479.

Average monthly expenditure stands at Tk 15,915. In rural areas, the average is Tk 14,156, while it is Tk 19,697 in urban areas. The average monthly expenditure in the 2010 survey was Tk 11,200.