Poverty Declined to 31.5 percent in 2010 from 40 percent in 2005

June 22, 2011

Household Income and Expenditure Survey 2010 Results Published

DHAKA, June 22, 2011: Bangladesh has reduced poverty levels and improved living standards significantly in recent years despite global economic shocks and natural calamities. The national poverty headcount rate in Bangladesh has declined to 31.5 percent in 2010 from 40 percent in 2005 according to the 2010 Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES).  The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) and the World Bank today jointly organized a workshop where key results from the HIES were presented

Rural poverty has declined to 35.2 percent in 2010 from 43.8 percent in 2005, while urban poverty has fallen to 21.3 percent from 28.4 percent in the same period. The survey shows a marked improvement in nutrition levels across the country, primarily because of the more diversified food basket that people are now consuming.   Other indicators of welfare related to human development, access to services, and coverage of social welfare schemes also saw tremendous progress.

“The 2010 HIES is a collaborative effort of the BBS and the World Bank, and we appreciate the role of the World Bank in providing technical and financial support,” said Air Vice Marshal A. K. Khandker, Minister of Planning“The data from the 2010 HIES will be very important to determine the goals and strategies for the Sixth Five Year Plan, keeping in view the targets proposed under Vision 2021.”

The HIES is the major source of socio-economic information at the household level in Bangladesh. It provides data on household expenditure, income, consumption, savings, housing conditions, education, employment, health, sanitation, water supply, electricity usage, etc.

“The HIES is the stand alone survey in Bangladesh to provide reliable poverty estimates from the country,” said Mrs. Riti Ibrahim, Secretary, Statistics Division“The current HIES included information for the first time on microcredit, migration and remittances, disability, and crisis management along with other categories which will help policy-makers to further analyze and address socio-economic dimensions of poverty.”

“This data will be very helpful for the government to plan and evaluate its poverty reduction strategy.” said Mr. Sanjay Kathuria, Acting Head, World Bank Country Office, Bangladesh“A longer term view of the results from various rounds of the HIES indicates that the Government’s policies and programs have helped to almost halve poverty within a single generation.  This is an impressive achievement by any standard, and the World Bank is very happy to have played its part in helping the Government attain its targets and goals.”

The survey period was from February 2010 and January 2011, and the preliminary analysis of the data was completed in a record four months.  The BBS made innovative use of the internet for the first time, to transfer data from the field to headquarters. The BBS also undertook intensive field testing and supervision, several technical consultations on questionnaire design and poverty estimation techniques, and multiple rounds of capacity enhancement training through various stages of the 2010 HIES.

Going forward, BBS plans to update poverty maps, refine poverty data at the Upazila level, increase the frequency of poverty data estimation using recent methodological innovations, and undertake in-depth analysis of the 2010 HIES data. 

“We look forward to further fruitful partnership with the World Bank team and other interested stakeholders to build on our recent achievements,” said Mr. Md. Shahjahan Ali Mollah, Director General, BBS. “Such effective collaboration can strengthen BBS’ capacity to provide critical inputs into the planning and monitoring of our poverty alleviation strategy.”