POST TIME: 27 April, 2016 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 26 April, 2016 09:32:14 PM
Bangladesh can accelerate growth using its youth bulge: Report

Bangladesh can accelerate growth using its youth bulge: Report

Bangladesh is now a home to 10.56 crore of working-age people, creating an excellent opportunity for the country to accelerate its growth by properly utilising the demographic dividend, reports UNB.
According to UNDP's Asia-Pacific Human Development Report 2016, the proportion of working-age people (15 to 64 years, and 66 per cent of its total population) in the country will increase to 70 per cent or nearly 13 crore of people by 2030.
The report also says the number of old (60+) population is now 7 per cent in the country which will triple to 22 per cent by 2050.
Speaking at a press conference at a city hotel, Thangavel Palanivel, chief economist and senior strategic advisor UNDP’s regional bureau for Asia and the Pacific, said Bangladesh is having a youth bulge now with 19 per cent of people aged between 15 and 24.
 “The future of the country depends on how it can build on the skills of youths to enable them to help themselves, and contribute to the development of the country.”
He said a demographic change in Asia and the Pacific happening at a rate the world has never seen. “Asia-Pacific countries now have more working-age people and fewer dependents than at any point in the history, providing a springboard for growth. The region-wide 68 per cent of people are working-age and only 32 per cent are dependents.”
“When the countries have greater share of people can work, save and pay taxes, they have potentials to transfer their economies and power investments in healthcare, education, and other building blocks of future prosperity Thangavel Palanivel.
Earlier, Haoliang Xu, a UN assistant secretary general and UNDP Regional Bureau for Asia Pacific director, launched the report, titled ‘Shaping the Future: How Changing Demographics Can Power Human Development’.
He along with UN residential coordinator and UNDP residential Representative Robert Watkins presented the report to Prime Minister’s economic affairs adviser Dr Mashiur Rahman.
The report says Bangladesh and other countries in the region should spend more on education and healthcare.
At the press conference, Thangavel Palanivel, also the lead author of the report, said there are many challenges for Bangladesh government to utilise this demographic opportunities as the degree of unemployment is high in the country and a large number of people are working in the informal sector.