The stark reality! | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 19, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 19, 2010

The stark reality!

Bangladesh is the 8th largest country in the world in population where 150 million people are virtually elbowing each other in a land that is 134,000 sq km in area with a population density of more than 1100 people per sq km. Overpopulated! During independence in 1971, the population of Bangladesh was about 75 million. After 39 years, its population is more than doubled. The current estimate of population growth in the country is 1.75% a year. This means that the population of Bangladesh will double in the next 40 years. In spite of such an ominous situation, idealists may be quick to point out that Bangladesh is making improvements in education and healthcare, and most importantly has achieved a respectable economic growth rate of about 5 per cent a year in recent decades. Though true, such progress has had a very little impact on the overall poverty level in the country. Studies reveal that in real terms the poverty level in Bangladesh has not come down but gone up. The main reason for this incongruity is the rapid growth of the country's underprivileged population, whose unemployment rate remains extremely high for illiteracy. Since the poor uneducated people have no steady income, they customarily want more children as security and support in old age. They are also apt to get married early and produce children that they can't educate or even support. However, the great irony is that the children born in such a situation tend to breed more of the same year after year. This is precisely what's happening in Bangladesh right now. The stark reality is that such a growth in population will not only put the future of Bangladesh in serious danger, it will indubitably have a profound impact on the rest of the world as well.

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