Bangladesh:
High growth but poor governance

Updated: September 28th, 2022.


Key Insights
  • Bangladesh economic and demographic data are unreliable, graded C on the World Economics classification scale. The data presented here have been re-estimated and improved where possible, using Purchasing Power Parity data to make international comparisons, by the addition of best estimates for the large Informal economy in Bangladesh, and by estimates to correct for the use by Bangladesh's outdated System of National Accounts framework (SNA). We believe they represent a more realistic view of the Bangladesh economy, but counsel users that this cannot be guaranteed in a country with significant Governance and corruption problems.
  • Re-estimating Bangladesh's GDP as described above indicates that the economy is some 38% larger than official estimates and is the 3rd largest economy in the Frontier market group, the 11th largest in the Asia-Pacific region, and the 28th largest in the world.
  • If the GDP growth rate suggested by Bangladesh's official data can be relied upon, and trends of the last decade continue, the country could theoretically overtake, in GDP terms, Australia, Argentina ,the Philippines, and Malaysia within a decade. However, the GDP growth data may be as unreliable as the annual data, so this rule is 'caveat emptor'.
  • GDP per capita data for Bangladesh is even more suspect than GDP data alone, as its population data is D grade (very poor quality), even worse than its C graded GDP numbers. Other economic data indicates that it is possible that the high GDP per capita growth rates suggested by official data may not be too far removed from reality, but official data alone should not be trusted as an accurate guide. However, evidence from "light" research (North Korea is dark at night, whereas South Korea is brightly lit) suggests that economic data from authoritarian countries with very low Governance levels such as Bangladesh, usually exaggerate wealth, by some 30%+ on average. So, despite the high but uncertain GDP per capita growth rate we can be sure that Bangladesh remains a poor country.
 
ECONOMY SIZE

  • When measured in Purchasing Power Parity terms, including estimates for its large informal economy, and adjustments for outdated base year measures, Bangladesh's GDP is the 28th largest in the world, 11th largest in the Asia-Pacific region and third largest in the Frontier Markets
Gross Domestic Product: 2021
Ranked by GDP
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GDP PPP
(Billions)
GDP Data Quality
Grade
Share of
Global GDP
%





Taiwan $1,700 C 1.0%
Poland $1,588 A 1.0%
Pakistan $1,523 B 0.9%
Australia $1,440 A 0.9%
Argentina $1,371 C 0.8%
Philippines $1,276 B 0.8%
Malaysia $1,253 B 0.8%
Bangladesh $1,160 C 0.7%
South Africa $1,128 B 0.6%
Vietnam $1,122 C 0.7%
Netherlands $1,095 A 0.7%
Colombia $1,008 B 0.6%
United Arab Emirates $771 A 0.5%
Ukraine $770 B 0.5%
Romania $729 A 0.4%

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GDP Data Quality

Data Quality Ratings: Asia-Pacific Region
Index: 0 = Extremely poor quality, 100 = Good as it gets
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Data
Quality
Index
Data
Quality
Grade
Base
Year
SNA
Version
Informal
Economy %
Resoucres
Index 0-100
Corruption
Index 0-100





Azerbaijan 67.1 C Chained 1993 36.8 80.0 30
Thailand 65.8 C Chained 1993 46.2 83.3 35
Tajikistan 64.7 C Chained 1993 37.1 72.2 25
India 63.9 C 2011 2008 52.4 76.7 40
Vietnam 63.5 C 2010 1993 20.5 74.4 39
Kyrgyzstan 60.7 C 2010 1993 30.8 90.0 27
Bangladesh 60.6 C 2016 1993 30.2 60.0 26
Laos 59.2 C 2012 1993 27.2 62.2 30
Bhutan 57.5 D 2000 1993 22.8 60.0 68
Papua New Guinea 56.3 D 2013 1993 34.6 52.2 31
Nepal 49.5 D 2000 1993 33.2 72.2 33
Turkmenistan 46.3 D 2000 1993 34.5 72.2 19
Myanmar 43.8 D 2010 1968 49.0 74.4 28

Access the interactive all country Data Quality Ratings table

Key:
Data Quality Index numbers shown on a scale of 0-100.
         0 = Poor, 100 = Excellent.

Resources Index numbers shown on a scale of 0-100.
         0 = Low level of resources, 100 = High level of resources.

Corruption Index numbers shown on a scale of 0-100.
         0 = High corruption, 100 = Low corruption.

Grade definitions:
         A: As good as it gets;
         B: Use with caution;
         C: Unreliable for many purposes
         D: Extremely poor quality.


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ECONOMIC GROWTH

  • Bangladesh's Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) over the last 10, 5 and 3 years was 6.4%, 6.3% and 5.5% respectively.
  • On a 10-year CAGR basis Bangladesh ranks as the 2nd fastest growing economy in the Asia-Pacific region and 3rd of 28 countries in the Frontier Markets.
Bangladesh's Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) over the last 10-years
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Global
Rank:
GDP Data
Quality:
Grade
CAGR
10 Year:
2011-2021
CAGR
5 Year:
2016-2021
CAGR
3 Year:
2018-2021
Global Growth
Share:
Percentage




Turkmenistan 5 D 7.9% 6.9% 7.3% 0.2%
Ireland 6 A 7.8% 8.1% 8.1% 0.7%
Cote d'Ivoire 7 C 7.3% 5.8% 4.9% 0.3%
Malawi 8 C 7.2% 10.8% 16.0% 0.1%
Tajikistan 9 C 7.0% 7.1% 7.0% 0.1%
Haiti 10 D 6.9% 11.4% 18.7% 0.1%
China 11 B 6.7% 6.0% 5.4% 33.4%
Bangladesh 12 C 6.4% 6.3% 5.5% 1.2%
Rwanda 13 B 6.3% 5.7% 5.3% 0.0%
Guinea 14 D 6.1% 6.7% 5.6% 0.1%
Laos 15 C 5.9% 4.2% 2.7% 0.1%
Uzbekistan 16 C 5.9% 4.9% 4.9% 0.3%
Cambodia 17 D 5.6% 4.0% 1.9% 0.1%
Nepal 18 D 5.6% 7.5% 7.6% 0.2%
Vietnam 19 C 5.6% 5.3% 4.1% 1.1%

Access the interactive all country CAGR table

  • Over the past 10 years the global economy has grown by 27%. Bangladesh's contribution to this growth was 1.2% once any allowances are made for base year and informal economy size.

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WEALTH

  • GDP per Capita has grown much faster than comparable countries in the Asia-Pacific region and in the Frontier Markets generally.
Bangladesh's GDP Per Capita Growth: 10 Years
Index: 1996 = 100

  • Despite high growth in GDP per Capita terms, GDP per Capita remains very low against the Asia-Pacific and Frontier Market averages.
  • Bangladesh's GDP per Capita ranks 19th for the Asia-Pacific region and 20th for the Frontier Markets.

GDP Per Capita: Asia-Pacific Region
Ranked by GDP per Capita
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GDP Per Capita
PPP
(Int$)
GDP per Capita
Data Quality
Grade





Mongolia $15,404 B
Philippines $11,487 B
Vietnam $11,426 C
India $11,137 C
Laos $11,062 C
Uzbekistan $10,106 C
Kyrgyzstan $7,151 C
Bangladesh $6,977 C
Tajikistan $5,356 C
Asia-Pacific Average $29,180 -
Frontier Markets Average $21,367 -

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INEQUALITY

  • The distribution of income in an economy and can be measured on a country by country basis by the Gini Coefficient. Gini values are not all up-to-date but in the case of Bangladesh the data relates to 2016.
  • World Economics has Indexed the Gini Coefficient in relation to each country for comparison purposes. The Index is on a scale of 0-100. A high value indicates a more egalitarian society - and a low value suggests a lot of the national income is in the hands of a relatively small section of the population.
  • Bangladesh ranks 37th globally, 9th for the Asia Pacific region and 7th in the Frontier Markets for Inequality.
Inequality Rankings: Asia-Pacific Region
Index: 0-100, 0 = High Inequality; 100 = High Equality
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Regional
Rank
Inequality
Index
Poverty
% of Population




Kyrgyzstan 4 52.9 0.9%
Myanmar 5 51.3 2.0%
Cambodia 6 51.1 -
Korea, Rep. 7 50.2 -
Pakistan 8 49.8 3.9%
Bangladesh 9 48.6 14.8%
New Zealand 10 48.4 -
Mongolia 11 48.1 0.5%
Nepal 12 47.9 15.0%
Japan 13 47.8 -
Tajikistan 14 46.0 4.8%
Taiwan 15 46.0 -
Australia 16 45.4 -

Access the interactive all country Inequality table

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DEBT

  • World Economics produces GDP data in Purchasing Power Parity terms with added estimates for the size of the informal economy and adjustments for out-of-date GDP base year data.
  • Bangladesh's is officially reported as having a debt-to-GDP ratio is calculated to be 41% by the IMF.
  • Using the World Economics GDP database, Bangladesh's GDP is calculated to be 38% larger than official estimates. Its debt ratio is consequently calculated at 30.1%
Debt-to-GDP Ratio for Emerging Market Countries
Ranked by % of GDP
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Global
Rank
Debt-to-GDP
Ratio




Mauritania 112 31.8%
Turkey 113 31.7%
Madagascar 114 31.4%
Guyana 115 31.3%
Indonesia 116 30.8%
Niger 117 30.7%
Chile 118 30.4%
Bangladesh 119 30.1%
Honduras 120 30.0%
Belarus 121 29.9%
Vietnam 122 29.3%
Uzbekistan 123 28.9%
Nepal 124 28.7%
Cameroon 125 28.0%
Mali 126 28.0%
Asia-Pacific Average   52.5%
Frontier Markets Average   46.2%


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POPULATION

  • Bangladesh is the eighth most populous country in the world with approximately 166 million inhabitants.
  • Bangladesh last conducted a national census in 2011. Read more from the World Economics Population Data Quality Ratings and see how Bangladesh compares to other countries around the world and in the Asia-Pacific region.
Bangladesh's Population Breakdown
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Population
Size
(Millions)
Median
Age
(Years)
Age
Dependency
(Young)
Age
Dependency
(Old)
Age
Dependency
(Total)





China 1,444.2 38.4 25.2% 17.0% 42.2%
India 1,393.4 28.4 38.9% 9.8% 48.7%
United States 332.9 38.3 28.3% 25.6% 53.9%
Indonesia 276.4 29.7 38.3% 9.2% 47.5%
Pakistan 225.2 22.8 57.2% 7.1% 64.4%
Brazil 214.0 33.5 29.7% 13.8% 43.5%
Nigeria 211.4 18.1 80.9% 5.1% 86.0%
Bangladesh 166.3 27.6 39.3% 7.7% 47.0%
Russia 145.9 39.6 27.8% 23.5% 51.2%
Mexico 130.3 29.2 38.8% 11.4% 50.3%
Japan 126.1 48.4 21.0% 48.0% 69.0%
Ethiopia 117.9 19.5 70.6% 6.3% 76.8%
Philippines 111.0 25.7 46.6% 8.6% 55.2%
Egypt 104.3 24.6 55.8% 8.8% 64.6%
Vietnam 98.2 32.5 33.6% 11.4% 45.1%

Access the interactive all country Population table

  • Bangladesh has a young population profile of 39.3% and a low old population profile of 7.7%. The average age is under 28 years old.

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ENVIRONMENT

  • Bangladesh's total emissions of Carbon Dioxide and Methane are considerable placing it in 24th place of polluters by volume but on per capita level, Bangladesh moves down towards the bottom of the list.
  • The World Economics Emissions Index (on a scale of 0-100, 0=bad, 100=good) gauges the relative emissions for a country. The Emissions Index is based on the equal weighting of total Carbon and Methane emissions.
Environmental Factors
Index: 0 = High Emissions, 100 = Low Emissions
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Emissions
Index
0-100
Carbon
Emissions
Total
Carbon
Emissions
Per Capita
Methane
Emissions
Total
Methane
Emissions
Per Capita
Air
Quality
PM2.5
Water
Access
per capita





Uzbekistan 95.2 110.2 3.3 105.9 3.1 28.3 97.8%
Vietnam 95.2 247.7 2.5 88.0 0.9 22.0 96.9%
Thailand 95.2 288.3 4.1 84.7 1.2 29.8 99.0%
Saudi Arabia 95.4 582.1 16.5 44.2 1.3 60.1 99.0%
Ethiopia 95.8 16.3 0.1 103.5 0.9 31.9 49.6%
South Africa 95.8 478.6 8.0 45.4 0.8 25.2 93.9%
Korea, Rep. 96.0 611.3 11.9 25.5 0.5 26.4 99.0%
Bangladesh 96.1 102.2 0.6 83.8 0.5 62.8 97.7%
United Kingdom 96.1 369.9 5.4 51.2 0.8 10.3 99.0%
France 96.1 323.6 5.0 58.3 0.9 11.5 99.0%
Turkey 96.1 405.1 4.8 47.4 0.6 37.2 97.0%
Colombia 96.4 102.2 2.0 77.1 1.5 18.5 97.5%
Ukraine 96.4 223.2 5.1 63.0 1.5 14.0 93.9%
Egypt 96.5 246.6 2.4 56.9 0.6 72.3 99.0%
Poland 96.5 322.6 8.5 47.5 1.3 21.0 99.0%

See: Access the interactive all country Environmental data table

Key:
Emissions Index numbers shown on a scale of 0-100.
         0 = Bad, 100 = Good.

Notes:
Format: Carbon data in Million MtCO2e and Methane data in MtCO2e, Air Quality: PM2.5

Methodology: Total Carbon and Total Methane data for each country has been indexed on a scale of 0-100 by using the standard deviation from the mean for each country. The implied Indexes are averaged to calculate a total Emissions Index which focuses on each countries emissions.

  • Bangladesh was the 38th hottest country in the World in 2021 using average annual temperature data
  • Temperatures in Bangladesh have fluctuated within 1.2 degree Centigrade (2 degrees Fahrenheit) range since the country's foundation in 1971.
Averge Annual Temerature by Year: Bangladesh

Source: CCKP. World Bank Group, Climate Change Knowledge Portal


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SOCIAL

  • The World Economics Social Index averages multiple key social indicators covering Health, Education and Employment.
  • Bangladesh has a worse than average rank for its social metrics, 110th out of 155 countries and 25th of 31 in the Asia-Pacific region.
Social Factors: Asia-Pacific Region
Index: 0 = Poor metrics, 100 = Excellent metrics
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Social
Factors
Index
Life
Expectancy
Years
Median
Age
Years
Mean Years
Schooling
Years
Spend on
Education
% of GDP
Population
in Work
Population %
Population
in Poverty
%





Vietnam 81.7 75.4 32.5 8.3 4.2% 75.9% 1.9%
Indonesia 78.8 71.7 29.7 8.2 3.6% 64.3% 4.6%
Myanmar 70.7 67.1 29.0 5.0 2.0% 60.7% 2.0%
Bhutan 70.5 71.8 28.1 4.1 6.6% 65.2% 1.5%
Pakistan 70.2 67.3 22.8 5.2 2.9% 50.2% 3.9%
Bangladesh 70.1 72.6 27.6 6.2 2.0% 56.5% 14.8%
India 66.9 69.7 28.4 6.5 3.8% 46.7% 21.2%
Nepal 66.5 70.8 24.6 5.0 5.2% 82.6% 15.0%
Brunei Darussalam 65.9 75.9 32.3 9.1 4.4% 58.8% 43.7%
Laos 62.7 67.9 24.4 5.3 2.9% 78.0% 22.7%
Papua New Guinea 53.3 64.5 22.4 4.7 1.9% 46.0% 38.0%

Access the interactive all country Social data table

Key:
Social Factors Index numbers shown on a scale of 0-100
         0 = Poor social metrics, 100 = Excellent social metrics.

  • 14.8% of Bangladesh's population is living in poverty. Poverty is defined as living on less than $1.90 a day at 2011 international prices
  • Bangladesh spends 2.0% of GDP on education, each pupil receives 6.2 years of schooling (on average) - over two years less than the global average.

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GOVERNANCE

  • Bangladesh ranks 138th globally, 28th in the Asia-Pacific region and 27th (last) in the Frontier Markets for Governance.
Governance Factors Index: Asia-Pacific Region
Index: 0 = Poor, 100 = Good
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Governance
Index
(0-100 Index)
Rule of Law
Index
(0-100 Index)
Press Freedom
(0-100 Index)
Political Rights
(0-100 Index)
Ease of
Doing Business
(0-100 Index)




Tajikistan 43.3 18.6 43.5 4.8 53.6
Myanmar 41.1 19.5 27.0 35.7 27.4
Afghanistan 39.9 4 41.3 35.7 22.4
China 38.8 47.2 27.2 0.0 82.8
Pakistan 37.6 31.6 41.0 40.5 53.1
Vietnam 36.7 45.3 28.2 11.9 69.1
Bangladesh 30.8 34.5 39.5 40.5 24.2
Cambodia 27.4 25.3 46.9 16.7 40.1
Laos 26.1 27.7 39.5 9.5 34.7

Access the interactive all country Governance table

Key:
The World Economics Governance Index gives equal weight to all four criteria.

Index numbers shown on a scale of 0-100.

Governance: 0 = Poor governance, 100 = As good as it gets.
Ease of Doing Business: 0 = Hard, 100 = Easy.
Rule of Law: 0 = low rule of law, 100 = High rule of law.
Press Freedom: 0 = Low press freedom, 100 = High press freedom.
Political Rights: 0 = Low political rights, 100 = High political rights.



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