Economy - Ranked 66th
Although Bangladeshis are optimistic about their economy, there are many obstacles to growth
Bangladesh’s economy is relatively unstable, with an inflation rate of 8.9%. Although the official unemployment rate is only 2.5%, less than half* of Bangladeshis responding to a 2009 survey said that they were in any form of paid or unpaid work. The rate of gross domestic savings was 15.8% of GDP, which is among the bottom 40 in the Index. However, access to adequate food and shelter is above the international** average, and almost two-thirds* of people are satisfied with their standard of living, the 55th highest level, globally. Between 2004 and 2008, the average annual GDP growth per capita rate was a steady 4.7%. This undoubtedly contributes to Bangladeshis’ optimism about the future: 35%* of people say that the local job market is good, and overall confidence in the economy is also very high*. Despite this, foundations for future growth are relatively weak. Though foreign direct investment is the 23rd highest in the Index, Bangladesh’s market is only the 57th largest in the world, high-tech exports constitute only 0.8% of manufactured exports, and levels of capital per worker are among the 10 lowest in the world. Also, although public confidence in financial institutions is the third highest in the world, at 92%, over 11% of loans are nonperforming, which indicates a highly inefficient banking sector.
Entrepreneurship & Opportunity - Ranked 95th
Bangladeshis’ entrepreneurial energies are frustrated by poor infrastructure and high start-up costs
Commercialisation of innovation is extremely limited in Bangladesh. Spending on R&D is equal to only 0.7% of GDP, and annual earnings from royalty receipts are only 350,000 USD, both low figures by global standards. In addition, ICT goods make up only 0.6% of total exports, placing Bangladesh 65th on this variable. Business opportunities are limited by prohibitively high start-up costs, equal to 36% of GNI per capita. Bangladesh also suffers from an extremely poor communication infrastructure that may inhibit entrepreneurship. Internet bandwidth is among the bottom 20 in the world, there are almost no secure internet servers, and fewer than three out of 10 Bangladeshis own a mobile phone. Nevertheless, three-quarters* of people believe that their city is a good place to start a new business. In addition, although economic development across different socio-economic groups is extremely unequal in Bangladesh, 96%* of people surveyed in 2009 believed that hard work would result in personal success; this is the sixth highest rate on the Index.
Governance - Ranked 95th
Bangladesh’s government is repressive and unstable, but highly popular with citizens
Bangladesh is a highly undemocratic and unstable country, and the last change of political regime took place as recently as 2008. There are almost no constraints on the power of the executive, and there is very little competition for legislative or executive power. Bangladesh also has one of the 15 weakest government bureaucracies on the Index, suggesting a limited ability to implement public policy effectively. Bangladeshis' political rights are very limited, and it is significant that only 7%* of people had felt able to voice their concerns to a public official in the past year, the 5th lowest rate on the Index. Despite this, a strikingly high 84%* of Bangladeshis claim to support their government, the 11th highest approval rate on the Index. However, only 31%* of people approve of the country's efforts towards the poor, and just 51%* are happy with efforts to protect the environment, both below global averages. The government is extremely poor at enforcing the rule of law, and at regulating competition in the business sector. However, confidence in the military is surprisingly high at 91%*, and 75%* of people also claim to trust the judicial system, placing Bangladesh in the top 20 of the Index on both variables. Bangladeshis are also slightly less likely* than the global average to say that their government is corrupt. Surprisingly, almost eight out of 10* Bangladeshis believe that elections are conducted honestly, the 17th highest rate in the world.
Education - Ranked 91st
Bangladesh’s school enrolment rates are very poor, and only six out of 10 people children have the opportunity to learn in their society
The quality of Bangladesh’s education system is well below global standards. Enrolment at all levels of education is among the bottom 20 nations, and there is some evidence of gender discrimination in enrolment at the primary level. In addition, primary school classes are among the 15 largest in the world, with 44 pupils for every teacher. Although eight out of 10* Bangladeshis say they are satisfied with the quality of their education system, an above-average figure, only 62%* of people believe that children have sufficient opportunities to learn, which is 77th in the Index for this variable. Predictably, Bangladesh’s educational failings lead to a poorly educated workforce: the average worker has just 1.2 years of secondary education, and 0.2 years of tertiary education.
Health - Ranked 90th
Deprived of funds, Bangladesh’s healthcare system struggles to provide its citizens with basic care
Bangladesh is among the bottom 30 nations in the Index in nearly all measures of public health. Almost a third of the population is malnourished, and one out of 20 children dies in its first year of life. Life expectancy adjusted by healthy years lived is just 54 years, a figure which is in the bottom 85th in the Index. In addition, only around nine out every 10 children are vaccinated for measles and other infectious diseases, which is well below global averages. This poor performance is perhaps unsurprising, given that Bangladesh’s government spends just $80 (PPP) per capita on healthcare, the eighth lowest rate on the Index. Health infrastructure is correspondingly poor: Bangladesh has the seventh lowest provision of hospital beds per capita. Although a 2008 survey found that an above-average 80%* of people are happy with the quality of their water, only 36% of the population has access to adequate sanitation facilities. Bangladesh is also among the worst 25 nations for its rates of death from respiratory diseases and the incidence of TB. Unsurprisingly, less than three-quarters* of respondents were satisfied with their health, less than two-thirds* felt well-rested, and more than three in 10* had debilitating health problems; on all three of these variables, Bangladesh places among the lowest 30 countries on the Index. However, Bangladesh does outperform the global average on measures related to mental health. Only three out of 10* respondents had felt worried the previous day, and almost eight in 10* were satisfied with the beauty of their local environment.
Safety & Security - Ranked 94th
Although Bangladesh is an unstable and often violent country, rates of assault and theft are low
Bangladesh is not a safe place to live. It is home to a sizeable refugee community, and it has one of the five most serious problems with group grievances that are based on recent or historic injustices. It is also among the 10 nations with the most severe demographic instability resulting from issues such as border disputes, ownership or occupancy of land, access to transportation outlets, control of religious or historical sites, or proximity to environmental hazards. Although there were no war casualties in 2008, there is a high level of state-sponsored political violence. Bangladesh is also one of the 25 countries* whose people feel most unsafe expressing their political views openly. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that Bangladesh has the fifth highest rate of human flight on the Index, as its professional classes seek opportunities abroad. Bangladeshis do, however, report a relatively high level of security in their personal lives. According to a 2009 survey, only a low 3%* of people had been assaulted in the previous year, and only 12%* had property stolen. More than eight out of 10* respondents felt safe walking alone at night, the 11th highest rate in the Index.
Personal Freedom - Ranked 46th
Bangladeshis have little personal freedom, but live in a society with the highest rates of tolerance towards ethnic and religious minorities
Bangladesh is one of the 30 countries* on the Index with the lowest levels of civic rights. Freedom of association, movement, expression, and personal autonomy are only moderate, placing Bangladesh 73rd in the Index on this variable. In a 2009 survey, only 63%* of people expressed satisfaction with their level of individual freedom, the 82nd lowest rate in the world. Nevertheless, this lack of personal freedom does not breed intolerance towards outsiders. Seven in 10* Bangladeshis believe their area welcomes immigrants, the 33rd highest level on the Index, and an extremely high 92%* say that ethnic and religious minorities are welcome, which is the highest level of tolerance in the world.
Social Capital - Ranked 109th
Despite extremely high rates of marriage and religious attendance, less than half of Bangladeshis report having someone to rely on in times of need
Bangladesh has very poor levels of general social cohesion. In a 2009 survey, only 8%* of people thought that others could be trusted, and only 30%* had recently helped a stranger. Bangladeshis are equally unlikely to involve themselves in formal social networks: only 12%* of people had made a financial contribution to a charity in the previous month, and just 5%* had volunteered their time. On all four of these indicators, Bangladesh places among the lowest 15 countries in the Index. By contrast, Bangladeshis access to familial and religious support networks is very high. Nearly threequarters* of people are married, and 87%* regularly attend a place of worship: both results are the third highest in the world. It is puzzling, therefore, that barely half* of people say they have someone to rely on in times of need: this is the second highest level of isolation in the world.
OVERALL - 96
Central African Republic
Source - http://www.prosperity.com/rankings.aspx