Women outnumber men for the first time in Bangladesh

Experts have stated that a continued rise in life expectancy of women could be a reason for males to have become outnumbered.

Mohammad Al-Masum Molla

Mohammad Al-Masum Molla

The Daily Star


Enumerators collecting data at Eden Mohila College on June 15, 2022. Photo: Palash Khan

July 27, 2022

DHAKA – For the first time, a population census has found that there are more women than men in Bangladesh.

For every 100 females, there is currently around 99 males, according to a preliminary report of “Population and Housing Census 2022” which is the sixth census of the country. It will be officially unveiled in the capital today.

It found that the country has a population of around 16.5 crore, excluding the expatriates. This indicates that the population has grown by 2.1 crore since 2011 when the previous census was conducted.

The census supposed to be held in 2021 was delayed because of Covid-19 pandemic.

The gender ratio in the world in 2021 is 101.68 males per 100 females, according to the world population prospect of the UN.

In Bangladesh, the gender ratio was 100.3 in the previous census while it was 106.4 in the one released in 2001.

Experts said the continued rise in life expectancy of women could be a reason for males to have been outnumbered.

Professor Mohammad Mainul Islam, former chairman of Department of Population Sciences at Dhaka University, said people’s migration out of the country could be another reason behind the new gender ratio.

However, the global female population is on the rise, he told The Daily Star.

Among the south Asian countries, females also outnumber males in Nepal where the gender ratio is 95.91.

In India, the 5th National Family and Health Survey carried out between 2019 and 2021 found that there were 1,020 women against 1,000 men.

The latest census in Bangladesh also found that the country is no longer experiencing a population boom as the current population growth rate is below 1.3 percent, down from 1.47 percent found in the previous census.

According to the 2011 census, the total population of the country was around 14.40 crore which was around 1.8 crore higher than the number found in the 2001 census.

The sixth population census was conducted across the country with wide use of digital devices from June 15 to June 21.

The census will provide complete data on the overall population, its composition, workforce, density, housing, and other socio-economic indicators that are vital for formulating proper economic and other policies.

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