Linking growth to happiness in society

Humans born with weak health grow in the course of time. The humans learn from society, the attitude of other humans and books. Some are growing with authentic knowledge and some are with poor or unauthentic knowledge. Those who are passing time without true knowledge are becoming weaker humans and make themselves unhappy. Consequently, they become part of an unhappy society. We need growth and happiness for a better world.

As reported by World Bank, Bangladesh ranked 106th among 157 countries in the Human Capital Index. Sri Lanka topped the list among South Asian countries, with a ranking of 72. The Human Capital Index is a report prepared by the World Bank. The index measures which countries are best in mobilising the economic and professional potential of citizens. The index measures how much capital each country loses through lack of education and health. The index was first published in October 2018 and ranked 157 countries. The Human Capital Index ranges between 0 and 1 with 1 meaning the maximum potential reached.

Bangladesh is the eighth-most populated country in the world with almost 2.2 per cent of the world’s population. According to the 2019 revision of the World Population Prospects, the population stood at 161,376,708 in 2016. Among them, Bangladesh has a fairly young population of 34 per cent aged 15 years and younger and just five per cent aged 65 years and older. At present, more than 65 per cent of our population is of working age, between 15 and 64.

When there is such a large percentage of young population in any nation, they are expected to contribute to the country’s economy. This opportunity is known as the “demographic dividend” which refers to “the economic growth potential that can result from shifts in a population’s age structure, mainly when the share of the working-age population is larger than the non-working-age population,” as defined by the United Nations Population Fund.

But reaping the benefits of the demographic dividend is not guaranteed or automatic. It all depends on how much a country invests in key areas like education, health and nutrition, infrastructure, good governance, etc., and whether or not there is an environment suitable for young people so that they are able to contribute to the country’s socio-economic growth.

Our private sector can also come forward for turning the humans into capital and ultimately ensure growth and happiness. As reported by the World Bank, every year 2.0 million young Bangladeshis join the labour force, but too few have the essential education or technical skills to match that employers need. Overcoming that mismatch is critical not only to improving the lives of those workers and their families but also to building on Bangladesh’s impressive efforts to overcome poverty. The private sector can come forward to turn the humans into skilled human resources. They can train them on computer programmes, business communication, social communication, cultural diversity, law and impart them education in the fields of their choice. The brand name of Bangladeshi humans can be ‘trusted and skilled.’ This can make Bangladesh grow economically and help build a happy society.



The Financial Express. Bangladesh. 28-12-2019