Electricity reached about 93.5 percent people in Bangladesh in 2019 as a source of lighting up their households, compared to 90.1 percent in 2018, according to a report of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS).
In 2015, the number of electricity users was 77.9 percent, and it has increased by 15.6 percentage points over the last four years.
The report titled "Monitoring the Situation of Vital Statistics of Bangladesh (MSVSB)" was unveiled at a seminar at the BBS auditorium in the capital on Monday.
While presenting the report, AKM Ashraful Haq, project director of the MSVSB, said that around 3.3 percent of people in the country are using solar power, while 2.9 percent are using kerosene lamps.
The rates of literacy, access to healthy sanitary latrine and safe drinking water have increased in recent years. Moreover, crude mortality, infant mortality and under-five mortality rates have also dropped – all those contributed to a rise in people's life expectancy.
The average life expectancy of Bangladeshi people has increased to 72.6 years in 2019, compared to 72.3 years in 2018.
The life expectancy of men in the country stands at 71.1 years, while that of women is 74.2 years.
In 2018, the life expectancy of men was 70.8 years and that of women was 73.8 years.
The report also said life expectancy was 67.2 years in 2009, which increased to 70.7 years in 2014. The expected life increased by 5.4 years in the last decade while it increased by 1.9 years in the last five years.
Planning Minister MA Mannan was connected to the event virtually.
The minister said proper information is essential to ensure sustained development.
Urging the BBS officials to collect quality data from the field, Mannan said the quality of development will increase with the accuracy of the information.
Mohammad Yamin Chowdhury, secretary of the Statistics and Informatics Division, said the report has been prepared to assess the progress of Bangladesh in socioeconomic indicators compared to other countries.
"Sri Lanka is the only country in the subcontinent which is a little bit ahead of Bangladesh in some indicators while India, Pakistan, Nepal and other countries remain behind us," the secretary said assessing the report.
Improvement in health and sanitation
The crude death rate dropped below 5 in every 1,000 people for the first time in 2019. The rate stood at 4.9, down from 5 in 2018. The BBS data said the rate was 12.2 in 1982 and dropped to 6 in 2008.
Infant mortality rate reduced to 21 in every 1,000 people in 2019, which was 29 in 2015. Under-five mortality among 1,000 live births also declined to 28 in 2019 from 36 in 2015.
The report also found that 98.1 percent of people in the country have access to drinking water from taps or tube wells.
Around 81.5 percent of people have access to sanitary latrine and the rate was 78.1 percent in 2018. Access to sanitary latrine was 73.5 percent in 2015 and the rate increased by 8 percentage points in the four years.
Currently, about 17 percent of people are using other types of toilet and 1.5 percent of people have no toilet facilities.
Disparities in literacy rates
The BBS report has disclosed differences in literacy rates based on gender and regions.
Adult literacy rate in urban areas is 82.2 percent while it is 68.4 percent in rural areas – a difference of 13.8 percentage points.
The rate is about 77.4 percent for male and 71.9 percent for female, meaning a gender gap of 5.5 percentage points.
The total adult literacy rate stood at 74.4 percent in 2019, which is significantly higher than 63.9 percent in 2015.
Rate of electrification falls
Only 3.4 percentage points of additional people have come under electrification in 2019, which was 4.8 and 4.1 percentage points in the previous two years.
The rate of electrification has dropped as the number of people out of electricity coverage is reducing.
Analysing the BBS data, it has been found that about 54.6 percent of people were under electricity coverage in 2010, which increased to 67.8 percent in 2014. The rate of electrification increased drastically in 2015 and stood at 77.9 percent.
The government has a plan to provide access to electricity to each family of the country by 2020.
About 3.3 percent of people are using solar power and the rate has dropped from 4.8 percent in 2018.
Some 2.9 percent of people are using kerosene lamps and the rate has dropped by 13.4 percentage points from 16.3 percent in 2015.