Posted by: Lilly | April 15, 2008

Hans Rosling on Miracle of Bangladesh

Following on from an earlier post, I have explored further Prof Rosling’s Gapminder website and found several interesting podcasts and videos.

The one most relevant here is GapCast #5 – Bangladesh Miracle described below:

Have you heard about Miracle that has happened in Bangladesh over the last 30 years? No? In 1970 an average women in Bangladesh gave birth to 7 children, and one of four of them died before the age of five.

But after independence from Pakistan in 1971 things have improved. See Hans Roslings GapCast #5 to see how much.

Fascinating and really instructive. Some hard lessons for all of us, irrespective of the disciplines we practice as it shows how received wisdom can be so very wrong.

What one sees in the changes that have happened in Bangladesh over just 30 years should also be compared with his early look on the developments in Sweden over 300 years.

So, Bangladesh is a leading country in the world not just in population density but also in the speed and rate of reduction of child mortality. Grameen Bank and focus on micro-credits for women played clearly a very big part in this quiet and generally overlooked transformation. More startlingly, this transformation has not been fueled by a mad rush to urbanisation either.

Prof. Rosling is not surprised by this. As he says in another lecture, this time to an IT audience in Ireland in November 2007:

Ignorance is not a problem, it is preconceived ideas. Otherwise the students (from a leading university in Sweden) would not score significantly worse on a comparison test (1.8 +/- 0.4) than the chimpanzee (2.5) guesses right!”


  1. […] trackback I first came across about Hans Rosling in a post of Sabine in and then Lilashana, her coauthor, more exposed Hans Rosling observation on Bangladesh in her following post. I […]

  2. I would like to see the inscription “to be continied”:-D

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