The slum population in Dhaka has doubled in a decade to reach 3.4 million in 2006 from only 1.5 million in 1996 following heavy rural-urban migration, said a study released Sunday.
Of the 3.4 million people, 2.5 million live within the Dhaka City Corporation areas, while the rest reside under the Dhaka Metropolitan Authority (DMA), reports BDNEWS.
The study, 'Slums of Urban Bangladesh, Mapping and Census 2005,' was jointly conducted by the Centre for Urban Studies (CUS), National Institute of Population Research and Training (NIPORT) and the Measure Evaluation of Carolina Population Centre of the University of the North Carolina.
"Slums are everywhere in Dhaka and the density of the slum population is 891 per acre. This is eight to ten times higher than the average city population density," said CUS Chairman Nazrul Islam while presenting the findings of the study at the LGED Bhaban in the city.
He referred to a previous survey of the CUS and said some 1.5 million people lived in 3007 clusters of slums in 1996 in the DMA, which has reached 3.4 million now and the number of clusters also rose to 4966.
Meanwhile, a total of 5.4 million people are living in the slums of six divisional cities of the country where nearly 40 per cent live below the absolute poverty line.
"Slums are growing in Bangladesh. This is because of increasing inequality between the rich and the poor classes although we have achieved five per cent average growth during the last five years," said Nazrul Islam.
Of the total slum dwellers, some 3.4 million live in Dhaka, 1.5 million in Chittagong and the rest live in four other divisional cities which constitute 35 per cent of the total population in these cities.
Defining the hard-core poverty line as income level of Tk 3,000 per month and moderate as Tk 5,000, the study also found that over 90 per cent of the slum people live below poverty line while
nearly 40 per cent are below hard-core poverty line.
Most of the slum dwellers are transport workers, day labourers, factory and domestic workers and hawkers, said the CUS chairman.