The Economist has a handy Pocket World in Figures on their website, which shows the relative rankings of countries on various parameters ie, "Top and Bottom of the World."
In the 70s and 80s, Bangladesh was in constant competition with Burkina-Faso (then known as Upper Volta), Chad, Ethiopia, Mayanmar, etc for the bottommost position of various country-rankings. Over the years, things have certainly improved. In the Economist lists, for example, we managed to stay out of the bottom 17 lowest doctor-population ratio, the lowest 25 life-expectancy, and the highest 20 cigarette-smoking countries. Nor are we in the top 40 biggest current account deficit nations (whether that is good or not I cannot say, since the Americans seem to do very well with lots of deficit :-) )
But population hurts. We are #7 in the world, between Pakistan at 6 and Russia at 8. Worse, our projected population growth (93 million between 2004-2050 ouch ouch) is at #8, between Ethiopia at 7 and China (!) at 9. So in the next 4 decades we will add more people than China? Sheesh.
Interestingy, Russia is rated as the country whose population will decline most (by 30 million) by 2050 - and I am sure they need more people - so maybe we can trade, heh heh :-)
Seriously, not a bad showing at all, and a strong testament to the hard work of Bangladeshis, their development visionaries and their entrepreneurs. To be sure, there is a long way to go, but we are headed in the right direction.