Standard Chartered Bank: Pakistan Among Most Upwardly Mobile Emerging Nations

Pakistan is among the most upwardly mobile nations in the world, according to a new Standard Chartered Bank study titled "Climbing the Prosperity Ladder".

The Standard Chartered study looks into social mobility, financial proficiency and digital savviness among 11,000 emerging affluent consumers in China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea and the UAE. 34% of Pakistani respondents said their incomes have increased by more than 50% over the last 5 years while 44% said they have seen 10% or more income growth in the last year.

Socially Mobile Income Growth. Source: Standard Chartered Bank

China, India and Pakistan:

Standard Chartered study talks about the "fast-growing economies of China, India and Pakistan are providing abundant opportunities for scaling the social pyramid".  Here's an excerpt of the Standard Chartered report:

The fast-growing economies of China, India and Pakistan are providing abundant opportunities for scaling the social pyramid. Leading the way, in both China and India 67% of the emerging affluent are experiencing positive social mobility, while Pakistan is not far behind with 64%. Of the emerging affluent in these countries, India and Pakistan both have more than one in 10 (11%) that are experiencing supercharged social mobility, versus 7% in China. Strong earnings progression is fueling impressive rates of social mobility in all three countries. Many of the socially mobile have benefitted from a salary increase of 50% or more in the last five years – 34% in Pakistan, followed by 30% in India and 26% in China. This gap could widen, with India and Pakistan more optimistic about their future salaries than their Chinese counterparts. Almost half of the socially mobile in Pakistan (48%) and India (46%) predict another earnings increase of 50% or more in the next five years, whereas less than three in 10 (29%) expect the same in China. While the emerging affluent in China are more cautious about salary growth than their counterparts in fast-growing Pakistan and India, workplace remuneration is just one side of the social mobility equation. Education has been considered crucial to improving social standing in China for a long time, but the generational shift towards university access among the socially mobile is larger than any other market: more than nine in 10 have attended university (91%), compared to 34% of their fathers and 29% of their mothers.

Education Mobility:

Upwardly mobile Pakistanis have seen a significant increase in education levels. 89% of them have college degrees compared to 66% of fathers and 49% of mothers who did.

Socially Mobile Education Levels. Source: Standard Chartered Bank 

Gender Balance:

In terms of gender parity, 51% of socially supercharged in Pakistan are men and 49% are women.

Socially Mobile Gender Differences. Source: Standard Chartered

Intergenerational Mobility:

Are they better off than their parents? The answer is a resounding Yes for 79% of Pakistanis who feel better off than their parents.

Inter-generational Mobility. Source: Standard Chartered
Saving For Education:

Upwardly mobile Pakistanis see the value of education for their children. 18% of them say saving for their children's education is a top priority.

Saving For Education. Source: Standard Chartered


Standard Chartered Bank study finds that Pakistan is among the most upwardly mobile nations in terms of income and education. 79% of Pakistanis feel they are better off than their parents.  34% of socially mobile Pakistani respondents say their incomes have increased by more than 50% over the last 5 years while 44% say they have seen 10% or more income growth in the last year. 89% of them have college degrees compared to 66% of fathers and 49% of mothers who did.

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Riaz Haq said…
According to a Gilani Research Foundation Survey carried out by Gallup Pakistan, 42% Pakistanis believe that their household’s financial situation will improve in the coming year.

A nationally representative sample of men and women from across the four provinces was asked, “Do you think your household’s financial situation will improve, worsen or remain the same in the coming year?” In response to this question, 42% said that they believe that their household’s financial situation will improve, 36% said that it will remain the same, and 22% said that it will worse.

This question is used as a proxy across the world for gauging consumer’s confidence in the economy currently, and a predictor for the future. Gallup Pakistan is currently in process of setting up a Consumer Confidence Index.

Riaz Haq said…
Woman follows in footsteps of four sisters, passes CSS exam in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: In a male-dominated society, there are women who win laurels and make their parents and families proud.

Zoha Malik Sher proved that girls are a blessing not a curse as she made her family proud by passing the Central Superior Service (CSS) written exam, following in the footsteps of her four sisters who had already passed the competitive exam and are currently holding important positions in the bureaucracy.

The Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) on Thursday announced the results of the written part of the CSS exam.

According to the FPSC, 23,403 candidates applied for the exam out of whom 14,521 appeared and only 372 could clear it with the passing percentage of 2.56.

Rawalpindi-based Zoha was among those who passed the written examination.

Ms Zoha, daughter of a retired Wapda employee, told Dawn: “I am feeling blessed.” She said her father showed that having daughters was not a weakness but strength.

She said since they had no brother, people were very sympathic to her family when she was born.

“But my father never felt bad, rather he converted his weakness (having five girls) into his strength by providing us the best training and education,” she said.

“There should be no discrimination on the basis of gender, colour, caste and creed. These things should not be considered the basis of strength and weakness,” she said, adding that girls could do wonders provided they were given the confidence by their parents.

“We are an example for other girls,” Ms Zoha said.

To a query, she said after passing the second phase (interview) she wants to join the Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS) to serve the country.

Ms Zoha’s sisters Laila passed the CSS exam in 2008, Shireen in 2010, Sassi and Marvi in 2017.

All the five sisters attended primary school at the Presentation Convent High School in Rawalpindi.
Riaz Haq said…
Ansa Javed Khan1, Sajjad Ahmad Jan2, Jawad Rahim Afridi3*, Arshia Hashmi4, Muhammad Azeem Ahmed5 1Assistant Director, P&D, Bacha Khan University, Charsadda, Pakistan; 2Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, University of Peshawar, Peshawar, Pakistan; 3*Lecturer, Department of Economics, Sarhad University of Science & IT, Peshawar, Pakistan; 4Assistant Professor, The University of Faisalabad, Department of Management Studies, Faisalabad, Pakistan; 5Associate Professor, Barani Institute of Sciences, Pakistan.
Email: 1*,, 3*,,
Article History: Received on 19th June 2021, Revised on 26th June 2021, Published on 29th June 2021

Access to Education and Intergenerational Economic Mobility
The following table 1 shows the change in educational status which has taken place between the parents and children’s generations for the overall sample as well as for the sub-groups (Majority and Minority Tribes). The absolute numbers (outside parentheses) and the percentage (within parentheses) in different cells of the table show the people who are illiterate or at different levels of education. The table on one hand shows the intergenerational mobility of people up and down the education ladder and on the other hand reveals the wide and persistent educational gap between the majority and minority tribes. The table shows that 26 % of the respondents in the kids’ generation do not have any education versus 46 % in the parents’ generation. The results affirm the government’s claims and the common perception that, on average, more people have become literate through time and therefore the people in the children’s generation are more likely to be educated than their parent's generation. Further, the college and university graduates in the children’s generation outnumber the school graduates while school graduates outnumber the higher two educational categories in the parents’ generation as most of the students in past used to drop out at both primary or high school levels and couldn’t manage to get into a college or university for higher studies.

The aggregate results for the whole sample are actually driven by the majority tribes as it shows identical trends from the parents’ generation to the children’s generation in all educational. The majority tribe has succeeded in decreasing the number of illiterates from 33% in the parents’ generation to 11% in the children’s generation. College and university graduates (total of 60%) outnumber the school graduates and the illiterate (total of 40%) in the children’s generation as compared to the parents’ generation in the majority tribe where the former is 26% and the latter is 73%. This indicates a visible upward movement of the educational ladder by the members of the majority tribe. The situation of education and literacy in the minority tribe is deplorable if the comparison is either made on basis of children’s and parents’ generations or if the educational attainment levels of the minority and majority tribes are compared. The illiterates outnumber all the other educational categories as in sharp contrast to the educational attainment levels of the majority tribe. The data further reveals that no or only a negligible improvement in the educational status of the people belonging to the minority tribe has taken place between the children’s and parents’ generations. This affirms our presumption that in the North-Western parts of Pakistan, the tribal affiliation of a person determines his or her access to education. The ease of access to education then further transforms into economic mobility or immobility of the people.

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