Population: 161,083,804 (est.)(8th)
- The Bangladeshi taka is the official currency of Bangladesh.
- Islam is the largest religion of Bangladesh; Muslims constitute 89.5% of the population followed by Hindus who constitute 9.6%. The remainder of Bangladeshis practice other religions such as Buddhism and Christianity.
- Bangladesh had been ruled by Britain and Pakistan. It declared independence from Pakistan on March 26, 1971.
- Bangladesh was earlier known as East Pakistan.
- The national game of Bangladesh is known as Kabbadi.
- Bangladesh is one of the world’s most densely populated countries and has a high rate of poverty and corruption.
Bangladesh, officially the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. Straddling the fertile Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, it is part of the historic ethno-linguistic region of Bengal. The name Bangladesh stands for “Country of Bengal” in the official Bengali language. It faces the Bay of Bengal to its south, and is bordered by India on the north, west and east, as well as Burma (Myanmar) on the southeast. It is separated from the Himalayan nations of Nepal and Bhutan by India’s narrow Siliguri corridor, and is in close proximity to southwestern China.
The present-day borders of Bangladesh were established during the British partition of Bengal in 1947, when the region became East Pakistan, part of the newly formed nation of Pakistan. However, it was separated from West Pakistan by nearly 1,500 km (about 900 mi) of Indian territory. Due to political exclusion, ethnic and linguistic discrimination and economic neglect by the politically dominant western wing, popular agitation grew and gave rise to a secular cultural nationalist movement, leading to the declaration of independence and Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. In the aftermath of war and independence, the new state endured poverty, famine, political turmoil and military coups. The restoration of democracy in 1991 has been followed by relative calm and economic progress.
Bangladesh is a unitary secular parliamentary republic, with an elected parliament called the Jatiyo Sangshad. It is the world’s eighth most populous country and has one of the highest population densities in the world. The Bengali people form the vast majority of the population, however Bangladesh is also home to various indigenous peoples in its northern and southeastern districts. The country is identified as a Next Eleven economy. It is a founding member of regional groupings SAARC and BIMSTEC, and is a member of the Commonwealth, the Non-Aligned Movement, the OIC and the Developing 8 Countries.
Geographically, the country straddles the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta and is subjected to annual floods and cyclones. The country faces a number of major challenges, including poverty, corruption, overpopulation and vulnerability to climate change. However, Bangladesh has been noted for its progress on the Human Development Index. The country has increased life expectancy by 23 years, achieved gender parity in education, reduced population growth and improved maternal and child health. Dhaka and Chittagong, the country’s two largest cities, have been the driving force behind much of the recent growth.