South Asia :: Bangladesh
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of Bangladesh
Location of Bangladesh
 
Map of Bangladesh
Introduction ::Bangladesh
Europeans began to set up trading posts in the area of Bangladesh in the 16th century; eventually the British came to dominate the region and it became part of British India. In 1947, West Pakistan and East Bengal (both primarily Muslim) separated from India (largely Hindu) and jointly became the new country of Pakistan. East Bengal became East Pakistan in 1955, but the awkward arrangement of a two-part country with its territorial units separated by 1,600 km left the Bengalis marginalized and dissatisfied. East Pakistan seceded from its union with West Pakistan in 1971 and was renamed Bangladesh. A military-backed, emergency caretaker regime suspended parliamentary elections planned for January 2007 in an effort to reform the political system and root out corruption. In contrast to the strikes and violent street rallies that had marked Bangladeshi politics in previous years, the parliamentary elections finally held in late December 2008 were mostly peaceful. Sheikh HASINA Wajed was reappointed prime minister. About a third of this extremely poor country floods annually during the monsoon rainy season, hampering economic development.
Geography ::Bangladesh
Southern Asia, bordering the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and India
24 00 N, 90 00 E
total: 143,998 sq km
country comparison to the world: 94
land: 130,168 sq km
water: 13,830 sq km
slightly smaller than Iowa
total: 4,246 km
border countries: Burma 193 km, India 4,053 km
580 km
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 18 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: up to the outer limits of the continental margin
tropical; mild winter (October to March); hot, humid summer (March to June); humid, warm rainy monsoon (June to October)
mostly flat alluvial plain; hilly in southeast
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Keokradong 1,230 m
natural gas, arable land, timber, coal
arable land: 55.39%
permanent crops: 3.08%
other: 41.53% (2005)
47,250 sq km (2003)
1,210.6 cu km (1999)
total: 79.4 cu km/yr (3%/1%/96%)
per capita: 560 cu m/yr (2000)
droughts; cyclones; much of the country routinely inundated during the summer monsoon season
many people are landless and forced to live on and cultivate flood-prone land; waterborne diseases prevalent in surface water; water pollution, especially of fishing areas, results from the use of commercial pesticides; ground water contaminated by naturally occurring arsenic; intermittent water shortages because of falling water tables in the northern and central parts of the country; soil degradation and erosion; deforestation; severe overpopulation
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
most of the country is situated on deltas of large rivers flowing from the Himalayas: the Ganges unites with the Jamuna (main channel of the Brahmaputra) and later joins the Meghna to eventually empty into the Bay of Bengal
People ::Bangladesh
156,050,883 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 7
0-14 years: 34.6% (male 27,065,625/female 26,913,961)
15-64 years: 61.4% (male 45,222,182/female 50,537,052)
65 years and over: 4% (male 3,057,255/female 3,254,808) (2009 est.)
total: 23.3 years
male: 22.9 years
female: 23.5 years (2009 est.)
1.292% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 104
24.68 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71
9.23 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81
-2.53 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 144
urban population: 27% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 3.5% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.94 male(s)/female
total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
total: 59.02 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 39
male: 66.12 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 51.64 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
total population: 60.25 years
country comparison to the world: 183
male: 57.57 years
female: 63.03 years (2009 est.)
2.74 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82
less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140
12,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 95
fewer than 500 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria are high risks in some locations
water contact disease: leptospirosis
animal contact disease: rabies
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)
noun: Bangladeshi(s)
adjective: Bangladeshi
Bengali 98%, other 2% (includes tribal groups, non-Bengali Muslims) (1998)
Muslim 83%, Hindu 16%, other 1% (1998)
Bangla (official, also known as Bengali), English
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 47.9%
male: 54%
female: 41.4% (2001 Census)
total: 8 years
male: 8 years
female: 8 years (2004)
2.7% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 151
Government ::Bangladesh
conventional long form: People's Republic of Bangladesh
conventional short form: Bangladesh
local long form: Gana Prajatantri Banladesh
local short form: Banladesh
former: East Bengal, East Pakistan
parliamentary democracy
name: Dhaka
geographic coordinates: 23 43 N, 90 24 E
time difference: UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
6 divisions; Barisal, Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, Rajshahi, Sylhet
16 December 1971 (from West Pakistan); note - 26 March 1971 is the date of independence from West Pakistan, 16 December 1971 is known as Victory Day and commemorates the official creation of the state of Bangladesh
Independence Day, 26 March (1971); note - 26 March 1971 is the date of independence from West Pakistan, 16 December 1971 is Victory Day and commemorates the official creation of the state of Bangladesh
4 November 1972; effective 16 December 1972; suspended following coup of 24 March 1982; restored 10 November 1986; amended many times
based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
chief of state: President Zillur RAHMAN (since 12 February 2009)
head of government: Prime Minister Sheikh HASINA Wajed (since 6 January 2009)
cabinet: Cabinet selected by the prime minister and appointed by the president
elections: president elected by National Parliament for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); last election held on 11 February 2009 (next scheduled election to be held in 2014)
election results: Zillur RAHMAN declared president-elect by the Election Commission on 11 February 2009 (sworn in on 12 February); he ran unopposed as president; percent of National Parliament vote - NA
unicameral National Parliament or Jatiya Sangsad; 300 seats elected by popular vote from single territorial constituencies; members serve five-year terms
elections: last held 29 December 2008 (next to be held in 2013)
election results: percent of vote by party - AL 49%, BNP 33.2%, JP 7%, JIB 4.6%, other 6.2%; seats by party - AL 230, BNP 30, JP 27, JIB 2, other 11
Supreme Court (the chief justices and other judges are appointed by the president)
Awami League or AL [Sheikh HASINA]; Bangladesh Communist Party or BCP [Manjurul A. KHAN]; Bangladesh Nationalist Party or BNP [Khaleda ZIA]; Islami Oikya Jote or IOJ [Mufti Fazlul Haq AMINI]; Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh or JIB [Matiur Rahman NIZAMI]; Jatiya Party or JP (Ershad faction) [Hussain Mohammad ERSHAD]; Jatiya Party (Manzur faction) [Naziur Rahman MANZUR]; Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Badrudozza CHOWDHURY and Oli AHMED]
Advocacy to End Gender-based Violence through the MoWCA (Ministry of Women's and Children's Affairs)
other: environmentalists; Islamist groups; religious leaders; teachers; union leaders
ADB, ARF, BIMSTEC, C, CP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURCAT, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM, OIC, OPCW, SAARC, SACEP, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNOCI, UNOMIG, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant)
chancery: 3510 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 244-0183
FAX: [1] (202) 244-7830/2771
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York
chief of mission: Ambassador James F. MORIARTY
embassy: Madani Avenue, Baridhara, Dhaka 1212
mailing address: G. P. O. Box 323, Dhaka 1000
telephone: [880] (2) 885-5500
FAX: [880] (2) 882-3744
green field with a large red disk shifted slightly to the hoist side of center; the red disk represents the rising sun and the sacrifice to achieve independence; the green field symbolizes the lush vegetation of Bangladesh
Economy ::Bangladesh
The economy has grown 5-6% per year since 1996 despite inefficient state-owned enterprises, delays in exploiting natural gas resources, insufficient power supplies, and slow implementation of economic reforms. Bangladesh remains a poor, overpopulated, and inefficiently-governed nation. Although more than half of GDP is generated through the service sector, nearly two-thirds of Bangladeshis are employed in the agriculture sector, with rice as the single-most-important product. Garment exports and remittances from Bangladeshis working overseas, mainly in the Middle East and East Asia, fuel economic growth. In 2008 Bangladesh pursued a monetary policy aimed at maintaining high employment, but created higher inflation in the process.
$224 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50
$213.5 billion (2007 est.)
$201 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
$81.94 billion (2008 est.)
4.9% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 85
6.2% (2007 est.)
6.4% (2006 est.)
$1,500 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 196
$1,400 (2007 est.)
$1,300 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
agriculture: 19.1%
industry: 28.6%
services: 52.3% (2008 est.)
70.86 million
country comparison to the world: 8
note: extensive export of labor to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, Qatar, and Malaysia; workers' remittances estimated at $4.8 billion in 2005-06. (2008 est.)
agriculture: 63%
industry: 11%
services: 26% (FY95/96)
2.5% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 27
2.5% (2007 est.)
45% (2004 est.)
lowest 10%: 4.3%
highest 10%: 26.6% (2005)
33.2 (2005)
country comparison to the world: 94
33.6 (1996)
24.3% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55
revenues: $8.825 billion
expenditures: $12.54 billion (2008 est.)
34.5% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66
43% of GDP (2004 est.)
8.9% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138
9.1% (2007 est.)
NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 99
5% (31 December 2007)
NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 37
16% (31 December 2007)
$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 58
$8.444 billion (31 December 2007)
$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 41
$32.35 billion (31 December 2007)
$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 63
$40.1 billion (31 December 2007)
$6.671 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 78
$6.793 billion (31 December 2007)
$3.61 billion (31 December 2006)
rice, jute, tea, wheat, sugarcane, potatoes, tobacco, pulses, oilseeds, spices, fruit; beef, milk, poultry
cotton textiles, jute, garments, tea processing, paper newsprint, cement, chemical fertilizer, light engineering, sugar
6.9% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31
22.99 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68
21.38 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66
0 kWh (2008 est.)
0 kWh (2008 est.)
6,426 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92
95,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76
2,612 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 110
87,660 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69
28 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81
17.9 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31
17.9 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37
0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 52
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78
141.6 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48
$628 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50
$856.8 million (2007 est.)
$13.97 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78
$12.47 billion (2007 est.)
garments, jute and jute goods, leather, frozen fish and seafood
US 21%, Germany 13.2%, UK 8.6%, France 6.3%, Netherlands 4.7% (2008)
$19.59 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71
$16.67 billion (2007 est.)
machinery and equipment, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles, foodstuffs, petroleum products, cement
China 14.7%, India 14.7%, Kuwait 7.5%, Singapore 7.1%, Japan 4.1% (2008)
$5.789 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80
$5.278 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
$21.52 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70
$21.23 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
$5.971 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88
$5.261 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
$97 million (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79
taka (BDT) per US dollar - 68.554 (2008 est.), 69.893 (2007), 69.031 (2006), 64.328 (2005), 59.513 (2004)
Communications ::Bangladesh
1.39 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 67
45.75 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 22
general assessment: inadequate for a modern country; fixed-line telephone density remains less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular telephone subscribership has been increasing rapidly and has reached 30 per 100 persons
domestic: modernizing; introducing digital systems; trunk systems include VHF and UHF microwave radio relay links, and some fiber-optic cable in cities
international: country code - 880; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-4 fiber-optic submarine cable system that provides links to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia; satellite earth stations - 6; international radiotelephone communications and landline service to neighboring countries (2008)
AM 15, FM 13, shortwave 2 (2006)
15 (1999)
.bd
4,209 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 135
556,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 104
Transportation ::Bangladesh
17 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 139
total: 15
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 4 (2009)
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2009)
gas 2,597 km (2008)
total: 2,768 km
country comparison to the world: 60
broad gauge: 946 km 1.676-m gauge
narrow gauge: 1,822 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
total: 239,226 km
country comparison to the world: 21
paved: 22,726 km
unpaved: 216,500 km (2003)
8,370 km
country comparison to the world: 17
note: includes up to 3,060 km main cargo routes; network reduced to 5,200 km in dry season (2007)
total: 40
country comparison to the world: 77
by type: bulk carrier 3, cargo 27, container 5, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 4
foreign-owned: 1 (China 1)
registered in other countries: 10 (Comoros 2, Honduras 1, Malta 2, Panama 2, Singapore 2, Togo 1) (2008)
Chittagong, Mongla Port
the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial waters of Bangladesh as high risk for armed robbery against ships; numerous commercial vessels have been attacked both at anchor and while underway; crews have been robbed and stores or cargoes stolen
Military ::Bangladesh
Bangladesh Defense Force: Bangladesh Army (Sena Bahini), Bangladesh Navy (Noh Bahini, BN), Bangladesh Air Force (Biman Bahini, BAF) (2009)
16 years of age for voluntary military service; 17 years of age for officers (both with parental consent); conscription legally possible in emergency, but has never been implemented (2008)
males age 16-49: 41,199,340 (2008 est.)
males age 16-49: 24,946,041
females age 16-49: 31,409,069 (2009 est.)
male: 1,538,865
female: 1,666,670 (2009 est.)
1.5% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 105
Transnational Issues ::Bangladesh
discussions with India remain stalled to delimit a small section of river boundary, exchange territory for 51 small Bangladeshi exclaves in India and 111 small Indian exclaves in Bangladesh, allocate divided villages, and stop illegal cross-border trade, migration, violence, and transit of terrorists through the porous border; Bangladesh protests India's fencing and walling off high-traffic sections of the porous boundary; a joint Bangladesh-India boundary commission resurveyed and reconstructed 92 missing pillars in 2007; dispute with India over New Moore/South Talpatty/Purbasha Island in the Bay of Bengal deters maritime boundary delimitation; after 21 years, Bangladesh resumes talks with Burma on delimiting a maritime boundary
refugees (country of origin): 26,268 (Burma)
IDPs: 65,000 (land conflicts, religious persecution) (2007)
transit country for illegal drugs produced in neighboring countries